The “Stay in Place” order has been extended in our state and many other states through the end of the month now. Frustrating, disappointing and stressful are just a few of the reactions this extended order might have brought on. Trying to manage another month in isolation can be mentally taxing. But now more than ever, it is so important to practice good mental health. And there are many ways in which we can build good mental health habits during this time. Practicing healthy thinking, taking care of your body, slowing down and connecting with friends and family are just a few tips to help cope with stress!
Mental Health Tips During “Stay In Place”
Practice Healthy Thinking
Change your mindset:
Instead of thinking of it as “Stay in Place” or “Stay at Home”, think of it as “Safe at Home”. And for many of us, that is a luxury many front line workers do not have at this moment. Our home is our sanctuary right now. Maybe get creative in the kitchen, sit in a room with a book you rarely find yourself in, turn mundane tasks into meditative rituals by listening to a good podcast or rearrange bookshelves or furniture. Whatever it might be let your home be your brightest spot for you! I am working with a couple of local florists to drop off fresh flowers for us weekly. Just having fresh blooms in the house (as well as helping out local businesses) right now is an instant source of happiness!
Limit your time watching the news.
I only check the news in the morning although I might occasionally tune into a press conference. I find that if I do more than that during the day, my thinking turns unhealthy and my days lose their rhythm. If I check it at night, chances are I will not have a good night sleep.
Consider a two approach step to journaling, Write down all the things that make you anxious, upset, mad, frustrated, sad; whatever the negative feelings might be. Once done, take that piece of paper and cut it, tear it up, or throw it into a fire. On the flip side, right down all the things that you are thankful for right now. Keep that list in your journal and refer to it when you need to!
For those of us new to this practice, there is an app called Headspace, offering a free meditation program called “Weathering the Storm”. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help alleviate tension and stress.
Take Care of Your Body
I cannot stress enough what a good head clearing run does for my mental and physical health. Between the fresh air, rush of endorphins and body fatigue (resulting in a better night sleep), a good run has been my savior these past few weeks. But if running is not your thing, research shows that any type of exercise for 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week, may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. There are tons of at home workout apps available. Below are some of the most popular ones:
Whether it be walking around your neighborhood, driving to a remote spot for a hike or sitting in your own backyard with a book, spending time outdoors and getting fresh air is another positive experience for your mind and body!
Reserve time each day for some self-care. Take time to pamper yourself. Put on a hair and/or face mask, give yourself a manicure, dry brush, light your favorite candle, take and extra long shower, draw a bath and put on some music. I have a whole series on practicing self-care here.
Incorporating CBD oil* is another self-care measure that you might want to think about. I know many women who manage stress and anxiety well with daily doses of CBD oil. With a focus on women and their needs, Equilibria comes highly recommended as a CBD source, offering specialists who help custom tailor programs and dosages that are right for you.
*CBD is a natural ingredient found within cannabis flowers. CBD is a powerful health agent, but it does not get you “high”. Taking CBD oil does not lead to substance abuse. You cannot overdose on CBD and it is non-habit forming. Not all CBD oils are created equal so always read a product’s COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) to ensure it does NOT contain harmful chemicals and DOES contain maximum cannabinoids and terpenes, the therapeutic agents of the cannabis plant. More information on CBD oil here)
Connect with Friends And Family
FaceTime or Zoom.
Weekly video conferencing “dates” with extended family member and friends has been so much fun! Just being able to see everyone’s faces has been a mood boost lifter! Consider scheduling a call in with friends and family at least once a week. Reach out to your close friends and family but also reconnect with others you have not had a chance to catch up with in awhile!
Uplifting group texting exchanges with friends has left me double over laughing with some of the memes and videos going around right now. Find that support group whether serving to keep things light and amusing for you or as a source of comfort and conversation.
I know in person birthdays, graduations and holiday gatherings are being cancelled right now. But that does not mean we don’t celebrate them! My group of girlfriends just ordered Fan Faces from Shindigz as a way to be “present” for upcoming friend’s birthdays! Yard signs are another way to acknowledge celebrations! Card My Yard is a great resource!
Embrace the “Slowing Down”
It goes without saying that we are going through a defining moment in history. We are being asked to stay home and stay put. Take this time to embrace the fact that we can completely slow down. Lean into the extra slow living and make the most of simple, everyday moments. We don’t have to rush out to do anything. No schedules to juggle and appointments to race to. How many time do we wish for this in our usual hectic lives? Relax, recharge, reset. If that means hanging out in your pajamas and watching Netflix all day, feel good about it and enjoy every moment of it!
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