Finding calm during stressful times isn’t easy. But we have some tips that we hope might help.
We’ve been talking a lot about how 2020 has been one of the most stressful years for many people. This week, over 100,000 people have died from Covid-19, and many more struggle to survive. Just as scary, millions of people are out of work and wondering how they will be able to feed their children, pay their bills, or when they will be able to go back to work.
I’ve often written about my struggles with Anxiety and my journey to manage stress through meditation. My own experiences with PTSD and panic attacks have pushed me to seek out ways to mitigate stress without medication.
My family and I have lived through rough times. We’ve had to ask for help and stood in line for free food. We have worked hard to raise our children with a healthy respect for hard times, and it builds character. So while I know sometimes it might seem that bloggers, like myself, live fantasy lives. I sometimes find that I can’t relate to some of the bloggers I read who seem to have it all together with their perfect white linen lives because they don’t really want us to see the flaws.
Trust me, I have LOTS of flaws, and I hope I do a decent job of showing that I’m not perfect. But I do want to share how I’ve managed to find calm in a chaotic life, so when you feel like you don’t know how to take it anymore, maybe you can keep pushing on with some of my suggestions.
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Grow Something Wild
I’ve never been more thankful for being able to get outside and grow a garden as I am this year. The weeks of being quarantined inside the house while the weather was cold and rainy were rough. I love to garden, and I know that it helps my mental health to be able to dig around in the dirt and grow my garden from mud to beautiful flowers and food for my family.
You don’t have to have a large property to grow a little garden. In fact, my son and daughter in law, grow a beautiful patio garden in their little Seattle apartment that I love to visit.
If you are just starting to learn about gardening you might try:
Create a peaceful place in your home
Finding your calm begins with creating a space that calms you and makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or anything more than decorating with things that bring you joy. I like to leave this space free of clutter.
My living room is that place for me. No TV, nothing really at all, is in this room except two comfortable chairs and a super-soft carpet for my feet. When the weather is nice, I can open the windows. It’s a lovely bright room that just makes me feel calm and happy while I’m in there.
Go for a walk and breathe!
Now that the weather is warming up. Take advantage of the sunshine and go for an early morning walk. There are fewer people out and you can have some time for yourself.
Bring along your mask for when you see other people.
Mindfulness Cleaning is like cleaning your mind
It’s funny and a little OCD. But when I’m the most stressed, I clean. Like I really deep clean! It helps me to feel like I can physically do something to wash away the stress and complicated emotions.
When you clean mindfully, you take notice of your feelings, and as you put away the clutter, wash down the surfaces, you make an effort to cleanse the cobwebs and negativity as well mentally. Breathe deeply, stretch your body as you reach to organize and wipe down, and then step back to see the progress. It’s great!
Practice Yoga to stretch out your moments of calm
I struggle with Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia. This means that my body is always in a state of inflammation and pain. But I’ve discovered that gentle yoga actually helps my body to work out that pain and give me more mobility.
Pain is stressful, and it takes its toll on your mind.
Increasing your activity helps you to build your tolerance for pain and stress.
Every morning I take 30 minutes to practice yoga and a few minutes for meditation to calm my mind for the day. Try it, and let me know how it works for you!
Get enough sleep while you can
Many of us are stuck at home while the world learns how to fight Covid-19. Unless we are on the frontlines as a healthcare worker, we have found ourselves with a lot more time on our hands. This is the best time to catch up on the sleep that we need.
Take a nap in the afternoon sunshine.
Sleep in later and enjoy the comforts of your cozy bed.
Take the mental reset and enjoy getting more sleep than normal.
Tea Time is the break you need
I have always said that making more time for tea is the best treat you can do for yourself. The simple act of taking time to make a cup of tea is not only calming, but the reward is a lovely yummy treat.
My favorite time is being able to take my cup of tea out to the garden and enjoy the quiet time with my toes in the grass.
We love tea from Art of Tea. They have so many lovely flavors to choose from.
Time for a new book?
I love books! I used to read so many books when I was younger. It is a great way to check out of real-life and dive into a new place and time. As I’ve gotten older, I have been a big fan of audiobooks because I can turn on a book wherever I am, and it doesn’t make me as tired as reading a physical book sometimes does.
Sometimes I’ll put on an audiobook and putter around the house and garden, and I’ll finish several chapters in no time.
Call a friend and reconnect your friendship
In this time of social distancing, it’s hard not to feel alone. This is why it is even more critical than ever to reach out and make contact with friends and family.
Set aside time each week to reach out to a friend or a family member. Every Tuesday, I like to call and check in on an older family member, reconnect, and talk about old stories. It’s not only calming for me, but I know that it is great for her as well.
Take a class online and challenge yourself
If you want more skills, this is the best time to take an online class and challenge yourself to learn more! Consider joining a MasterClass on gardening and joining the group discussions. Or maybe take that decorating class you’ve been thinking of taking and tackle redecorating your home!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our list of 10 things to help find your calm in times of stress. We want to hear what you are doing to keep calm and other tips that you are using to get by!