Managing Stress During COVID-19
We are in a crazy time of unrest. With COVID-19 pandemic, racial unrest, and the caustic political climate many of us are experiencing stress, anxiety and depression more than ever! One recent survey reported that anxiety and depression has tripled since the pandemic began!
I want to talk to you today about getting your Second Wind, and successfully coping with the stress, and anxiety that you may be experiencing. It is too important to your family, your legacy and to YOURSELF that you implement the tips that I have for you, many of which you have heard before - but are you doing them? It's not enough to know what to you, you have to DO IT!!!
Key # 1 - YOUR STRESS METER
One of the best ways to manage your stress is to become aware of it BEFORE, it gets overwhelming. Most of us notice stress when you are almost at the top of the charts - at the Panic Attack level - THAT'S TOO LATE! It takes way more energy to de-escalate yourself when you are at the top of your stress meter, than it does when you are at a lower level. So the key to handling stress is to catch it early and often. To de-escalate yourself when you are feeling slightly stressed so that you don't accumulate stress through out your day then explode when you get home.
Above is a picutre of a stress meter, it's a thermometer on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the most stressed out you've ever felt, and wtih 1 being very little stress. As you go about your day, begin to notice how stressed you are feeling and put a number to it. This does a couple of things:
Checking in with yourself regularly causes you to increase your self-awareness, and this self awareness is the first key to managing yourself. Most of us go through our day thinking about what needs to be done, what projects need to be completed, what others think about what we just said. Rarely so we pay attention to how we are feeling, and if we do, we don't take proactive steps to improve how we are feeling. Checking in with yourself reguarly helps you to pay attention and notice what's going on with you, and that's an important step to reducing your stress.
Putting a number to your stress level causes you to make a judgement about it. You actually have to stop, think about how you are feeling, judge how you are feeling then give it a number, i.e. I'm at about a 4 on my stress meter, I better step away from my desk for a few moments so I can calm myself down.
Once you notice that your number is going up, do something about it. Take a walk, listen to calming music, visualize a beach scene, have a cup of tea, do a couple of stretches (in the bathroom maybe?), take several deep breaths. All of thse things can help you to manage your stress level through out the day.
More tips to come, but I hope this gives you an idea of how to handle your stress. Comment below to let me know how you are successfully managing your own stress!