When life feels uncertain or when we don’t feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed. For those who already struggle with their mental wellness, increased anxiousness, depression, or loss of motivation to carry out daily activities may occur.
While I realize these tips are not a substitute for professional care, there are things you can do to reduce stress, encourage wellness, and restore a sense of security in the face of uncertainty. No one knows yourself better than you, so take these for what they are, suggestions, and do what works best for you!
Real-life interactions trump virtual for me any day. I need people in my life… like real live people who I can converse (commiserate) with. A socially distant night out on the patio with some girlfriends or couples is good for my soul.
Binge a Show
Sometimes turning off your mind is just what is needed to reset. I know this is one way my husband and I like to hang out after our kids are in bed. We are always looking for a new series to binge, so please share if you have one!
Limit Social Media
I’ve really been mindful of the content I absorb on social media these days. The wrong type of content can easily increase the negativity of my mood for the remainder of the day. I’ve found myself yelling at my children unnecessarily and being more short-tempered overall. I’ve been more mindful of the amount of time I spend scrolling lately and also the content I am taking in. It makes a huge difference in how the course of my day goes!
Exercise or Get Outside
This is a game and mood changer for me, and it’s so simple. Move your body! It doesn’t have to be strenuous or “hardcore” — just a simple walk around the block gets the blood flowing and your heart rate up a little. This is almost a definite mood changer for me and something we try to do every single day. I can easily notice a difference in my own kids as well on the days we don’t get outside and play. They crave the time to burn some energy and it’s important to health and well-being regardless of mood elevation.
Establish Routines and Gratitude
My daily routine in the summer months is nothing to write home about, but I find that I’m off a little each morning if I don’t stick with it. I have many friends that utilize their quiet mornings for alone time and devotions. I am not there yet, but I think it’s such a great practice. I’ve found that when I get down or am feeling a bit “less than” just brainstorming a list of things that I am thankful for really puts things into perspective for me and can turn my mood around. The simpler things are the better for me.
This might be the one I struggle with the most. We spend so much of our early parenting life talking about sleep patterns in babies and children that often our own sleep gets pushed aside. Getting adequate sleep for adults ranges between 7-9 hours per night. I know that I personally don’t get enough sleep, and it’s something that affects my well-being the next day.
No, not alcohol, I’m talking about water! Drink more water. I recently put an app on my phone to help me track my water intake for the day. I was terrible at remembering to drink water. I set up notifications on my phone to remind me to drink! Buying a cute new water bottle helps, too.
I realize that at times the words “self-care” and “wellness” can cause anxiety instead of reducing it, but hopefully, with these suggestions, you can pick and chose what works best for you. For me, it’s always been trial and error. Sometimes, I find something that truly energizes me and other times it completely stresses me out.
Self-care for me is always evolving as my life changes and what worked when my kids were babies does not work now. The first step is realizing that and then making changes that work best for you. We are living in uncertain times, to say the least (I’m not even talking about school this fall, yikes!), but the little things we can do to improve our wellness during uncertain times can go a long way.