Around the world we have been experiencing this shift in our lives for several weeks. It has called for all of us to adjust, change and adapt to a new way of living, even if “temporary”. We have been forced to step out of our established routines and customs in order to aid in the impact of this pandemic. So before anything, if you have been doing your part in social distancing and staying home, I want to thank you!
With all these shifts its normal for our minds to get funky at times. There will be days when we’re productive and good. We stay positive and make the most of the given circumstance. Yet, there will be days where we will want to breakdown, beg for this to be over and go back to the way it was.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression before and have fought really hard to not make it my identity. So, I am intentional in being aware of my emotions and to take notice of those feelings that show me my anxiety is creeping up. Tight chest, shortness of breath, migraines, muscle tension, socially withdrawn… are all my warning signs of when I am expressing a level of anxiety. So I have developed several tips and tricks to help keep my mind at ease during this quarantine. Here are 5 things that I have been doing to help and I hope they help you when your mind gets in a funk:
1. Limit the News Intake- I have limited myself to 30 mins of news a day. I’ve noticed the more I watch and follow what’s going on, the more I get worried, nervous and my mind begins to wander in the what ifs. So, I either watch a 30 min segment of my local morning news addition, listen to the NPR News Brief, or just look through news articles. This also includes any conversations that are news related too. It’s important to stay informed and up to date on what is going on, yet I’ve noticed that too much download of this information takes me from informed to paranoid and freaked.
2. Exercise- Your body and mind need movement. I am trying to take at least 30 mins a day to workout. It helps me relieve my tension and in those 30 mins I am not thinking of anything else than finishing that workout. I’m simply getting all those endorphins my mind needs. Side note: what is cool during this quarantine is that so many fitness influencers have been doing IG lives with workouts, and fitness apps are giving free memberships. All you need a good space and get moving. I’m grateful I have a backyard and I can do it while I get some sun.
3. Meditation- I actually started to practice meditation several months ago, and it’s been such a help for me. Everyone does it differently, I like to do Focused Attention Meditation early in the morning; in which I try to focus simply on my breathing. I tend to be easily distracted but doing this type of meditation has helped me silence the distractions and focus on one thing at a time. If you’re working from home, you can probably notice that it can be full of distractions, doing this type of meditation can help fight them off.
4. Read- There are so many benefits in taking the time to read everyday. A benefit that I have found is that it honestly relaxes me. For the 30 mins I read, my mind is focused on the literature right in front of me; I am taking it in and dissecting the words. During this time of quarantine, I have chosen to read and study the bible every morning and I have noticed how much it builds my hope and faith. Although I encourage everyone to read the bible sometime in their life, maybe reading for you is something motivational, like an article or blog post. Maybe it's a novel that helps your mind escape into your imagination or a motivational memoir from someone you have always admired. Reading lets you see life through someone else's eyes. Whatever you like to read, take 30 mins out of your day and escape in literature.
5. Prayer- This is the #1 thing that has helped me every single moment of every single day. It keeps me centered and faith filled. Like meditation, there are different approaches that are taken to prayer, for me it’s simply a conversation I have with God. I let Him know what I am going through, I thank Him, and tell Him my needs; maybe its help, guidance, strength, or something else. It helped Jesus throughout His life and was something He would be intentional in taking the time to do up to the last moment. It has only been through these talks with God daily, that I get the re-up I need to face my day and all that comes with it. I cling to this one truth when I pray, “The Lord is near all who call on Him…” Psalm 145:18. So, know if you call on His name He will draw near to you, it doesn’t have to be something complicated or formal but a simple and sincere conversation with Him.
Highs and lows will be a part of this journey for all of us, it is important to create or develop techniques that are going to help ease your mind from being overwhelmed and anxious. We can't control the reality we are facing, but we can control how it impacts us in our mind and lives.
Thank you for reading this little piece of my journal. I hope you felt encouraged! If you liked this message, please press the like button below. Also share with your friends, don't keep this message to yourself trust me someone out there needs it!