You’re not alone if you’re feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, or scared more often than not. Whether you’re worried about contracting COVID-19, wondering how you’ll make rent, or quarantining with a partner you’re waiting to divorce, our current circumstances present endless opportunities for stressors to disrupt our lives and take a toll on our mental health. In today’s post, we’re going to focus on a few easy-to-implement tips you can use to keep your stress levels in check as we ride out this storm.
Before we begin, we would like to take this opportunity to let you know that Fairell Roy & Associates is still taking new cases and working with existing clients. Whether you would like to speak to an experienced family law attorney regarding divorce, child custody, or child support, know that our office is here to offer you strength and support during these difficult times. Contact our office for a virtual consultation.
How to Keep Your Stress Levels Down
Protect Your Physical Health
Your physical health plays a key role in how well your body handles stressful situations, and sleep is perhaps the most important cornerstone. Do your best to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, and try to stick to a schedule whenever possible. It can be tempting to stay up all night or sleep in if your normal day-to-day routine has been affected by changes in your work schedule, but prioritizing your routine will make it much easier for you to start each day feeling well-rested and energized.
You should also pay attention to your eating habits and exercise schedule. It’s easy to snack when we’re stuck inside all day, so we recommend keeping healthy snacks around to keep yourself from being tempted. If your gym closed and you’re unable to lift weights or complete your usual workout routine, try following along to online videos or going for a run while maintaining your distance from others.
Last, but not least, limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol sales during the week of March 21 were 54% higher this year than in the same period of time last year, and this is partially due to the fact that many Americans are turning to beer, wine, and liquor for a sense of comfort and relief. In addition to adding unnecessary calories into your diet, regular alcohol consumption can actually lead to more anxiety and decrease your overall sense of well-being.
Take a Moment to Breathe
It can be difficult to satisfy your emotional needs right now, especially if you’re isolated by yourself or are living with a partner with whom you plan to separate. If you’re finding it difficult to stay positive or you can’t seem to escape worst-case-scenario thought cycles, try something simple: breathing.
It sounds incredibly simple, but it’s proven to work. In fact, take a moment to think about your breathing at this very moment. Does your chest feel contracted? Are you taking short, shallow breaths?
If so, take just a few moments to take slow, deep breaths. Doing so is a proven way to calm your nervous system down and promote feelings of well-being.
Many of us haven’t seen our friends or family members in months. Some of us are struggling financially. We’ve missed out on birthdays, graduations, weddings, concerts, and other fun plans. Make no mistake — there is an immense amount of loss in our lives right now, and it’s completely normal to grieve the losses in your life.
Grief can take many different forms and manifests in different ways. The most important and productive thing you can do for yourself is to accept how you feel and look for healthy ways to cope. Read our next section for one of the best ways to keep yourself supported and connected as you work through the grieving process.
Social connection is one of the best ways you can support yourself and others as we cope with the hardships in our lives. While you still can’t see people in person, you can talk to them over the phone or use a video calling application to have a face-to-face conversation.
As we discussed in our first section, it’s important to maintain a routine as much as possible. Scheduling regular check-ins is a great way to add social support into your daily life. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve found yourself saying things like, “I don’t have anything interesting to say today,” or “I’ll make time for it next week” in the past.
Studies show that we’re much more likely to follow through with our commitments when we involve others, so take the initiative to put regular phone calls and video chat sessions on your calendar.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
While we recommend doing your best to follow the tips outlined above, there is no substitute for professional help during a time like this. If you are experiencing severe and constant feelings of anxiety, dread, depression, or are having thoughts about harming yourself or others, it’s crucial that you schedule an appointment with a mental health professional who will hear you out and help you create a personalized support plan. Mental Health America of Georgia has a thorough list of resources and organizations that may be able to help you.
If you are experiencing difficulties with child support, child custody, or would like to speak with a divorce attorney about filing for divorce in the near future, please reach out to Fairell Roy & Associates. We provide no-risk consultations and will do everything in our power to support you.