During this extreme time of uncertainty and unchartered territory, I’m sure I’m not the only one whose overall worry and anxiety about the state of our country has increased. As moms especially, it’s easy to focus all our energy on making sure those around us are OK that we don’t take care of ourselves. Moms, now more than ever, we HAVE TO pay attention to our mental health. It’s true, that we must put our own oxygen mask on before we can help others.
As a mom and therapist, here’s what I’m doing to manage my own mental health during this time.
9 Ways to Stay Calm
- List what you CAN control. Right now the list goes on and on of all the things we can’t control and that is a huge contributor to increased anxiety. Loss of control can spark fear, anxiety, and worry. It can be crippling for some people. Focus on what you CAN control and refer to it often!
- Step away from media. Of course, stay informed, but don’t let it consume you! I had to remind myself of this the other day. I was mindlessly scrolling social media and became consumed with checking the news and other outlets.
- Practice self-care. NOW is the time to really focus on making sure you and your entire family are getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and drinking plenty of water. Our blood sugars can seriously impact our moods and make a big difference when we are feeling especially anxious. Physical movement is also a great anxiety buster. Have a family dance party in the living room! I especially love Go Noodle and Cosmic Yoga for kids.
- Prepare within reason. There is obviously reason to be taking precautions and to be prepared as much as you can. Follow guidelines from ready.gov, the government’s website for specific lists that help you prepare within reason.
- Try relaxation techniques. Whether it’s prayer, meditation, deep breathing, this can greatly keep anxiety at bay. The app “Calm” is a great resource!
- Get outdoors. Even if it’s chilly, spending some time outdoors and getting fresh air will do wonders on your anxiety!
- Set a schedule. Adults and children both thrive when there is a schedule and consistency. Of course, you can be flexible with this but creating a schedule and routine is important when your regular routines and schedules may be changing right now, which may lead to increased anxiety.
- Connect with others in creative ways. With social distancing and being hunkered inside, away from the outside world there are amazing ways that technology has given us to be creative to still be able to connect to friends and other loved ones. Video chat or have your kids write snail mail to their friends or family as a fun activity!
- Minimize alcohol use. I know, I know- we’re stuck inside with kids that are going stir crazy. But alcohol use can actually contribute and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression. If you are particularly suspectable to these, minimizing alcohol use can help.
I know this is a tough time and I’m not the only one feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious about the unknown. I hope these simple tips help and just know, you are not alone! We are in this together!