With COVID-19 moving through the country at a rapid rate, it’s easy to fall prey to a negative mindset. We’re often told to worry about only that which we can control, and in a situation that’s as fluid as this pandemic, it may seem that everything is out of our control. In these times, it’s helpful to remind ourselves that our attitudes can make all the difference.
Something that we do every day, often without even noticing, can help to calm us down when we’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’ve felt like your mind is racing while you’re working from home or laid off, or because of the current state of the world, try taking some deep breaths. If it feels comfortable for you, you can also try closing your eyes and sitting up straight and focusing on a word or phrase while you breathe, like “peace,” “calm” or “I am relaxing.”
For a whole list and ‘how-to’ guide to breathing to reduce stress, click here: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255
To nobody’s surprise, social distancing is incredibly difficult, especially for extroverts. Thankfully, technology has provided ways to keep us connected. Make time in your day to talk to friends, family and loved ones, using paltforms like Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Video, Zoom or go old school and hop on the phone! If you find it tough to find topics to talk about, just start with a simple “how are you doing?” This virus has infected our lives with news articles, tweets, Facebook posts and statistics. Take this time to make a connection that will bring a smile to the faces of those on the other end of the line, and yourself!
For a list of the most popular video chatting apps,click here: https://www.redbytes.in/best-video-chat-apps/
In his book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle says: “Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it - don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze. Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you.” By paying attention to what we are feeling and compartmentalizing the sensations, we’re able to separate them from ourselves, and realize that what we’re feeling is not a permanent description of who we are. We may feel stressed and anxious, but we’re not always feeling this way. This too shall pass.
To read Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now, online, click here to scroll through the contents: https://epdf.pub/the-power-of-now-a-guide-to-spiritual-enlightenmentade3e76604d55c71d95274a23519502846697.html
Get Into a Routine
Everyone’s lives have been upended since early March. Our normal grocery shop on Saturday mornings, or the noon coffee run for our friends have likely stopped, or at least changed. If you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to start a routine! If your day includes children, this will be very helpful for them, too! It’s not just children who crave routine in their lives, adults do, too! Creating some stability in knowing what comes next in our day-to-day lives will help calm some anxieties we may have about what tomorrow or next week will bring.
For tips and tricks on how to create a routine, read Elizabeth Larkin’s post here: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-create-a-daily-routine-2648007
It’s perfectly understandable to slip into waves that cause you to lack motivation to go for a run or for take a walk around the block. These are trying times, and we’ve never been through something like this before. Endorphins are our friends, and can help us feel emotionally better quickly, but sometimes getting the energy to get up and go is not always easy. And that’s okay; we’re only human, after all! In moments like these, try to bargain with yourself halfway. Maybe you don’t want to go for a run or lift the at home weights you bought three months ago, but you can stretch! Even if you’re sitting on the couch, stretching will help prevent aching muscles tomorrow, and might give you that little push you need to take a stroll through your neighborhood. Every little bit will help!
Yoga with Adriene is a great YouTube Channel for lots of different yoga practices. See below for a few great ones!
Office Break Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-8FvC3GD8c
Yoga for Couch Potatoes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzhGqjlYU14
Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Relief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SedzswEwpPw
Yoga at your Desk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAUf7aajBWE
Chair Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ts01MC2mIo
Get Some Sunshine!
We’re told we can all help flatten the curve by staying at home, so a trip to the beach or taking a hike in a heavily populated trail isn’t in the foreseeable future. But we can still take a walk up and down our street, sit in the sunshine, and open the windows for some fresh air! Vitamin D can help boost your immune system and give you an endorphin rush, too! According to James M. Greenblatt M.D., “Every tissue in the body has vitamin D receptors, including the brain, heart, muscles, and immune system, which means vitamin D is needed at every level for the body to function.” Do your body and your brain a favor and get some sun! (But, don’t forget the SPF!)
To read the full article, click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-breakthrough-depression-solution/201111/psychological-consequences-vitamin-d-deficiency
We are all in this together and can each do our part to flatten the curve. Right now, our daily lives are difficult, and it’s tough to maintain a positive mindset about the future. It’s important to remember these times will not stay like this forever. Be strong, be courteous to others, and take care of yourself.