During a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more crucial than ever to pay attention to our mental and physical health. With so many of us now working from home while also homeschooling, our health is suffering. Here are some tips to help even out the emotional roller coaster and get you back into a positive flow:
- What is the first thing I’m doing when I get up in the morning? Reaching for my phone? Turning on the news? Rushing to take care of others without thinking of myself?
- What am I doing to center myself?
- How am I setting the tone for my day?
We can’t plan how things will go right now, and we are being challenged to take everything a day at a time. It’s really important to set the tone for your day. Start by asking yourself these questions to assess and protect your mental and physical well being.
Celebrate Your Wins
There is nothing too small to celebrate. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for what we didn’t accomplish. Remember to celebrate those small wins every day. Here are a few ideas:
- Do five minutes of calming breath work.
- Step outside for a few moments by yourself to feel the sun on your face and breathe in fresh air.
- Establish boundaries for yourself.
- Allow yourself to linger an extra few minutes in the shower.
Manage Stress Using These Techniques
In order to reduce and release stress, we must remember to nurture our minds, our bodies and our spirits. How we move, what we consume, (both mentally and physically), and our mindset can have enormous benefits to our overall health and well being.
Here are practices that may help you manage your stress and uplift you. Experiment and find out what works best for you!
Move Your Body:
There are many studies that show that moving your body can improve your mood, help combat anxiety and depression, boost your immunity, brain health, sex life and more!
Find something you can do consistently and that brings you joy. It could be having a dance party with your kids, pulling out a yoga mat, or going on a power walk outside. Mix it up, have fun and choose one way to move every day!
Here are a few calming breathing techniques that may help ease your stress.
- Calming breathing may be done by taking a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling up your lower lungs,and then your upper lungs. Now hold your breath for a three count. Exhale slowly through pursed lips and relax the muscles in your face, jaw, and shoulders. Pair with some lavender oil to soothe and relax your mind and body.
- Pattern breathing is the 4-7-8 breathing is also known as relaxation breathing. This breath pattern may help reduce anxiety or help you get to sleep. First, breathe in through your nose, hold, then purse your lips and “whoosh” through the mouth. Repeat up to four times.
- Yogi’s have been using Ujjayi Pranayama breathing to calm their minds and warm their bodies for thousands of years. When practicing Yoga use the Ujjayi technique to completely fill your lungs while breathing in and slightly contracting your throat, then breathe out through your nose.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) helps access your body’s energy and send signals to the part of the brain that controls stress. It is believed that when you stimulate certain meridian points, (like acupuncture), through this tapping technique, you can ease your stress and release negative emotions with the goal of restoring balance. Go to the “How To Practice Tapping” table below to learn more.
How To Practice Tapping:
There is a lot to learn about tapping. Here is one example of how to do a quick exercise which might help ease your anxiety. First, identify your negative emotion like, “I’m afraid of getting sick.” Then rate how anxious you feel about it on a scale of 1-10.
Then you will create a phrase like this: “Even though I’m afraid of getting sick, I love and accept myself.” (emphasize the second half of the sentence as you say it). You will repeat this phrase to yourself three times while tapping the karate chop point on the side of one hand using your four fingers from the other hand.
Next you will go through all ten tapping points listed below, saying only what you are anxious and afraid about (two times). Now check your 1-10 level of anxiety and see if it is lower. Repeat this exercise until you feel the number is zero.
Tapping Points: Here are ten tapping points which EFT practitioners say match the 14 energy meridians used in acupuncture.
For EFT Reference click Here
Nurture Your Body & Mind
- Choose healthy immune boosting foods when possible and allow yourself occasional treats :).
- Be mindful about what you are mentally consuming too. Balance staying up-to-date on current events without creating overwhelm.
- Prioritize a good nights sleep – enough said!
- Pay attention to your inner voice, studies that show that positive self-talk and being thankful can actually make you happier.
- Find time to do the things that make you happy: journal, meditate, sing, craft or create a vision board.
Remember all of these practices come down to making YOU a priority! Make time for your self-care non-negotiable! The saying, “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.”, always rings true! Keep dreaming and laughing, we will get through this!
Get your copy of our FREE Daily Self Care Checklist for Working Moms!