By: LaVonne Dorsey - Leadership Development, Executive Coach and Consultant
Many of us struggle with spending so much time in our homes working, socializing, parenting and managing the added stress of the economy, politics and civil unrest. These elements can be challenging on their own, but when combined, can have more effect on us then we may realize.
To alleviate the impact and to create consistency, consider the following:
Many factors contribute to our mental and emotional health. It is important for all of us to pay attention to increased anxiety, agitation, frustration and possibly loss of sleep. Take time to create a daily meditation (guided may be easier to start you off) routine, write a daily gratitude list, check-ins with friends,or tune into uplifting and informative podcasts, such as Brené Brown – Unlocking Us, Super Soul Conversations and Happiness Abound. Also, consider checking in with a mental health professional or join a therapy group for additional support.
Some people don’t feel safe returning to the gym or other public group fitness facilities. While working out at home may feel limiting and less motivating, you have options. It’s important to switch up your workout routine, which is why MYX offers such a wide variety of classes at all levels You could also try group fitness with your friends via video conferencing. And there’s always walking and running. Try out a few new fitness activities. You may find something that you like enough to make a habit. Create a schedule that you can adhere to and adjust if it is not working for you. Enlist friends and or colleagues as accountability “buddies,” a win-win for both of you.
Consistently scheduling time socially with friends and even colleagues can be difficult. After a long day of video calls and pandemic schooling, you may have little energy for socializing. Try reaching out to friends to ask if they would be willing to take turns planning virtual or socially distant activities. These activities could include cooking together, cocktails, coffee chats, art projects - whatever you may find as a relaxing activity. You can also create something similar with work colleagues to stay in touch and to discuss topics other than work. Take turns planning.
Parenting full-time while working and managing a household can at times feel like you are at your wits end. Take breaks. Reading to and with your children can be calming to the nervous system. Enlist trusted friends or family to take time with your children outside playing games, assisting with homework or teaching them something new, like flower arranging, baking or finger painting. These activities can also be done via video conferencing, so friends and family members at a distance don’t miss all the fun. Create a schedule so that the children will have something to look forward to and get excited about, and plan breaks for yourself.
These are strange times, but they are only as trying as you make them. We all have the capability to discover workarounds – new strategies that best serve us. It takes a little creativity and the realization that to meet the changes that are thrusted upon us, we need to make changes to the way we think and approach our challenges. But you can do that.
Sure, it may not be comfortable for you at first, but you’ve already built and created a successful life prior to these times and you already have the wherewithal to come up with new strategies… you just have to want to and believe in yourself. You can do it.