The development of COVID-19 has has forever changed our personal and business worlds. Even in the best of times, change brings with it anxiety and stress and these are certainly not the best of times. Stress and anxiety is running high for all of us and this stress and anxiety can easily spill over to our interaction with customers and our fellow work teams if we forget to take care of ourselves. Here are some wonderful self-care tips that were included in a recent article written by freelance writer, Jenna Scott. She likes to incorporate these in times of stress and she feels these may help us relax and stay healthy which I believe could help us maintain better relationships with our customers and co-workers.
6 Tips by Jenna Scott
This is a personal favorite of mine; I do breathing exercises when I am under extreme stress or if I am having trouble getting to sleep. They are marvelous for tricking your body into calming down. Even Bruce Banner was using breathing exercises in the 2008 The Incredible Hulk movie! If you have a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or health app it may already have some breathing exercises available for you to try, but if you don’t there are plenty online to choose from. Here is an article outlining 8 different breathing exercises to give you a sampling of options, and another from the University of Michigan. There are also apps available like Calm and Headspace available that have a variety of exercises for anxiety, insomnia, and mediation, but read the fine print as many of them have a subscription fee after a free trial period.
Social distancing is our best offense against COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside 24-7. Getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air is not only good for a change of scenery, but also for your mental and physical health. Sunlight is thought to trigger the production of serotonin, which helps to regulate mood and overall mental health. You can’t get close to others who don’t live with you, but take a walk or play a game outside with your family or pet. Take a book outside and read, watch the birds, or play a guitar. Go for a slow drive with the windows down. Let springtime help you through self-isolation.
Speaking of outside, have you thought about gardening? Psychology Today has a great blog post about why gardening is so good for mental health. I’m allergic to just about every outdoor allergen possible, but even I appreciate digging around in the dirt and watching plants thrive in the space I’ve created. A good friend of mine has made planting & tending a Victory Garden her family’s spring project to give herself and her two young children something positive, fun, and productive to focus on. Here is a great article about how to create your own Victory Garden, but you can also choose to plant flowers, herbs, or landscaping plants.
Try That Hobby You’ve Been Thinking About
As Psychology Today notes, hobbies help us relax, help provide structure in our free time, and create new social engagements, but Americans have been drifting away from them in the past few decades. Now is the perfect time to dive back into a hobby that you’ve let wane, or pick up a new one that you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you want to learn a language, or a new instrument. With apps and YouTube, so many skills are possible to learn from home! You can also check out your local library’s online digital services for free resources. If you don’t have a card, or need help, your library likely has an email posted on their website you can message for help.
Read a Book or a Good Magazine
Did you know that you can read magazines for free on Ink Publishing & Design’s website? You can start reading today at www.inkmagazines.com. Your local library also has digital options for reading and activities. In the past 6 months, my family has reignited our love story with our local libraries, downloading e-books on our tablets and e-readers. You can purchase e-books through your preferred retailer as well. Also, look at your local bookstore’s website or Facebook page to see what kind of services they are offering right now. For example, Carmichael’s Books in Louisville is offering free shipping within Jefferson County and free shipping outside of Louisville Metro on orders over $50.
Talking to Your Children About the Pandemic
Talking with your kids about the uncertainty and anxiety created by a rapidly evolving pandemic can be hard, so here are some great articles that can help: Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19; Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus; Talking to Teens & Tweens about Coronavirus.
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