Managing Stress on a Lockdown
Never did I imagine I would be writing a blog with such a serious title during such unprecedented circumstances! In a short period of time, I have had to adapt to new ways of working online, accepting financial losses, uncertainty, social distancing and worry about loved ones whilst also becoming a home school teacher to two lively 8yr and 12yr old children. It has at times been quite overwhelming whilst coming to terms with everything but as always, with acceptance comes peace and by mindfully taking things moment by moment I know we will all come out the other side as better human beings.
"The walls of isolation are not as solid as your suffering makes them seem" Deepak Chopra
I recently did a guest blog about taking care of mental wellbeing during these uncertain times to help stay on track which included some of my tips below:
1.Be less judgemental of your feelings. It is OK not to be OK, to admit and acknowledge your emotions, try as best you can not to be driven by them.
2. Uncertainty can lead to anxious and worrying thoughts, it is helpful to be more aware of when these thoughts arrive so you can choose to refocus on whatever activity you are doing, thus reducing their impact.
3. When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, your body will give you signals. Don’t ignore them, use them as a trigger to ask yourself what is it that you need in that moment?
4. Pause regularly for a mindful moment to check-in with how you are doing physically and mentally. Taking these small breaks will help you to release some pressure throughout the day, maintain your performance and a healthy state of wellbeing. Try setting a regular reminder and listen to the short F.O.F.B.O.C (Feet on Floor Body on Chair) mindful-based practice Download the audio HERE.
5. To feel less isolated and more connected with the world around you, go outside for a mindful walk each day and be fully present to what you can feel, see, hear, smell and even taste. If you are self-isolating, getting out into the garden or at least opening the window will be beneficial. Forget texting and do more Facetime, Whatsapp video calling or use one of the many free online platforms to stay connected 'in person'.
6. Switch off notifications for news alerts, Whatsapp and social media apps, which we are constantly bombarded by. This will give back control of choosing when to check-in, freeing up time and lessening the impact of some of the more negative posts.
7. Be grateful for small moments of joy in every day. With so much negativity around it is easy to forget there are so many positive things in life such as waking up in a warm bed, being healthy, having clothing and food, feeling the sun on your face or hearing children's laughter in the distance. Try keeping a gratitude diary or naming 5 things you are grateful for before you go to sleep at night.
8. Stay present and take each moment as it happens to reduce overwhelm and worry about things that may or may not happen and that are out of your control. To help keep perspective, follow your breathing when you notice you are getting caught up in catastrophising or brooding thoughts to bring you back to the present moment, which really is the only moment that exists. Or you could try naming 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste to help steady and ground yourself.
You can read the full blog with other homeworking tips over at Rimu Marketing HERE.
If you are struggling, please know that you are not alone. Get in touch with me, your colleagues, friends and family for support. Please also reach out to the Samaritans who are there to listen to you 24/7, just call 116 123 to get in touch with them.