Work and home life lines are blurred. We are now many weeks into staying home during this pandemic and we are managing to stay afloat. I am now a stay-at-home mother, a full-time cook, snack-giver, and people-pleaser…all while managing to keep up with the demands of working a full-time job from home. Not to mention helping to keep my kids feeling loved and happy. During this incredibly stressful time, here are some ways to help manage anxiety:
Make a Gratitude List
What are you grateful for? I like to start each morning and think about what I am most grateful for: we are safe and healthy, we are enjoying our family time, the sun is shining, we have a roof over our head, we have food to eat, we have jobs that are allowing us to get paid and work from home, etc.
Practice Deep Breathing
4-7-8 Breathing: Start by breathing in deeply for four seconds, hold that breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this five times and you will start to notice your body and mind relax.
5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Activity
I often do the grounding activity in the shower and it helps to bring me to the present moment. Think of five things you see, four things you feel (feet on the floor, water dripping down, etc.), three things you hear (water, breathing, baby monitor), two things you smell (shampoo, soap), and name one good thing about yourself.
One of my favorite books, Breathe Mama Breathe, provides some great five-minute mindfulness tips for busy moms. Start off with your feet and notice how you are feeling, any body sensations that are present. Let go and relax those body parts that have tension. Spend a few seconds on each part as you scan up your body, going to your ankles, legs, knees, pelvis, hips, bottom, back, and all the way up to your head. This should help you to relax and let go of any tension in your body.
Check out the Headspace app to learn about guided meditation and mindfulness. They provide excellent resources to help with calming our mind and body.
Do anything to help get your heart rate up and your mind relaxed. For me, running is what helps to get my endorphins pumping and gives me that “runner’s high.” 30 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to instantly lift your mood.
I hope these tips help to ease some of your anxiety and relax your mind. Hang in there mamas– this, too, shall pass.