If life is a series of valleys and peaks, right now it may seem like we’re riding a roller coaster through the depths of hell. The world is in a global low. It’s in these difficult times where you need more guidance and support.
The problem is, we can’t seek our normal support system because everyone is in the same position. Everyone is stressed out, feeling vulnerable and at risk. However, there are several things you can try that will help get you through these tough times.
Focus On Your Control
One of the most stressful aspects of this difficult time is the lack of control we feel. It is helpful if you try to focus on what you can control, rather than everything you can’t control.
One thing you can control is your home and the way you allow “the outside” to come into your home. Some recommend creating a dirty zone and a clean zone. What does that mean? The dirty zone should either be directly outside of your home or just inside it. It’s where you should remove your shoes and outwear and wash down your phone, wallet, purse, etc. before coming into your home. This will help limit the risk of contamination. You can also wipe down any packaging that you bring into your home, whether it’s food shopping or a takeout. By giving yourself control of what comes in and the cleanliness of those items you will reduce your stress levels.
Take A Meditation Minute
Meditation is a powerful practice that can be continued long after these scary days are left behind. For now, try to take a minute first thing in the morning and a few times throughout the day to simply close your eyes and breathe deeply. Slowly inhale through your nose and hold it for a beat or two before you exhale it out of your mouth. That’s a simple meditation to get you started and help relieve some of the stress your body is holding. Try it a few times throughout the day to take the edge off.
As we sit at the computer looking for answers, it is good to remember to get up and move a little. Take a walk, do a few push-ups, jumping jacks, or even a little random dance around the living room. The beauty of this is that you can include the entire family. So, turn up some upbeat music and just have a dance party! You get to release all of your stresses while listening to great music.
Breathe With Intention
If you pay attention to your breathing when you’re feeling stressed out, you’ll notice it’s rapid and shallow. Or you may find you hold your breath. Most of us do not breath properly when stressed. Improper breathing perpetuates stress. The way to overcome this is by intentional breathing. That is, take deep, slow breaths using your diaphragm. How can you tell if you’re doing it right? The best way is to keep a hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Your rib cage and belly should expand with every inhalation of breath.
A Grounding Exercise
Another method to reduce your stress is to use your senses to help ground you. Using one sense at a time, find five things you can see, five things you can touch, five things you can smell, five things you can taste, and five things you can hear. It’s all about bringing your focus back to the present moment instead of stressing out about all the things you can’t control. By directing your attention on your sense of touch for instance, you are pulled back to reality and forced to slow down the chatter in your mind.