There's no doubt that our community members, family and friends have gone through unbelievable changes in the past 8 months dealing with uncertainty. We did not train for this pandemic like we would have for a marathon yet this rapid change has taught us the importance of self-care.
Here are a few tips and strategies to help you support yourself and those you love by Dr. Bagnell
Strategy #1: Prioritize Self Care
What do you need to do to take care of yourself? Regular activity and staying connected to people who are important. Find a division between work life and home life. A pandemic can wreck havoc of your sleep. Help cope with stress by getting a good nights rest, eating well, finding time to relax and adding physical activity to your self care routine. What are you going to do?
Strategy #2: Be Mindful
When you notice your mind going forward or worrying, use the STOP technique. Stop. Take a Breath. Observe and accept the thought. Proceed with picking 5 things you see, feel and hear. This brings sensory information to the brain and helps calm your brain down. Mindfulness in the moment strategies help be in the present moment.
Strategy #3: Routine and Communication
Set up a normal routine as much as possible. Over-communicate during times we are stressed as we remember less especially if we’re more isolated.
Strategy #4: Emotions - Validation & Encouragement
People will have a wide range of emotions during this pandemic and every emotion is valid. Be patient, show compassion, kindness and encouragement.
Strategy #5: Focus on positives and what you can do to keep it real
When we’re tired we focus more on the negative. Focus on the positive AND keep it real. What do you know? Example: our country is doing well; we have a strong support system; we have great healthcare. Empower your loved ones to find positives in this and giving thanks.
Strategy #6: Positive Thinking
We go right to the negative so try to think of 2 positives. Set a new tradition/routine with family and say 2 positive things first when you arrive home from work, during dinner or before bed. Set positive goals for each week but be sure not a big goals. Small is better right now .
Strategy #7: Let go of the things you can't control
It's exhausting to focus on what you can’t control. Stay on the inside of the circle where you have control. Limit your media use especially following links which leads you down a rabbit hole. Try removing all social media apps from your phone so that you limit your use.
Strategy #8: Stay Connected
We are social beings and need to be connected. Build them into your life and be creative with the activities you do.
Strategy #9: Use Humour
It's a great brain stress reducer!