The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotion for all of us, and it can sometimes feel like the beginning of a bigger problem that we don’t have a solution for.
I’ve been feeling drained, anxious and uncomfortable on a regular basis and have found that staying on task and disciplined has become harder than it ever has been before.
I know I’m not the only one feeling this way and that’s why I’m writing this to you today. As someone who has the personality of a type-A perfectionist, I already feel the stress and pressure of running my own business and taking my teaching from in-person to online.
Over the last several years I’ve done deep dives into creating and running a successful online business, upgraded my mindset, shifted how I manage my money and most importantly, cut out the strategies that don’t align with my natural talents and kept me “busy” but not productive.
During this time of uncertainty, sickness, unemployment and a sudden drop in regular societal patterns, I’ve noticed that my anxiety and stress have skyrocketed and the pressure on myself to perform to my standards has become a relentless record of “you’re not doing enough” within my mind.
After three days of being basically paralyzed in working on my business and struggling to stay on any kind of task, I realized that I was going through a massive mental battle. When this happens to me, I find that there are some simple strategies and habits that I can do to cope with feeling extra stress and pressure. It doesn’t make the problem go away, but it does give me a chance to move through my feelings and work with them so I can get back to doing what I want (and what my business needs me) to do.
Here Are 5 Coping Strategies for the Extra Stress and Pressure from the Effects of COVID-19:
Emotional Freedom Technique
If you aren’t familiar with EFT and tapping, now is the perfect time to invest in learning about it and practicing it. Tapping is one of those stress and emotional strategies that is life changing – I can’t say enough good things about it.
There are thousands of resources and teachers for EFT, you can use Facebook to ask friends about it or look for educators in your area to learn more about it and see the results for yourself.
Tapping helps you identify your emotions and work through what your subconscious is feeling, so you can work with it, clear it or move around it. When we listen to what our minds and bodies are telling us, we then have the opportunity to change how that emotion and feeling is affecting us.
Although my background is as a Pilates instructor – and I completely love it – I’ve found that my mind has needed more a slower, flow form of exercise to help center my creative flow as well as move stress out of my body.
I’ve been using work-out at home apps or instructors and studios with an online class system for routines that I can follow along and practice. I enjoy having the time in Yoga because I’m learning something new and have to really focus on the movements and breathing throughout. The challenge is helping my brain take breaks from feeling stressed and pressured.
I’ve recognized that in these moments of being trapped mentally by stress and pressure that my brain has fatigued itself and my body. The best way to recharge – for me at least – is to not “power through” but to give myself permission to eliminate tasks that I’d like to do (but can wait a bit) to let my brain recharge.
Since I’ve done that, I have noticed that my creativity has begun to come back to me, and my writing no longer feels like the hardest thing on the planet – like it did earlier this week.
The best way to help me feel like I’ve ticked off some of to-do’s is to have my schedule already planned out and organized before the week begins. Trying to not use paper and cut down on my carbon footprint, I use a Google document that has Monday – Friday separated out with a list of tasks in the order that I know is best to complete them.
Recently, I found that it helped my feelings of extra stress and pressure to have the morning and afternoon tasks separated out by lunch – creating time blocks that allow wiggle room for completion but keep the flow of my day organized.
I’m always very careful about what I watch, but I’ve been extra vigilant since the extra stress and pressure has settled within me. Laughter has been proven to help our minds and bodies release negative emotions and feel physically and mentally better.
During this time, I have set boundaries around when and how much news I consume and anything I watch on TV is uplifting, upbeat, funny or a light-hearted classic that has positive feelings of nostalgia. I want my mind and body to have a chance to laugh, to feel less stressed and relax so I can sleep well and stay healthy.
I know that my strategies for working at home and staying efficient will evolve depending on my lifestyle, outside stress and what’s going on in my family and business. For now, these 5 adjustments have made a big difference in how I feel and are keeping me sane in this extra stressful and pressure-filled time.
If you’re feeling the same way right now, know that you’re not alone and that there are practical strategies, habits, teachers, instructors, and classes you can do to help you feel better.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and share what you’re going through. Now more than ever is the time to stay connected with each other and lean into our combined strength as a community to get through this.
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