People deal with stress in different ways and while there is no right or wrong way to deal with the stress of a pandemic, I figured it would be helpful to share a few ways that I have found balance during this time.
A lot of the time we try to hold on to this perceived sense of control we tell ourselves we have. The reality is, we only have a limited amount of control, and that can be a hard pill to swallow for many people. The first step in finding balance, is to find acceptance. Accept that while a lot of things are out of our control that we can engage in behaviors that are in our control that can help keep ourselves and others protected. Accept that all of those “personal and home projects” may or may not get done and that it’s going to be okay. Accept that just because a coworker or friend has done “this, that, and the other” doesn’t mean that you are required to put pressure on yourself to get things done. Take advantage of this time, whether it means to relax or to be productive, take it one day at a time and check in with yourself to see what YOU need.
Create a schedule that works for you. I have personally implemented yoga and meditation into my morning routine. This allows me to create balance by connecting with my mind and my body while setting my intension for the day. Be sure to set aside time to take breaks throughout your day, get some water, eat something and get a quick stretch in, to relieve any tension your body may be holding (consider trying progressive muscle relaxation). Working from home can be exhausting for many reasons but it also allows us to potentially “overwork” or not know when or how to stop working. Set your own personal boundaries to prevent burnout. Whether it’s setting an alarm on your phone to indicate the end of your work day or having a roommate, partner or friend give you a call to encourage you to start your commute to your couch. Whatever it is, make sure you don’t overwork yourself. You deserve a break just as much as anyone else.
Mindfulness can go a long way if we just take the time to implement it into our lives not only during this time but even after we get through this stressful period of our lives. Be mindful of your own personal needs, as well as the needs of others when leaving our homes. Utilize mindfulness to listen to your body and figure out what you need in each moment. Are you hungry or thirsty? Stressed or anxious? Regardless of what it is, we all cope with stress in different ways. Be sure to be kind to yourself when figuring out a way to cope with your stress. Don’t be hard on yourself when you reach for food as a way to deal with the stress of the day, just be mindful. Here is a wonderful article on how to deal with stress eating while trying to navigate our lives during a pandemic.
Stay Connected & Be Safe
You don’t have to deal with this alone, so remember that it’s important to stay connected to loved ones and offer connection to those who may not have it. While starting therapy virtually may be uncomfortable, it can also be beneficial to those who are struggling and looking for additional ways to cope and learn skills to assist in any anxiety, depression or stress-related symptoms you or a loved one may be experiencing. If therapy is something you are interested in, please feel free to check out my resources page as a way to get started with the process. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions and remember that we are all in this together.
Be Well & Stay Grounded.
About the Author
Dominique Apollon received her Masters from DePaul University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her clinical experiences include working at a non-profit helping kids, teens, adolescents and adults experiencing trauma. Prior to working at NVisionYou, Dominique worked in private practice specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression, OCD, specific phobias, trichotillomania and other stress-related disorders. Dominique is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is board certified. Dominique is also on the public education committee for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America where she aims to improve and expand public education and outreach about anxiety, depression and co-occurring disorders through website content, webinars, blog posts, social media outreach and other collaborative educational projects.