Life is hectic enough as it is, then throw-in trying to plan a wedding, or running a small business, and now, of all things: A new-to-humans virus that randomly brings the better part of the world to a screeching halt. Even the most rock-solid calm people among us are feeling pretty unsteady right about now. But the thing is, we can’t let this consume us. We’re going to get through this! Let’s talk about some practical ways we can find our footing amidst all the chaos:
When I first came across the concept of a daily “Gratitude Journal,” not gonna lie, I rolled my eyes a little bit. But, I decided to give it a shot anyway because I figured it wouldn’t hurt. As silly as it seemed at first, it actually does help you to step out of a negative headspace and realize how much you really do have, despite the weight of your current trial; it’s those things, what’s most important, that will help you stay grounded and endure.
It’s okay to keep the list short, like 5-10 items. If you’re not sure where to start, a great method is to imagine that tomorrow you’d awaken only to find the things you wrote down. You’ll find yourself prioritizing what’s most important to you real fast!
Our culture has abused the term “self-care,” and at times made it into this superficial thing to use as a hashtag or an excuse to throw our self-control out the window. True self-care is about actually taking good care of yourself. Real self-care looks different for different people and it depends on your needs. It’s about putting on your own proverbial oxygen mask so that you can be in a better position to help others.
Common Self-Care Ideas:
- A consistent morning routine to ground you before you open your phone and start your day
- Daily scheduled quiet/meditation time
- Not skipping washing your hair, face, etc.
- Even if you’re working from home, get dressed! It will make you feel more put together and help your ability focus
- Eat balanced meals, with the occasional treat
- Unplugging for a little while. Sometimes you just need to turn off the noise.
- Excercise. It releases endorphins, that can relieve stress and depression symptoms.
- Daily Bible reading
- Giving yourself permission to take a break
- Allow yourself time to grieve/be upset. Bottling up your emotions does more harm than good. Emotions are a natural reaction, it’s okay to feel them, just don’t let them become all-consuming.
- Do something that’s JUST for you, JUST for fun. (A hobby, reading a fun book, take a bubble bath, etc)
- Journaling. Getting your thoughts out of your mind and onto paper can bring unexpected clarity
Confide in a friend or Be a Confidant
Don’t completely isolate yourself. Even though at this moment in time we have to stay physically separate we can take full advantage of the technologies that make it possible to keep in touch with the people we love. A phone call or a FaceTime session with someone we trust can be a source of relief for both of you.
If you happen to be feeling upbeat, why not call to check on a friend or someone who might be having a rough time (like grandma or an elderly neighbor)? Lending support to others can help build us up too!
Having too much time on our hands allows our minds to wander into and linger in negative territory. Staying balanced with plenty to do can keep you from dwelling on the difficulties at hand. Instead of focusing on the things you can’t do, focus on the things you CAN. Then take it one step at a time.
If you’re working, do it in a way that you’ll feel proud of later. Your role is important and even if you’re working from home you’ll sleep better knowing you gave your employer your honest best.
Tragically, there are some who, in all this chaos, have been let go from their jobs without warning. My heart goes out to you! Take a minute to catch your breath, give yourself permission to be upset for a minute. Once you’ve had your moment, look into assistance opportunities like unemployment and give your resume a good refresh.
If you’re finding yourself with extra downtime, now is the perfect opportunity to take an online course, hone skills on a new hobby, or catch up on the things you’ve been putting off (like spring cleaning).
These uncharted waters are murky right now, but things WILL get better! When you start feeling overwhelmed remember to refocus on the things you are grateful to have right now despite the hardship, Go back to basics when it comes to taking good care of yourself (put your own mask on first), Take advantage of the technologies that make it possible to keep up with loved ones, and stay busy with tasks that can give you satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. If you balance these things, you’ll be able to stay grounded and weather the storm.
Stay safe friends!