A devastating event will never be easy to live through. A crisis might be a poor diagnosis or disability, or some unforeseen disaster such as our current pandemic. Sheltering means right now, you don’t have freedom of movement. You’re spending most of your time in one place. Your world has been constricted to what may feel like a tiny living space. It can be overwhelming to fulfill the obligations of your day to day life. However, you can be more resilient and adaptive than you think.
Here are 5 tips to help you find your balance during the chaos.
Communicate your needs. Do you need someone to hear what you are feeling, need space, need help to entertain the kids, or handling a task? In a time of crisis, it is of critical importance to communicate your feelings and needs to a loved one or a friend you trust. People cannot help you if they don’t know what you need, so be open about your emotions and what you want when things feel out of control.
Focus on the next step. You may be feeling overwhelmed, and it’s reasonable to find it hard to do anything. You may be getting caught up in a million things running through your head. If so, take a pause and think about what you need to do next. What is your most urgent priority? What can you do right now? Whatever that is, focus on seeing that priority through. It might be walking the dog, or getting work done, going to the grocery store, or doing a project with your kids. Taking care of something that feels productive will alleviate stress and help you feel more in control when things feel chaotic and uncertain.
Find something to amuse and distract yourself: You might find reading material, videos, board games helpful to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Reaching out to friends and family you haven’t talked with for a while. Zoom, Facetime, and Skype are all possibilities to feel like you are in the same room together.
Get proper sleep, meditate, and get some daily enjoyable exercise. Though it can be difficult in scary and uncertain times, one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health is to get enough sleep each night. You will be better equipped to make the right decisions. A crisis is a time when making sound decisions is imperative and better able to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Research has verified that daily meditation is almost as good as sleep. All you need is 10 – 20 minutes a day to find balance and calm during chaos. Look for a way to exercise in the house, such as yoga, resistance bands, and weights. You need a way to work off the stress. You might also use exercise by walking and stretching, which are very healthy ways to increase your general well-being.
Reach out and ask for help. If you are living alone, and you think you might be struggling, social media such as Facebook and Instagram often trigger feelings of loneliness. People are not meant to endure hardship alone. Reach out to loved ones or a professional and seek help if you need it. According to the American Psychological Association, the following signs are indicators you should seek professional advice–neglecting hygiene, a dramatic change in sleep habits (sleeping more or less), weight loss or gain, a decline in work or school performance, pronounced changes in mood, and withdrawing from routine activities and relationships.