How are you all doing?
It really is such a strange time in our lives at the moment. As a wife, Mum and a small business owner, I’m definitely concerned about how things are going to work out over the next few months. But I’m trying my best to follow the advice I’m giving to my clients: the healthier we can keep ourselves – in Mind, Body and Spirit – the better we will be able to deal with the challenges that come our way.
Its natural to feel like we are on an emotional rollercoaster right now. Swinging from hope and optimism, to negativity and despair on a regular basis is very normal for the situation we are all in. So keeping our stress levels as low as possible during this time is important as being in a constant “fight or flight” can have a negative impact on our immune system.
Keeping focused on the things we can control, rather than the things we cant, is the key to building our resilience:-
- Daily Routine
If you’re at home maintaining a daily routine is important, which means getting up and dressed and planning a couple of things (they don’t have to be anything major, go easy on yourself and be kind to yourself) to achieve during the day.
- Are you Eating Well & Keeping Hydrated?
For all of us we should try and eat healthy meals (I know it may be hard not to comfort eat whilst under lockdown) but turning to sugary snacks, junk food and alcohol during times of stress leads to a build up of toxins in your body. Once the initial buzz has worn off, it can leave you feeling sluggish and tired.
At the time of writing we are still only allowed our once a day outdoors exercise, so I would encourage everyone to take that time for a brisk walk outside in the fresh air if you are able. Continuing to exercise and breathing some fresh air will make you feel better and help you to relax. If you have some hand weights consider a small routine of adding bicep curls when you return from your walk (even grabbing bottles of water or tins will also work). If you are unable to exercise, open your windows to breathe in the air.
(Obviously I am slightly biased 😊) but Reflexology really is fabulous for helping calm the body and mind and reducing stress & anxiety. As I cant get my hands on your feet, I have uploaded a video on facebook of me showing you some very simple hand reflexology techniques for relieving stress. https://www.facebook.com/Reflexology.OgmorebySea/videos/785824271943097/ When treating a client with reflexology I always include 3 main points: the adrenal gland, solar plexus and diaphragm and I have included all 3 in the video. When stressed the adrenal reflex on the feet can feel hard or slightly enlarged and focusing treatment on these areas (even on hands) alleviates stress and relaxes your breathing. It restores normal energy flow around the body so you feel calmer and sleep better. Give it a go – its quick and combined with the breathing will help, I promise!
- Calming breathing technique
Yoga, pilates and massage are all great stress busters. Perhaps ask your partner to massage your shoulders and back (it doesn’t have to be perfect). When we are stressed we tend to hold a lot of our stress in our neck and shoulders. There are so many classes and instructors now on ZOOM and facebook lives right now – I have done some fab yoga classes so far and they have been brilliant!
Mindfulness is when you maintain a moment by moment awareness of your thoughts, your feelings, bodily sensation and your surrounding environment. It involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them – without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we are sensing in the present moment rather than going over the past or imagining the future and “overthinking”. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend the app “Headspace” which is simple and effective!
- The NEWS
It’s probably best to limit ourselves to reading information only from official sources rather than endless (social) media speculation. I would suggest taking a break from constantly checking up on the news and maybe just check it once a day? Focus on positive stories we are hearing right now, there is plenty of good stuff happening in the face of this unprecedented challenge.
Sleep strengthens your immune system and so leading on from my last point about the news I would also suggest not watching the news late at night if you are feeling a little anxious as this is likely to play on your mind and may affect your sleep. Also, checking into your social media late at night may upset you just before bed.
- Warm Bath
A relaxing soak in the bath with some beautiful bath oil, some candles is a no-brainer to de-stress and calm your mind. I’m currently using Neals Yard Rose & Pomegranate bath oil (even my husband loves it).
We all know how we feel when we are in the car and a great song comes on the radio, it can instantly make you feel great. So, turn that TV off at home, play your favourite music and have a dance around your house (I have been known to dance around the living room to Beyonce on a regular basis!!) 😉 The point is it will make you feel good!
Most importantly, keep in touch with people. If you are struggling ….Reach out. Talking about your own fears with others will help, it is also likely they have their own thoughts and worries too and we are all bound by a common thread right now. Give your friends and family a call, have a chat with neighbours over the garden fence (safe distancing of course) and say hello to others as you pass them when you take your walk.
If you or anyone that you care about is needing extra help the Mental Health Foundation are sharing information about looking after your mental health during an outbreak https://mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak
You got this!!
Life can feel tough right now but trying to focus on all the things that are positive, right now, TODAY, every day, will help. For me its making cakes with my son (he’s 21 and trust me, this would not usually happen, ever!), yoga workouts online, walking in the sunshine, seeing lambs in the fields, bluebells, a lovely chat with my neighbours, a funny film that makes you laugh, beating my husband at scrabble! Little things but we will all get through this.
Im so looking forward to seeing you all once we are out of lockdown. Keep well and positive, you got this.
Love, Chrissy x