I don’t know about you, but my emotions are all over the place. One minute I’m totally fine with these prolonged stay-home orders and the next I’m worried to the extent where I’m depressed and stressed. Factor in the loss of my husband’s job, the uncertainty of mine, not knowing what will happen to next year’s school year and just being a worry wort in general, I’m a complete mess (more than usual). Here in the Inland Empire, we’ve been at home for two months and the end is still up in the air. Trying to stay sane is getting harder and harder.
The news is all over the place and reading about what’s happening around the world is even more upsetting. Life has certainly changed and it hasn’t been for the better. I’ve been more on edge lately as a mom, wife, daughter and friend and every little thing is either sending me into a blinding rage or hopeless despair. I’m a total wreck and don’t like what I’ve become. Sure, there has been moments of joy, happiness and love, but it seems the negative emotions occur more frequently.
We’re all dealing with a prolonged crisis and a collective roller coaster of emotions. We don’t know when it will all end, what it’s going to look like when it does or what the future holds for “normal.” I’m trying to keep my cool, my the downward spiral of emotions seem to take their toll on me, and I need it to stop. It’s not helping me or my family, so I’ve come across a few different things that are helping me cope better and stay sane, and hopefully they can help others feeling the same way.
1. Stop Making Comparisons
We are NOT in the same boat, but the same storm – as many have pointed out on social media. This means we can’t make comparisons with anyone else right now. Everyone deals with stress, frustration and uncertainty their own way so if you haven’t finished a quarantine project yet, started a new fitness regime or are cooking things you’ve never tried before, don’t worry about it. Just because others that you know might be super productive right now (and sharing it on social media) doesn’t mean you need to do the same. Many are feeling unmotivated to do anything and that’s okay. We are all grieving the loss of our normal and old lives; it just doesn’t have to look the same as your bestie mom friend.
2. Give Yourself Breaks
As you try to work from home, be a teacher, cook, housekeeper and everything else, don’t forget to give yourself tons of breaks. Clock out of your various roles and just do whatever you need to do to feel some R&R. Take a break from work, your kids, your spouse, family, etc. and just zone out. Your brain and body needs some rest so don’t feel bad if you find yourself doing more of it than usual.
3. Indulge In More Self-Care
A break is a form of self-care and now, more than ever, is when you need to indulge in more of it. This can literally be anything that makes you feel happy and refreshed. Things like reading a book, taking baths, drawing, watching Netflix, cooking, baking, cleaning, etc. People have different things that make them happy, so find yours and do more of it whenever you can. It helps to create a list so that you have something to go back to when you’re running out of self-care ideas and need to stay sane because your emotions are getting the best of you.
4. Be Grateful
Being grateful for all that you have now can really go a long way in helping you deal with your emotions. Being grateful for the smallest things can greatly shift your perspective and get you out of your funk. Seeing the bright side of everything can help overshadow all the dark stuff. For me, it’s knowing things can be worse. It’s being grateful that my husband is home to help me share the load of having kids stuck at home. It’s being grateful that we are safe and healthy. Whenever I’m feeling down, I try to see the positives of any negative situations and I usually feel a bit better.
5. Get Moving
I’m trying to stay as active as possible and have committed to working out everyday (or at least 6 days a week) during this whole crisis. Now, I’m not saying you should do the same, but incorporating some type of movement into your routine can really get your mind off things and help you feel better over all. Taking a walk around the block, hiking a trail or even starting a new exercise regime can lift your move and help you remain calm during stressful times like these. Even doing something as silly as having a dance party with your kids will do the trick!
6. Be Flexible
Distance learning has kicked my butt. I had this great schedule at the beginning, but over time, I had to let it go and just be flexible because it was stressing me out if my kid wouldn’t finish the things I scheduled by a certain time. I found myself uptight and yelling a lot. Now, I’m flexible and have an idea of things he needs to finish, but am not so strict about it anymore. Being adaptable means less stress and worry thus the ability to stay sane when the world is filled with chaos. So don’t beat yourself up about the small things and learn to roll with the punches.
7. Do Anything
To help get your mind off of everything that’s happening, try to get up and do anything you can. Try to accomplish something (just don’t put a firm deadline on it and be flexible). You’ll find that once you get started, you’ll actually feel more motivated to finish it and then get started on something else. Once you get into doing something you’ve been wanting to do, you’ll realize that you’ve forgotten about the thing you were worrying about because you were so busy with your project. But remember, this isn’t something that will make you compare yourself to others; instead it’s a way to shift your mindset!
8. Give Yourself Grace
Being kind to yourself and giving yourself grace during this difficult time will go a long way in helping stay sane. Give yourself time to feel all the feels and when you’re ready, climb out of that funk that’s holding you down. But don’t beat yourself up about what you’re feeling.
It’s important to stay sane right now – for your mental health and your family – so taking the time to really shift your mentality and mindset will greatly benefit you as we get through this global pandemic.