In a very formal Instagram survey 😉 (via @sarahconleydarby) I asked people if they were feeling more stress/anxiety right now than usual and 79% said yes. Additionally, 35% said they have experienced income loss since COVID-19 began and 41% of my friends who are moms said they are expected to work from home while also caring for children at home. Many of us are navigating so many new challenges right now … and we are tired.
Last Wednesday, I invited my friend and Licensed Professional Counselor, Desi Teague, to join me for a Facebook Live conversation about managing stress during the chaos of quarantine– you can watch a replay of our discussion HERE. In an email over the weekend, I shared with you my first 5 strategies for navigating feelings of overwhelm and uncertainty and promised to send rest later – so here you go!
6. Make a “Ta Da!” List
If you are feeling frustrated about all of the things that are not getting done right now, pause at the end of the day and make a “Ta Da” list! If your To Do list has gone out the window, celebrate yourself for all that you have accomplished – not what you haven’t. This is a highly motivating practice – try it today!
7. Practice meditation or prayer
To help stimulate your relaxation response, try intentional breathing and a basic meditation practice. There are mobile apps and breathing exercises that can help you strategically calm your body and mind, helping reduce mental stress. I use the meditation practices in the Peloton app, but there are many other apps out there. I have found that I sleep better when I end the day with mindfulness and gratitude.
8. Get more sleep
There is no substitute for sleep. Research has shown that most Americans would be happier, healthier and safer if they were to sleep an extra 60 to 90 minutes per night.
But people are sleeping much less than they did in the past; sleep quality has also declined. Poor sleep is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and obesity and the use of artificial lighting and electronics at night may contribute to sleep problems. These devices emit light of a blue wavelength, which may trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Many studies suggest that blue light in the evening disrupts your brain’s natural sleep-wake cycles, which are crucial for optimal health – bottom line, turn off the TV and shut your phone off at least an hour before bedtime.
For me personally, stress makes me very tired and the only way I can recover is with sleep. I nap when possible and try to get to bed earlier than normal when I need it. (It’s one of the things that makes me feel like a person!) I love the Deep Sleep Playlist on Spotify and sometimes I fall asleep to meditations, as well. It makes a difference for me.
9. Take a vacation
No time ever seems perfect to pack your bags and book a trip, and yet it is incredibly important to slow down and take time for yourself away from your typical settings. If paid time off isn’t possible in your line of work, try milking those long holiday weekends by going someplace new locally. I rented an AirBNB for this Memorial Day weekend to just recover from all of the weeks of quarantine and gear up for the summer. AKA 10 more weeks of blissful time with my darlings! 😉
By the way – have you heard about MOM CAMP?! I’m so excited to partner with my friends from Gold Dust Event Co to host a luxury retreat for worn out moms this October. Would love for you to consider joining me for this incredible time away with friends to recharge at UNICO, an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Mexico.
Click the banner below to REGISTER TODAY!
10. Be kind to yourself
Release expectations about what you should be able to do or accomplish or how other people should be able to function right now. None of us have ever done this before. No one in the world has lived through a global pandemic. We don’t know how to do this!
I’ve shared this previously, but an excellent podcast about navigating new things (like a global pandemic, for example) is this one called Unlocking Us with Brene Brown. It continues to bring great perspective to me. If you haven’t listened to it yet, do it! And tell me what you think. 🙂
Bottom line — GRACE. Extend so much grace to yourself and everyone around you.