Last year was a nightmare, and I bet we can all agree to that.
The sudden changes that happen, including the school and work setup, limited activities and travel, job loss, and even our everyday attire.
Other than the pandemic itself, there are tons of things to worry about and while things are better now than before, the aftermath is unfathomable.
So if you’re a mom or dad having a hard time dealing with all the stress left by 2020, then this post is for you!
First Things First
The pandemic has affected many lives in just a short period of time and it’s normal for us to feel anxious every now and then.
Anxiety, which is often caused by sudden change, a crisis, or anything unknown is a natural emotion which serves as a prompt to protect ourselves. However, if it gets uncontrollable and overwhelming, it can cause harm not only to the body but to the mind as well.
Here are some simple yet effective activities to reduce stress at home:
Follow The New Normal’s Basics
The best way to avoid stress and reduce the spread of germs is to follow the advice of the experts. Washing the hands and keeping the home clean has always been a part of the basics but it’s not a bad idea to remind your kids and the people around you about this at all times.
Wearing a mask t and keeping a safe distance when going out should also be practiced for safety purposes. And of course, if it’s nothing important, choose to stay at home. We know, we know. It’s been a long time since you went out for a vacation but as they said, it’s better safe than sorry.
Don’t worry, probably, there are still some activities left for you and your kids to do, such as this one.
Acknowledge Your Emotion
One of the most important steps to reduce stress or anxiety is to acknowledge your feelings.
When you’re anxious or hurt or nervous, admit it. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. Admitting that you feel bad is a great progress, anyway.
Next, find out the source of that feeling. Is it because you are tired at home, juggling the job, the family, and yourself? Is it because you miss going out, talking to another person, or having a vacation? Whatever it is, address it.
Stay open and let your emotions run its natural course. It takes time to heal and to feel better and forcing yourself to be okay won’t help. At least, sometimes.
Getting mindful is easier said than done but it’s worth giving a try. While it’s okay to recognize anxiety, you don’t have to stay on that feeling. You can either practice guided meditation or guided imagery (both of which can be found on YouTube).
Another option is deep breathing, which is one of our favorites. Diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing helps lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and regulate the heart rate. You can spend at least 5 to 10 minutes practicing it on a daily basis and use mobile apps, such as Calm, to help you.
Even apart, we can feel close to our family and friends through social media, a frequent video chat, or call. Reaching out to your loved ones is not only good for you but also to them. It helps reduce anxiety and improves the feeling of being valued. It also helps people with dementia cope up with it.
Last but not the least, exercise! Do Zumba, workout, enroll in a fitness online class, or if it’s possible, you can run outside. Just be sure to practice social distancing when going out. Staying active not only keeps your body healthy, it also helps the mind to relax.
Above all, practice gratitude. Despite what’s happening, there are many things to be grateful about. Make a list of the things you are thankful for, appreciate even the smallest things in your life, such as being with your loved ones.
It won’t be easy but any (or all of these) are worth a try.