COVID-19 stress relievers (May 2020)

First and foremost, I hope that all you moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day and were able to spend time with your loved ones in some form or fashion! 

As human beings, we relish neither uncertainty nor change.  Well the virus and the economic shutdown have brought both of those into our daily lives, and our only choice is in how we deal with it.  Our brains are wired to go negative.  Research has shown that 70-80% of our thoughts are negative and that’s in normal times.  We all know the impact of stress on our health & relationships, so let’s choose to not go there.  It has to be a conscious choice b/c most of the negative thoughts come from our subconscious.  So how do we flip the switch?  Let us count the ways!

1) The Positive Focus.  Created by Dan Sullivan, The Strategic Coach, this is an exercise you can do anytime. Write down or just talk about 3 things that were good about your day.  It can be anything you want, big or small, as long as it's positive.  Include others in the discussion, especially your kids.  Great for the dinner table (which is one of my corona positive focuses, we actually eat dinner together now!).

2) The 7 Thank You's.  A good friend introduced this one to me years ago.  He likes to do it every night before he goes to bed.  Say 'I am thankful for......' and fill in the blank. Again, this can be a big thing or a small thing.

3) Go for a walk/run/bike ride outside. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds, watch an ant go about his business (a little hard to do on a bike, I’ll give you that), etc.  

4) Listen to music.  A lot of us are working from home these days, so put on some tunes and lighten the mood.

5) Dance.  You don’t have to be good to partake (take it from me!). If you have kids or grandkids around, have them record a Tik Tok video with you dancing together and send it to friends & family if you dare!

6) Watch a funny movie.  We’re watching a lot of the classics from the 80’s & 90’s with Katelyn (a positive focus of her being a teenager now!)

7) Be 'present'.  Don’t regret the past, don’t worry about the future. The present is happening right now. Doesn’t make sense to waste the little time we have on this planet worrying. Not preaching, I’ve done it plenty and I will again. The key is catching yourself and snapping out of it ASAP.

8) Help others.  There are a lot of folks in our community who need it.  Money, food, buying groceries for someone at risk, etc.  And it just does wonders for our mental health.  A win win.  

9) Smile.  Can’t smile and stay negative too long.  Just don’t make it one of those Jack Nicholson smiles in The Shining (not one of the funny movies I was referencing in #6 btw).

This obviously is not an all-inclusive list, so feel free to send some ideas my way!  We will get through this as we always do.  Better, faster, stronger.  Like the Six Million Dollar Man.  Adjusted for inflation, of course. ;-)

Stay safe,