Most of us are no stranger to feeling anxious, burnt out, and mentally like we just CANNOT. Now throw in a worldwide pandemic that none of us have ever experienced and we are faced with an onslaught of new trials. I know so many of you are dealing with extreme uncertainties and heartbreaks. No matter what you’re going through, the most important thing for you to know first is that you’re not alone and it’s not your fault.
Once you’ve come to terms with those two statements, you can start to incorporate things into your life that will help ease your anxiety and exhaustion of your mind. In these times of stress and struggle, there are some things in my life that I always fall back on when I’m feeling like I just CAN’T anymore.
Especially considering everything that is currently happening in the world with the Coronavirus, it can be difficult to pry your eyes from the news or your fingers from your Facebook feed. Of course, you want to be informed so that you can be prepared, protect your family, and stay safe and healthy, but when you’re spending your entire day letting the news on the TV and internet consume you, trust me, it doesn’t end up doing anything great for your mental health.
Even with non-pandemic moments in your life that are testing your mental health, it can be extremely beneficial to unplug from your technology. Again, you want to see what’s going on with your friends and family, scroll through Instagram, and read articles from your favorite websites, but sometimes outside sources like this can cause stress to your mind. They can make your mind go off on a tangent that can really start to ramp up your anxiety and leave you feeling crummy for the rest of your day.
I like to take these things in small doses: Wake up, hang out for a bit, maybe check in with what’s going on via Instagram, check to see if there are any new, relevant updates in the news, and then put down the phone until later on in the day. Sure, I’ll still text with friends and whatnot, but between social media and the news, I like to keep my viewing time limited. I have also stopped checking the news before bed at all. I used to check it right before going to sleep and then spend hours in a panic over the what if’s.
There’s nothing that feels quite like therapy to me than exercising. I always love to lock myself in our workout room, tune everything else out, and just work on ME. When my body feels good, I FEEL GOOD. It’s amazing how even the quickest workout can really change your mindset and attitude.
Even if you don’t have proper space, equipment, or motivation to do an at-home workout, just taking a walk or heading outdoors for an activity can make all the difference in how you feel mentally. When I’m feeling a little down, grabbing a snack and heading out to my backyard to play with Brexton or just sit in the silence with the sun beating on me really makes me feel refreshed and ready to try again at tackling the day.
Kyle, Brexton, and I also love to head out each evening and ride on bikes or rollerblades and have some quality us time as the sun goes down. We usually grab Piper’s leash and she comes along too (she’s been SO happy to have us home so much lately!!). Quality time with my family and my dog?! It doesn’t get much better than that!
Do Something for YOU
If you’re a mom, you know that your life revolves around making your family happy, and it can be easy to forget about YOUR happiness. From school and dishes to now cooking most if not all meals at home and cleaning (our house has never been SO lived in!), this can start to make us feel stressed, like we’re not ourselves anymore, and truly just not the best about ourselves. Whenever I notice that I haven’t had some ME TIME in a bit, I make sure to schedule it into my calendar.
Whether it’s an at-home face mask while watching my favorite guilty pleasure TV show when Brexton goes to bed or sitting outside with a glass of wine and a good book, you have to allow yourself some time to decompress from the day.
Find a Church
If you are looking for love, support, and community in these uncertain times, what better way than connecting with a church. There’s no pressure: You can just hop online and check out a live stream or YouTube. We LOVE Elevation Church. That’s where we went before all of this started, and we always appreciate all of their uplifting sermons.
It might sound silly and pretty obvious, but taking even a quick moment in your day to remember what you have and appreciate it can change your headspace so quickly. This actually comes from the sermon two weeks ago from Elevation Church. It’s easy to feel defeated, hurt and sad. But when you try to focus on something positive each day, it helps take away some of the stress. “Change the lense in which you look at the situation,” Pastor Steven said.
Struggling with the kids’ schooling? Yes, it’s hard and can be extremely frustrating some days, but focus on the good. Take pride when you help them master something. Try out your creative side with them.
Maybe the weather is nice. Be grateful for that, and go enjoy it for a bit. Instead of looking at cooking dinner as something you dread, use it as a time to clean out that pantry! The other day, I made a delicious bean salad since we somehow accumulated kidney and black beans like no other! Sometimes I sit back and remind myself that we have a beautiful family that is happy and healthy, and what more could I really ask for? Even when you’re going through hardships, there is always something else in life that you can be thankful for.
If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, think about reaching out and connecting with old friends. Maybe you meant to message someone back or send a card to a friend who moved. Or even go old school and hop on the phone, and have an actual conversation with a friend. Even just sending someone a message letting them know you are thinking about them may be exactly what they need at this moment and the best part is that it’s therapeutic to you too.