Finding time for yourself can be difficult, but finding time for yourself in the middle of a pandemic with children at home can seem utterly impossible. The increasing levels of stress that we are all facing right now can take a huge toll on one’s mental health if time isn’t found to prioritize self-care.
Here are some simple things that you can do to help decrease stress and irritability during these difficult times:
1. Mindfulness– Even finding a few minutes throughout the day to focus your attention in a mindful and meaningful way can be a great way to help calm your system during high levels of stress. Whether you prefer to do a quick deep breathing exercise, a guided meditation, or a body scan. Simply taking the time to reconnect with yourself can do wonders for decreasing irritability. The Refuge Center shares a Mindfulness exercise each Monday on our Instagram if you need ideas. (@refugecenterforcounseling)
2. Be Present and Pay Attention – Notice the little things. Whether that’s taking time to listen to the birds early in the morning, feeling the grass under your feet, waving hello to a neighbor or sitting outside watching the clouds pass by. Finding joy in the simple things during such uncertain times is a great regulatory strategy.
3. Show Grace – Remember that this time is difficult for everyone. Adults, children, spouses, siblings, grandparents, friends, essential workers…..EVERYONE! If you lose your temper or become frustrated, it’s ok! No one is perfect and it’s ok to take breaks as needed. But do be sure to offer an apology when necessary.
4. Find Fun – Even the mundane and necessary can be turned into something fun. Need to clean the house? Turn on some music and have a dance party while doing it. Need to cook dinner? Research a new recipe from a place you have always wanted to visit and create a theme night. Need to go run errands? Take the long way home and enjoy your favorite music or podcasts for a few extra minutes.
We are all in this together. Reach out for support when needed and remember that you are not alone! If you’d like additional support, please call us 615-591-5262.
Blog written by Refuge Center Masters Level Counseling Intern Kiley Steele