High Stress And Heavy Energy
The energy right now is heavy. You walk into a grocery store and the shelves are still practically empty especially paper products. At one point, I had to travel nearly an hour away to find toilet paper. The conversations are tense about the rising number of deaths that are classified as COVID-19. Atlanta highways are bare. People afraid to stand near you in public spaces while wearing a mask to protect them from you (and everyone else). The piercing stares that people get after coughing in public are a new norm. Cabin fever is real! It is important that we maintain our sanity during such a time of high stress and heavy energy. I have created a list of things that I do every day to ensure that my mental health is even-keeled.
Make Your Bed
I know this seems a little too easy to be true, but this does help. I was a Stay At Home Mother for about two years and I could tell the difference that this made in my day. When I was younger, my father’s mother made my cousin and I make the bed a certain way; it had to be made the exact way she preferred — every morning. As a kid, I did not understand the purpose nor did I like how serious the task was made out to be every morning. Honestly, I don’t even think my grandmother thought much about why it was a ritual for her too. She was just repeating what she was taught. When I got my first place in my early 20’s, I would go a few days without making my bed as a rebellious act. As a more seasoned adult, I understand that making your bed sets the tone for your day. When you feel that you have achieved the first step of simply exiting your bed, then you are more inclined to complete another task. Furthermore, making your bed is a great mindfulness exercise. And honestly, I like how my bed feels when I get into it at night when it is made versus unmade.
Have A Morning Routine
Again, I was a Stay At Home Mother for two years and this made a BIG DIFFERENCE in how I felt about my day. Please create a morning routine for yourself and stick to it. Try not to wake up five minutes before your work meetings everyday. When you are constantly rushing or hurrying you are putting yourself in a constant state of stress. This not only impacts your nervous system, but your mental health as well. As a mother, I know how hard this can be to achieve throughout the day. This is why it is important that I start my day off right with enough time for my morning routine. Create a routine for yourself and stick to it.
When you make a meal that lasts you for a couple of days, you are taking one less task off of your plate for the day. It is important that you eat a well-balanced meal, but definitely now to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients. If you are not eating right, then you are not thinking right. Honestly, cooking every day can be daunting, especially if it is not something that you are accustomed to doing. So, meal prepping helps relieve that daily burden. It also will help you to save some cash! I started ordering a lot because of the deals that were being thrown around due to businesses not getting a lot of orders anymore. So, learn from me and MEAL PREP.
Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Stress
Common signs of distress are:
- Feelings of numbness, anxiety, fear, and disbelief
- Difficulty concentrating
- Physical reactions, such as body pains, skin rashes, headaches and stomach problems
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances.
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Anger or short-temper
- Difficulty sleeping or interrupted sleep pattern
- Changes in appetite, energy and activity levels
There are two different types of coping skills: problem-based and emotion-based coping skills. Problem-based coping is when you need to change the situation by removing yourself from the situation. For example, if you work a job that is impacting your mental health, then the anxiety and stress may be resolved by finding another one. Emotion-based coping is when either don’t want to or can not change the situation because it is out of your control, but you still need to address your feelings in a healthy manner.
Please give yourself a break and reading, watching, and even talking about the news centered around the Coronavirus. This may even have to include social media. By all means, please stay informed, but do not let it impact your mental health. Hearing the news repeatedly can put you into a panicked state, which causes stress. Instead, handle what you can and leave it there. Take a moment out of the day to read a book. In the morning or before bed, meditate. If you have a hard time connecting with yourself because of the heavy energy, try grounding exercises. The key here is to find a healthy coping mechanism to de-stress from it all. I love journal writing and have talked about it quite a few times on this blog. Another coping mechanism of mine is aromatherapy. I enjoy the use of lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and a few others. Most importantly, step outside. No, you do not have to surround yourself with other people, but get some sun and exercise! I grab bubbles and chalk, then my son and I hit the pavement.
Connect With Others
We all miss our friends and family! Please find apps (like House Party) that you can use for group video chats or create a group text thread. If you want to have a little more fun, create a group Facebook group for you and your family/friends. We thrive on connection and right now we are being told to cut it off. Do your best to foster and create it in healthy ways. Use social media more intentionally versus using it as your only means of connecting with your family and friends. Actually, pick up the phone and call them to see how they are doing. If you don’t want to call, send a text or a funny picture to share a laugh and break the ice.
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