We are living through crazy times right now. Many states are in a quarantine or under a “Safer at Home” order. Our routines are different. Sometimes we can’t get the things we need from the store—I’m looking at you toilet paper. If your state is allowing you to go out, you must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet. Which is just so against human nature. Humans are born to connect. Parties are being canceled. Sometimes it may feel like life is being cancelled in a way. Life is just not the same. And now we are starting to see feuds happening over: should we continue to stay at home or start opening up stores, etc. It is all just very crazy.
I don’t usually share information from my day-to-day job (Mental Health Navigator for a local school district). But given everything we are going through as a nation, I wanted so share some tips to help calm the chaos of your mind or the world around you. I hope you find it to be helpful!
Don’t Be Alarmed if You Have to Calm the Chaos
What I mean by this is, don’t be alarmed if you are feeling “big feelings.” Don’t be alarmed if you feel extremely sad that you had to cancel your family vacation. Or, don’t be alarmed if you feel completely overwhelmed by the whole situation. These are very normal reactions to the situation we are all living through.
Mental Health International created some awesome worksheets for National Mental Health Month (which is this month) that I think are very fitting right now. Their website if full of resources if you have time to peruse. Here are some of the attachments:
Another great resource is a web page created by WISE WI. It focuses on finding resilience during COVID.
This goes without saying, but staying active is so important. It’s good for your mind and it’s good for your body. Going outside for a walk is also a great way to get out of the house. There are loads of gyms and fitness centers who are offering virtual classes as well. Thank goodness for the Wold Wide Web…
Calm the Chaos with Mindfulness
I know sometimes mindfulness gets a bad name but, it really is helpful. The whole premise behind mindfulness is to slow your mind down and try to focus on one thing. We live in such a hectic society that our brain almost never gets rest. Mindfulness allows for your brain to rest. One of my favorite apps is Headspace. I love this company for many reasons!! First, they give back. If you are an educator, you can sign-up for a free account here. You just have to use your work email. They do this because:
a.) Self-regulated adults lead to self-regulated children
b.) So teachers can start incorporating mindfulness into their classroom and give kids valuable life skills
Which leads me to the second reason I love this app, they have tons of categories for you to choose from. They have a section for kids. Or having a hard time falling asleep, they have a section for that as well. You name it, they have it. And it’s so easy to navigate. Here’s your logo in case it helps you search for the app.
If you can’t get onboard with that form of mindfulness, set aside 10 minutes a day to put some ear buds in and listen to music. Try to only focus on the music you are listening to, rather than let your thoughts wander.
Remember Your Circle of Control
With everything happening with COVID-19, the one thing that is certain is our lack of control over the situation. So if you find yourself getting worked up or overwhelmed by it all, think about your circle of control. This is a simplistic version of the Circle of Control. There are so many out their made for specific situations.
Focus on what you can control. It’s very hard when you see someone doing something you may not feel comfortable with. But it is not in your Circle of Control. Instead focus on: what will you or your family’s actions be? How will you respond to a Safer at Home order? What will your actions be when your state starts to open up? Bottom line, you have to make choices you are comfortable with. But you also have to accept that you don’t have control over other people’s choices.
Find Ways to Stay Connected
As I said earlier, it is in human nature to connect with others. Even if you are introverted like myself. So, it is very important to find ways to still connect even with social distancing in effect. For our family it has been virtual church services. This is an excellent time to lean into your faith! We have also been doing virtual happy hours with family. My cousin, the genius that she is, orchestrated a virtual dart league. Whatever works for you, make it a priority!
Well, I think I have sufficiently given enough information. Honestly, I could do on and on about mental wellness. I hope you find some of this information helpful! I would love to hear what you found most helpful in the comments below.