Stress can be that creepy thing that sneaks up on us where we don’t know why we are feeling tense, grouchy and emotional. It can be a long slow build up or it can happen quickly, like a response to sudden lockdown, where our income streams are affected somehow, our ability to perform our jobs from home is stymied somewhat and many of us are managing full time home lives amongst full time work all within the same four walls.
The first response to managing stress is remembering THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
Many of us are old enough to know that life will move on, in the end and the situation at hand is always temporary whether it is wonderful or terrible, everything will pass. There is hope and being positively hopeful is an antidote to stress.
The second is STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES.
What are your roses? Mine is being home a lot during the day time and tending to the things I rarely see because most days I am at work out of home. The much slower pace of the days in lockdown is good for me and it can take me all morning to do what I normally do before work, but that’s ok. Because time changes in lockdown, even for people who continue to work from home.
The third is DO WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY.
This again is personal. All of us can find joy daily at home somewhere somehow. The runners are still running, the gardeners gardening, readers reading and the cooks’ sure can cook up a storm. Zoom accommodates the very sociable people who need a lot of chatter and connection time.
The fourth is PLAY WITH THE SPACE.
This can mean anything from changing your room around to feeling what it is like to have less or more to do in the day. Noticing things there is normally no time to notice about ourselves, environments, relationships or commitments. When we have enforced time away from some people and things and togetherness with other people and things, we can play around with ideas of what we may like to change or have more of.
The fifth is ANSWERING THE QUESTION, HAVE I DONE ALL I CAN DO?
In psychology this is known as locus of control. This is an extension on number one above. It speaks to our worries and frustrations. We might have a business that could fail because of the lockdowns. We might not have the money to pay all our bills on time. We might have a loved one who we really want to see that lives in another town or part of the country and we worry about their well-being. Will our worrying fix the problems? No! worrying is not a helpful use of our energy and time. You are better to use your time and energy to work on the things you have control over right now, today. And when you feel that you have done all that you can, refer to one above.
Kia kaha. Stay Strong