Proven Resources to Help Deal with Stress
Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew – Cicely Tyson
The world has dramatically changed. Now we can’t go out as we used to and if we could there’s nowhere fun to go. All the routines we had have been shattered. It’s a rough transition to our new normal routines. This is hard to handle for most of us. Some mental health experts say that we experience grief from the loss of our normal lives and routines.
After listening to the grim news, worrying about my loved one’s safety, I get further frustrated by what my daily life has become. I have been working from home for years but never had to juggle work and parenting a toddler at the same time. Furthermore, I miss getting together with family and friends. It feels like forever since I’ve traveled or had fun outside the house.
I wish that a simple grocery shopping trip didn’t require as much planning as a “Mission: Impossible” spy mission.
It’s exhausting to me and if you feel the same way, please know you’re not alone. We are all in this together and will get through it.
Many of us are struggling to find our way in this new reality – emotionally and socially.
These are tough times whether you’re an essential worker, directly with fighting the virus or home avoiding it.
This situation is stressful and requires work to build up our resilience.
As a coach, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching clients how to build up resilience to stress as they navigate career and life transitions.
Here are some tips and links to resources to help you stay calm and centered during these challenging times:
Breathe Deeply and Often – When anxious thoughts come to mind or stressful situations come up, take a few deep breaths to help you feel calmer in the moment. The key to relaxation is to make your out-breath longer than your in-breath to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system. There are many breathing techniques you can use, I like box breathing with a slightly longer out-breath.
Create a Daily Stress-Reducing Practice – I use a practice called “Heart-Focused Breathing” from the Heartmath Institute every morning to help keep my stress buttons from being pressed. You breathe in for 5-6 seconds and breathe out for 5-6 seconds, smoothly and without force, several times while you imagine that the breaths are flowing in and out of your heart.
Relax Your Body – Before an important conversation or just to relax across the day, practice the CALM Reminder. CALM stands for Chest, Arms, Legs, Mouth. You can do it quickly and gain awareness of any sensations then tense and relax the muscles of each body part.
Get Some Sleep – If stress and anxiety are keeping you from getting much-needed sleep, you are not alone. In addition to the standard recommendations like set a “Go to bed” timer on your phone and limiting screen time an hour or so before bed, try a body scan meditation while you’re in bed.
I like how a body scan can pull my mind into the present moment and out of future worries.
Nourish Your Body – Make sure you are eating healthy food, drinking water and get exercise (at least 20 minutes a day). All these actions are the foundation of building stress resilience and often get dropped when we’re stressed out. Walk, dance or yoga pose your way to calm.
Connect with Others – Social distancing doesn’t mean complete isolation. Connect with friends and family by phone or video chat daily to ensure that you get in contact with others. Social connections are a basic human need.
Make it fun and feel free to get creative – virtual happy hour, watch the same movie together, have a big family dinner video call, play karaoke or have a dance party.
I’m glad to see the overwhelming support and resources that are coming available to help us deal with our grief and anxiety.
If you’re feeling depressed, please consult a mental health professional for a phone or video session.
Are you struggling with staying connected while working from home for the first time? Find out how Victoria can help you succeed in this new process.
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