As I write this, we have all been asked to shelter in place, staying home as much as possible, because of the pandemic. This puts pressure on both individuals, who may be very alone now, and couples, who may be struggling with needing alone time and space. Everyone is worried, and feeling stressed. Here’s how to stay strong in this crisis.
1. To stay strong, stay connected to colleagues, friends and family members. Although you may not be able to be in personal and physical contact with people you care about, you can still use the telephone, video, FaceTime and other technology to see and talk with people who are close to you. You and your colleagues can talk and support each other through this crisis.
2. Take time to understand what you’re feeling and experiencing. If you’re having emotional reactions that are not normal to you, like angry outbursts or anxiety, take some time to feel the feelings. Don’t be afraid to cry or express what you feel. If you can, write it down. It’s amazing how writing down your fears makes them more manageable.
3. Talk to others who understand, and let them know how you feel and find out how they’re feeling. Don’t just say you’re “fine” when someone asks. Let them know how you’re doing for real, and find out about them. You’ll feel a lot better after sharing and learning that others are having the same struggles. If you have children, play with them, and talk about how everyone feels.
4. Try to get some time outdoors, even if it’s in your own back yard or a nearby park. Being around grass, trees and flowers helps relieve tension. Just keep your distance from others.
5. If you have a pet, cuddle with it. Petting a dog or cat can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and give you a mental break.
6. Talk to a mental health professional. Even if it’s a phone or video session, talking with a mental health professional can help you understand your feelings and manage stress.
7. Meditate: If you can get some quiet alone time, just sit and focus on your breathing until you feel yourself relax. You can pray, or you can just sit quietly, counting your breaths.
8. Move: Walk around your yard or outdoors, as long as you are staying distant from other people. Walking rhythmically for ten or fifteen minutes can give you a chance to relax and de-stress.
8. Play soothing music: Angry rock or rap will probably not help, but soothing music, either classical, meditative or upbeat can help reduce your stress a lot.
I hope you are well and safe, and I’m wishing all of us a speedy end to this crisis.
© 2020 Tina B. Tessina It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction