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Finding Control in Uncertain Times

Minimize stress by taking control of your wellbeing

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash
Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

It can be extremely overwhelming to try to find some normalcy in our daily lives right about now. Routines are thrown off, plans are canceled, and we are learning new forms of social connection.

Finding control in these uncertain times is crucial. We all feel out of balance but taking control of what we can is one way to keep our sanity and maintain some peace of mind. Viewing these things with a plan of control can help you regain your composure.

Meditate

Now is a great time to learn meditation, and it doesn’t have to be the type where you sit down and chat ‘ohm’ for an hour.

My favorite form of meditation is actually just counting breaths. I sit for five minutes and just breathe in, one, and out, two, and then start over. Instead of letting my mind try to keep track of counting to ten, I can keep a narrow focus and just focus on one and two. It helps me quiet my mind as I focus instead on the movement of my breath.

I also like to use my journaling as meditation or gratitude practice. I write only positive thoughts and if I ever run out of sentences to write, I just list out things I’m thankful for. It helps me take control over my thoughts for the ten minutes I’m writing and point them toward positive experiences. I always walk away feeling a little more at ease.

Exercise

Now we can’t control going to the gym, but we can control how we take our physical wellbeing into account. Just because we don’t have access to all the exercise equipment we used to use doesn’t mean we can’t get a good workout.

If your weather is cooperating (mine is not), go out for a run, walk, jog, or stroll. Movement, no matter how slow, is still good for you. Sidewalk chalk “obstacle courses” are becoming a norm around my neighborhood when it’s not raining. Consider getting your kids to make a course for you or just make one up yourself. Trust me, no one is judging you.

If you can’t get outside, maybe now is the time to look into new exercise routines. Maybe you can start yoga or Tai Chi using YouTube videos. Follow Pinterest circuits that you can do from your living room with minimal to no equipment. Do one arm, leg, and ab exercise every hour throughout the day. Get moving with an exercise game on your video game console.

Music

Whenever I feel down in the dumps, I love to pull up a playlist and just sing and dance to my heart’s content. Sometimes good tunes just pull you out of a funk. Get your speakers blasting, put on your dancing shoes, and work up a sweat while you listen to your happy songs. Take control of your mood.

Social media detox

It’s tempting to use your time to scroll social media but lately it feels as if my feed is full of negativity and false news. Sometimes you have to just shut it off.

I’ve done social media detoxes before — either eliminating social media completely or removing negative people. Since there are some positive things going around as well, I’ve chosen to do my detox with a 30-day snooze of people who aren’t sharing anything positive. For thirty days, I won’t see their posts and won’t be bothered with any negative news.

If you aren’t ready to commit to eliminating social media completely, that’s okay. Find new ways to get your news or limit your time scrolling. Focus on other positives around you. Take control of the messages you bring in to your life.

Minimize

If you’re going to be in your home all the time, you might as well like your space. Minimalism is about getting rid of the excess so that all that remains is the essential. Think about the things in your current space. Is it full of junk? Does it drain you to be inside all the time? Are you frustrated that your space never seems clean?

Take a look around and see what you can minimize. Declutter your home and look to donate your excess to someone else who might need it. Clear your space so you actually enjoy what’s around you. Take control of your space and learn to love it.

Learn

Now that you have time and space to fill, consider filling it with knowledge rather than stuff. When you control the time you have, you can start to use it more wisely.

Learn a new craft. Find a new podcast to listen to. Tap into your creative spirit. Take an online course. Find a YouTube channel that teaches you something new. Learn a new language. Read a book.

Control your input and spend your time developing yourself.


Think about what aspects of your life you feel are out of your control. What sort of actions can you take to relieve some of the stress? What sort of actions can you take elsewhere so you have a part of your life you feel in control of?

We can’t control others or the news happening, but we can control how we respond and how we manage ourselves. Embrace your skills and develop your reactions and you’ll find you’re able to manage this current stress in new and better ways.

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