It has been tough and if I have been finding it tough, I am sure most other moms/dads are finding it tough too. Why do I say that because, honestly it takes a lot for a spirited and optimistic person like me to even feel low. I can literally count the number of times, I have felt low in life and all have been huge events in my life to cause that. So if you have been having mood swings since the last few days, don’t need to push it away, or disregard it. These are unprecedented times. I know we need to be brave for our kids and families but we also need to realise that we are humans and it’s natural to feel low when you can’t go out, meet people or even go back to doing regular stuff. Mental health is going to affect more people than will Covid-19.
A few weeks back, I found myself oscillating and feeling more highs and lows than ever. The first reaction was denial, but then I decided to face it and understand why this was happening. I started sharing my feelings with my friends and my hubby and that made me feel better and lighter.
I have worked on myself the last few weeks and I have my found ways to cope with Covid-19 stress. Sharing it here so that maybe it gives you an idea or even the courage to acknowledge your issue. Remember rather than keeping a brave front and denying an issue, it helps to acknowledge and work on it;
Meditation: Ways To Cope With Covid-19 Stress
I have been meditating regularly, sometimes, twice or thrice a day. I have always emphasised meditation as brain gym and the importance of it, but really felt it working in these times. It instantly calms you down and removes anxiety.
Being physically active even during the lockdown: Ways To Cope With Covid-19 Stress
It was very easy for me to just get bogged down with the inability to not go the gym or go down for my regular runs, but I took this opportunity to indulge and dwell deep into it. Any kind of physical activity releases happy hormones and we need them more now :).
Having a routine: Ways To Cope With Covid-19 Stress
At the start of the lockdown we all treated it like a bonus holiday. We were binge watching, bingeing on food and drinks, sleeping late and sleeping in late. Basically, we had no routine and it was all ok for a bit but after it kept extending, need for a routine was much needed for ourselves and our families. It took me a while, but I have managed to create one for everyone and it has kept us sane.
Organising: Ways To Cope With Covid-19 Stress
During the lockdown a lot of us had no help at home. We had to work, take care of kids and also cook, clean and manage all mundane work in the house. While some families pitched in and divided the work, some came entirely on the women of the family. While I have been lucky to full time help at home, this experience comes from my friends who initially struggled. For them, planning and organising their homes and things helped. For eg, chopping or cooking and freezing veggies in small containers for the week took the stress of everyday cooking. Keeping a handy grocery list and a menu ready for at least two weeks takes the stress off and saves a lot of time. In our case, when our help fell ill for a few days, we all took 1 room each on the house and became responsible for keeping that room clean. This way the task was divided and didn’t feel like a burden on anyone. We all did it as per our comfortable timings.\
Talking to the kids without scaring them
Lockdown and daily news on Covid-19 situation can be very confusing for the kids. Even if we want we can’t keep the information away from them. So if you are trying to be protective by not talking about the situation, I understand the sentiment but it won’t help as they are living it. So talk to them, normalise it for them and tell them how they can prevent it. I was going through a lot of anxiety, thinking of what my kids would be feeling until I spoke to them and was surprised to know that they already knew so much and they behaved so maturely. We sometimes plan holidays in the future and it gives us something to look forward to. Seeing them happy keeps my anxiety under control. Hugs help. Eight in a day, to be precise :).
Keep a journal: Ways To Cope With Covid-19 Stress
This has really worked for me. If I can’t sometimes express to others what I am feeling journaling it has made me comprehend it better. Or just get the feeling out as writing is therapeutic. Now when I go back and read what I wrote in the initial days, makes me really reflect on my feelings and understand them.
Dress up once in a while
I know we all want to be in our pyjamas as we don’t have to go anywhere but once in a while dress up. Maybe for that zoom meeting with a client or even a virtual party with friends. Dressing up also lifts our mood up.
Stop Judging Yourself
The biggest issue happens because we are setting expectations on our own selves. If the house is not clean, if the child is watching a little more screen time, if you have put on a bit of weight. Don’t fret, don’t weight yourself down, get rid of that guilt. Remind yourself you are just human and this is the best you can do today.
These are somethings that I have been practicing and have helped me stay afloat. What have you been doing? Do share, we can learn from each other.