When you’re in a stressful time, it can feel overwhelming to find ways to get relief. I've got 5 simple ways you can relieve stress during this unprecedented time:
1. GET OUTSIDE (preferably in the morning). Yes, even when under a shelter-in-place order like many of us are right now, you can take neighborhood walks while maintaining social distance from other people that might be out at the same time. This will not only provide some movement/exercise for your day, but the sunlight in your eyes will help to regulate your circadian rhythm (which leads to better sleep!).
On the heels of your morning walks, you can also add small daily challenges (you’ve seen the 10 pushups challenge going around right?!) to keep yourself accountable. I also love the idea of doing 50 jumping jacks (10 at a time, 5 separate times throughout the day) for an easier challenge.
2. FOCUS ON GOOD NUTRITION. Lots of healthy fats. Broth. Fruits & veggies (fresh or frozen ideally). The highest quality protein you can find & afford. And as tempting as it may be to eat ALL THE THINGS or drown your sorrows in a bottle of wine, you'll function better if you hold off & make healthier choices.
3. STEP AWAY FROM THE NEWS. Dedicate 30 minutes to watching / reading the news, then TURN IT OFF. It will be there when you wake up the next day, and if anything big enough happens you will likely hear about it from other sources anyway.
4. FIND A SHELTER-IN-PLACE HOBBY. This doesn't need to be a forever hobby, but it is crucial to have something to take your mind of what is happening outside your door. Baking, knitting, plants, exercise, writing, puzzling, reading, coloring (download our sheets here!), gardening, singing, music – just a few ideas to get you started!
Share your hobby below so we can all get ideas – I'm working on keeping my plant babies alive, developing new spice blends, & working out daily with my husband in our garage.
5. CONNECT. Just because we're physically distancing from one another, does not mean we have to emotionally disconnect from our loved ones. So schedule those Zoom calls, start a text chain with your friends, share on social media what you're up to each day. I love seeing what my friends are up to, even if it's just pouring their morning coffee!
REST – This is a bonus tip, and it's probably the most important one I have for you. It can feel difficult to give yourself and your family more grace during a stressful time, since you want to control something / anything, you may want to be more productive when you see all this “free” time at-hand. I encourage you to resist that urge. Allow yourself to sleep as your body wants, then see how much more productive you may end up once you’re well-rested.
I know these seem obvious, but often we don’t give ourselves permission to do them. Let’s all offer ourselves a bit more grace right now, and have fewer expectations of “doing.” None of us has been through an experience like this, so while you may be extra motivated or energized by it, you may also simply want to take a breather and find a moment to enjoy what you can of this time, with less pressure.
Additionally, check out these episodes of the Balanced Bites podcast for more stress-management help: