We are all going through an unprecedented time and need each other more than ever. However, social distancing is necessary during this time and with the increase in businesses moving remote and schools closing, we will be spending a lot of time in our homes. If you live alone, this can lead to feelings of social isolation and even depression. Families can easily get overwhelmed with everyone around all the time and strive for a little peace and quiet. In times like these, it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Here are three things you can do daily to help keep your stress levels down.
1) Move Daily
Gyms and fitness studios around the country are closing. If yours has not, there is a good chance it will be closed in the next week. Working from home, it is very easy to become more sedentary. Take little movement breaks every hour to go outside and walk around or do some bodyweight movements such as push-ups, burpees, squats, and lunges. There is a lot of content online that you can follow and most gyms are now offering online programming. I am also sending out weekly workouts you can do at home with minimal or no equipment, signup here to receive them. You can also get a group of friends together to hit the park or local track. We are running small group workouts in Memphis where everyone is abiding by the social distancing policy and no equipment is used. It is not only a great way to get your workout in, but it maintains the social interactions we all desperately need.
Our breath is the only system in our body that is autonomic, yet completely under our control. Evolution did not do this by accident. Breathing has a direct link to our emotional and physiological state. It can help you downregulate, allowing you to transition from tense and stressed out to calm and relaxed. Throughout the day, focus on calm nasal breathing, in through the nose and out through the nose. Remember to breathe horizontally into your belly, think about expanding your core all the way around, not just your belly. At night, spend time away from the news with five to ten minutes of breathing before bed. You can listen to this short recording to help you relax before bed. Put away all of your electronics an hour before bed, spend time with your loved ones and then give yourself a few minutes to breathe to help you fall asleep and improve your sleep quality.
3) Invest your Time
What are you doing with your time right now? Don’t spend all your free time binge-watching Netflix. Put your mind to work on creating something productive. For example, try learning something new such as taking up art. If you’re a parent, a lot of it will be spent helping your kids. Create a schedule for them and for you and include time to learn, play, and enjoy each other’s company. Give them the skills they would never have in school. Don’t forget your parents and grandparents. Make sure you check in with them daily and start Face timing with them more. Even if we can’t be with them right now, we can include them as much as possible. Don’t waste this time at home with your loved ones. Use it to grow your relationships and improve yourself.
To Sum it Up
This is a trying time for all of us. We need to make sure we are doing what is best to stop the spread of this virus and that means we will be at home a lot over the next weeks or months. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Our first instinct is to watch as much news as possible because we believe the more we know, the more control we will have over the situation. There comes a time when we need to turn it off and focus on what we can control. Spend time moving daily, make sure you breathe and control your stress, and use this time to invest in yourself and your relationships. Don’t waste these moments. You’ll never get this time back with your kids or loved ones. You also won’t have this much time to learn something new and bond with your loved ones. Don’t forget to stay in touch with your parents and grandparents. They will need you more than ever right now. We will make it through this and crisis breeds opportunity for a better future. I believe the world will take advantage of this and we will see some impressive changes to come. Stay safe out there and “don’t forget to put your oxygen mask on first.”
Call to Action
If you need help, I am here. You can contact me through my website www.symetry.live. I am hosting daily breath classes through zoom to help everyone deal with all of the stress going on. You can sign up here.