In these times, as always, it is important to do a regular mind-check. Not just concerning your to-do lists & responsibilities, but taking a good look at your mood & state-of-mind in general.
Even Michelle Obama, who has a loving family & secure means, has confessed to a depression of sorts.
-Are you getting enough sleep? It's well-established that sleep deprivation is detrimental to not just your recuperative bodily functions, but also your psychological disposition. Everyone needs different amounts & different circumstances, but if you know you are lacking, you might try a diffuser with relaxing essential oils to calm you,or a natural sleep aid, like warm milk that has a dose of tryptophan. The body uses tryptophan to help make niacin, melatonin, and serotonin, thought to produce healthy sleep and a stable mood. Or try chamomile tea. There are so many benefits of chamomile tea, treating insomnia is just one of them.
Are you taking advantage of your support network? The womens' group, the family dinners, a beer & the game with the boys, the zoom get together with your BF for coffee or cocktails? Even camping out in your own backyard with family or friends. Create & keep up with your connections, & don't neglect the people & places that resource you. They are your lifeline during stressful times.
-Are you making sure your activity levels are adequate? The research confirms that as little as 25 minutes a day of physical activity can greatly aid mood & immunity, not to mention sustaining a healthy weight. Take a walk. Play your favorite song & sing & dance along. Take on a few projects in your home: weatherstrip your windows for winter, paint the den, update your garden. It will stimulate you, & reassure you there is indeed a future. Besides, it's great exercise to boot.
-Do you eat a healthy & balanced diet? There is no doubt that you get out of your body what you put into it. Not only that, but the additives, chemicals & other toxins in your food & water definitely affect your ability to physically & mentally handle the onslaught of everyday stress. Check out some healthy, new recipes, or promise to get rid of soda for good, & pick up a SodaStream instead.
-Getting back to our 5 Simple Pillars, have you created the time & the space for you to concentrate on your thoughts, dreams, projects & plans? Journalling & even day-dreaming greatly alleviate the cortisol (stress hormone) levels as you move through your day, giving you the ability to focus & calmly make your plans.And, make sure you have a quiet corner that's yours alone, just for replenishing your spirit.
-Don't forget to check in on your entourage. Your significant other might not be expressing his/ her worries. Your dog might be biting his paws, your cat-climbing the walls. Your kids might be holed up in their rooms for too long. Stress affects everyone differently, so do your mind-check on yourself & everyone you care about.
When something frantic occurs that has never happened before, it's always a good idea to touch base & have everyone talk about what their experiencing. Make it an easy get-together, with a great meal, a family game, or a new Disney flick. Getting together always help relieve fear & stress. Use the time forced on all of us to your best advantage to continue living well together!
Patrick & Jo-Anna
PS-TakeAway Tip: Sometimes even just a bit of deep breathing is enough to relax you & clear your mind.Try inhaling for four counts-holding for 4 counts-exhaling for 4 counts. After a few repetitions, you'll be much calmer. It's not a permanent fix, but in a pinch, it does the trick!