“This all feels so surreal”, “weird”, or “uncertain of the future” are just a few phrases that I have (virtually) heard over the past week from loved ones. Our beloved pets are so happy that we are constantly home to give them treats or belly rubs. But what about us? How can we maintain a sense of normalcy and find happiness during a time of confusion? Here are five helpful ways to find balance.
1. Get up, dress up, show up (in your living room)
Do not neglect basic hygiene or stop your morning routines. You do not have to wear office clothes but try not to stay in your pj’s all week. Wearing PJ’s all day can trick your brain into thinking you are not at work and might result in less productivity. It can be tempting to sleep in, lounge around, and be lazy when things seem off… but remember, we are creatures of habit. If you break your routine, you could replace your hard-earned healthy habits with unproductive ones. Try to keep as much of your typical routine as you can.
2. Movement as medicine
During times of stress, our bodies need movement more than ever. Regular movement can release endorphins, boosts immune systems and improve overall health. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better, so will your mind. There are many ways to get your body in motion while the gyms and recreation centers are closed. You can do yoga, Pilates or walk around your neighborhood to get that heart rate up. A fun and silly way to incorporate movement as a family is to DANCE. This is a wonderful way to get energy out and express yourselves while connecting with your family. Have a virtual dance party with friends so you can dance and be social. Put on those boogie shoes and turn up the music!
Laughter is said to be the best medicine. It is so easy to get caught up in the worry and uncertainty of it all. Oftentimes, fear can be contagious, but so can smiles and laughter. While the coronavirus is a very serious issue, not to be taken lightly… It is important to smile and let yourself laugh during this time. Laughter connects us while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. Laugh away and put on that funny cat video or share a joke with a friend.
4. Stay Connected
Social distancing can be a scary word for most, especially extroverts that regain energy by connecting with others. Humans are social creatures, (even introverts) and thrive when we feel connected with others. Social distancing does not mean falling off the face of the earth until things return to “normal.” It means finding creative ways to connect with loved ones. With modern technology it is easier to stay connected than ever before.
Facetime, Zoom or social media platforms are great options to see friends while practicing social distancing. Schedule virtual hangouts with family or write letters to friends that do not use social media. Stay connected, my friends!
5. Do not overdo it on the comfort food
Stressful times can often turn into comfort food binges. It can be easier to binge on salty snacks when our pantries are filled. It is important to find a healthy balance of eating what is comforting to us and filling our bodies with nutrition. Remember to stock up on fruits and veggies when you head to the grocery store. Frozen options are great, so you do not have to worry about it spoiling quickly. Drinking lots of sugary sodas or booze could have a negative impact on your mood and could increase anxiety. Remind yourself to stay hydrated and eat your greens to boost your mood and overall health!
There is no right or wrong way to feel right now… Breathe and we will get through this together!
If you or a loved one is wanting to speak with a licensed therapist, please consider reaching out to Summit Counseling Center to schedule an appointment by calling 678-893-5300. The Summit has licensed therapists who are certified TeleMental Health Counseling providers and can provide video counseling sessions to meet your needs at this time.