5 Tips for Staying Sane through the Pandemic
Self-care while in isolation is so important.
Nancy Brooker, Certified Master Life Coach Specializing in Relationships
"As a certified Life Coach, I am passionate about helping my clients release their negative beliefs and see the real potential already in them, so they can navigate this roller coaster called life - enjoying the ups, learning and growing from the downs, and coming out the other side with a renewed sense of passion, purpose and excitement for living."
On top of all the fear and uncertainty we’ve been feeling lately, it’s not surprising that many of us are either feeling a bit crowded or a bit lonely in our homes. We could all use a few tips for keeping our sanity.
Here are some small but powerful ways to survive the insanity.
Our bodies crave routine, they like to know what’s coming, what to prepare for, and right now our bodies are in a bit of a tailspin! Some semblance of a routine gives us a bit of certainty in an uncertain time, a bit of control over our actions … that’s all we can really ever control right?
Assuming your pre-Covid routine was serving you well, try to stick as close to it as possible (in a socially distanced way of course). Don’t veer too far away from your regular routine, unless you’re adding in new positive habits.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time as before.
- Keep up your exercise routine. If you didn’t have one before, now is a great time to start one. There are so many free routines online right now.
- Cook and eat meals with your family, it might be the first time in a while you’ve all been able to consistently be at the table together.
- Remember to include self care every day, something that takes care of you -- grab a nice cup of tea, go for a walk, have a bath, read a few pages of a good book, listen to your favorite song. I love that my husband thought that meant hygiene, but that too!
Whatever that positive daily routine looks like for you, your stress levels will thank you for sticking to it!
I see this one as a no brainer … according to a research review at Positive Psychology, here is what gratitude can do for you:
A. Gratitude improves sleep - now this is a big one given our stress levels these days. If we’re not sleeping well, it’s so much harder to be positive and think clearly and just to deal with the ups and downs around us … and that leads right into the next one ...
B. Gratitude can strengthen your physiological well-being - better at coping, feel less pain, fewer doctor visits, and better mental health
C. Gratitude increases your energy levels. I never really thought about this one, but apparently grateful people also report more mental and physical vigor. Maybe that’s because of the next item.
D. Gratitude increases the likelihood of physical activity. Are you seeing the pattern -- how these are all related. Physical activity helps us sleep better and releases dopamine and serotonin, which makes us happier, nicer to be around.
E. Gratitude may help you live longer - grateful people are more optimistic and positive, and that’s been linked to longevity. And of course, everyone wants optimistic and positive people around them.
So how can you start a gratitude practice?
Well it couldn’t be simpler. How about as you brush your teeth each morning and each night, you think of 3 things you’re grateful for? Your attitude can’t help but change.
Breathwork is an effective way to take pause and reduce stress. The breath is a beautiful thing, it has been there for you since you were born, it’s your constant companion. It’s part of you, it is you.
So focusing on your breath really helps you come back to you, back to NOW. With all the mayhem going on around us, and the anxiety as we project our fears into the future, we can simply return to that one constant companion that is always there for us - our breath.
There are so many breathing techniques out there.
Here are just a few:
1. Many years ago, one of my kids once came home from school with a fridge magnet of the box breath that a wonderful teacher made for the class - in for 2, hold for 2, out for 2, hold for 2 - super simple.
2. There’s a 4-7-8 technique where you breathe in for 4, hold for 7, and then breath forcefully out of your mouth for 8.
3. Heart Math has a Quick Coherence breathing technique free on their website. As you breathe in, focus on the area of your heart. And just imagine that your breath is flowing in and out of your heart area, slow deep belly breaths. Then really try to experience with all your senses a ‘regenerative’ feeling like appreciation or love or care for someone or something in your life. https://www.heartmath.com/quick-coherence-technique
There are lots more out there, but any of these will do the trick.
4. SLEEP HYGIENE
Sleep helps with learning and metabolism, mood, heart health and your immune system … the list goes on and on.
I actually don’t know anyone who hasn’t been the victim of sleep deprivation at one point or another in their lives. I’ve become reacquainted with it over the last 9 months because of back pain. Here are some tips to keep well rested:
1. Limit your naps during the day
2. Limit screen time and stimulants (like coffee) at night
3. Remember your body craves routine, so be kind to it and try to maintain a consistent bedtime each night.
4. Try to have your last meal at least 3 hours before supper. If your stomach is digesting at night, your body isn’t able to focus on its regenerative tasks.
5. Try diffusing an essential oil like lavender or chamomile, or spraying some onto your pillow before bed.
A good night’s sleep allows you to have a clear mind and more resilience in dealing with everyday challenges.
If you’re like me, you’ve spent your share of time worrying about your family especially during this crisis. But what about when we are stuck in close quarters and getting triggered by underlying conflicts? Here are some small changes you can make that could reap some big rewards.
1. Write a list of 3 things you love about that person. It could be anything from a great smile to good taste in clothes to great with the kids. It can be any 3 things. Then find a way to complement the other person on those things today.
2. We talked about routine already. It’s important to sit down and negotiate the details of how things will work with everyone home to minimize triggers. Be flexible and keep an open mind. Put it on paper and get agreement.
3. Use the breathing techniques to stop and ground yourself so you can avoid saying something you might regret.
More than ever, we need to take time for self care and to remember to inject kindness and compassion into every interaction we have.
If you could use some help taking those microactions you know will help you put your best foot forward and come out of these uncertain times stronger than ever, let’s talk. Book your complimentary 30 minute Clarity Session, with Nancy Brooker, where we will:
• Clarify your vision - so you know exactly what you want
• Identify some of the blind spots and challenges that are holding you back
• Explore how coaching can help you get from where you are to where you want to be.
Feel empowered and excited about moving forwards towards the future you truly deserve!
Complete the attached form to BOOK your Clarity Session with Nancy.
Wishing you and your families much health every day in every way!