As schools and jobs return to normal while the world is still working through a pandemic, most employees are doing their job, and then some. It can be overwhelming, to say the least, and it can cause a lot of undue stress. Here are five ways that I have found to help me decompress during this pandemic.
1. Get Outside!
There is something truly healing about getting outdoors and into nature. Whether you are a beach bum and you prefer to sink your toes into the sand, or a mountain lover who needs the cool crisp air, there is something about nature that calms the soul. When I feel life getting to me, I like to just go out into the yard barefoot, and feel the earth beneath my feet. It helps me re-center and calms my soul.
There is a ton of scientific evidence about how exercise relieves stress, so this one isn’t surprising. And it isn’t a one-size-fits-all option either. Some people prefer a good sweat with some cardio like running or barre, and others prefer to take things slow with yoga or meditation. Do whatever exercise brings you joy. This is the whole point of stress relief. Make time during your busy day to get moving. You won’t regret it.
I have many friends who like to journal or mind dump. This is a great way to get out all of your thoughts on paper and even work through some of the issues that are bothering you. I don’t journal, but I love to mind dump. If you have never heard of this, it is where you get all of the thoughts in your mind out on paper, and it allows you to clear your head and tackle them one at a time. It is amazing the things that can take up space in our subconscious! Find a way to write it down that works for you, and clear your mind for other more important matters.
Did you know singing can help clear your head? Yep, that’s right! Now I am not saying you have to go out and karaoke, but when you hop in the car, turn on your favorite tunes and have a jam session, with or without your kids. This can be so fun and freeing! Who cares if others are looking? This is for you and your mental health.
5. Reading or Watching Television
I know these are two totally different things but hear me out. I am a librarian, but reading doesn’t always bring me the peace of mind I am seeking. Sometimes it is nice to turn on the newest Netflix documentary and zone out, giving my brain a chance to not think for a while. Other times, reading is exactly what I need to escape the real world into a fantasy one. This is one of the reasons I enjoy fantasy novels. Depending on your life circumstances at the moment, one of these may work better than the other, so don’t be afraid to try out both.
We are all having a hard time learning to live life in our new normal. So, please remember to lead with kindness. We may not always be able to understand someone else’s perspective and circumstance, but we can always learn from one another.
As you are leading with kindness, don’t forget to give yourself grace as well. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, and mama we are doing it all during a pandemic!