A Hera Hub Business Booster with Tarrina Olley
Stress exists in all of our everyday lives, and with the onset of coronavirus has become a situation that can feel unbearable.
We must learn how to calm our body and our mind. This is a skillset we can learn at any time. However, it’s often a neglected area of our lives and society. Since our society lacked these skills in general, it’s going to become more pronounced now that a pandemic has rocked our nation and world. We have to admit that covid19 is here, whether we like it or not. Women’s emotions are particularly malleable by nature, and men’s emotions can change at any moment as well. This is particularly true during times of stress.
When something upsets you on a normal basis, how do you handle that? Imagine when someone cuts you off in your car. How do you respond? Someone sends you a rude email. How do you handle that? You have a disagreement with your significant other? What would you do? How did we do things in our normal lives? We deal with stress in different ways even during normal times. Now we have a chance to pause and ask ourselves, “How have I been taking care of emotional self anyway?”
We schedule everything all the time. We send reminders and alarms. The big question is, do you have time for yourself in your schedule? You need to put your own name in your schedule. Time for just you! We commit to activities and events and organization and church and family and all that. At the bare minimum we need fifteen minutes per day uninterrupted to ourselves. That is a small increment that we can manage to start with. Because of our little phone in our pocket, we are rarely uninterrupted. Most of us immediately click on our phone when we hear any old buzz. We’ve conditioned ourselves to respond to our phones. We will get out of bed to look at our phones! We have to stop ourselves. We need to set up times to be alone to ourselves. Right now we are spending so much time online and in the virtual space. This can become a slippery slope in which we lose even more of our personal time. If we always give all of our energy to everyone, we will not have a change to replenish ourselves. Even fifteen minutes, spent intentionally, will begin to refuel ourselves. Here are five simple steps to follow to create a sound mind and sound body.
- Calm your body. Train your body to relax. Take fifteen minutes to do a complete shut off. This does not include the time you are sleeping! Even in meditation, your mind will be thinking and racing. That’s OK. it takes time and practice to be able to do nothing. We are so busy as a society and as a culture. Even if we can make ourselves sit still, our mind may still be racing. It takes practice. You have to be alone. It can be particularly challenging if you suffer from anxiety. The busy-ness can be a distraction. However, at the same time, learning to let go of distraction will teach us to listen to our body, which will ultimately allow us to reduce the anxiety in our lives.
- Reduce your news and social media intake. The constant intake of information can be a trigger for stress and anxiety. This helps to calm the mind. The news about coronavirus is full of fear, death, and dying. We have to take a break from that. The images one the news do not bring us happiness. Those stories will get a lot of attention, but they do not leave us feeling good. It’s important to be informed, but we have to balance our intake of news with positive information. You can seek out comedy or lighter and positive entertainment to balance yourself out. You won’t miss out on any big news events, and you can always seek out from another source on your own schedule. It’s particularly important to avoid news before bedtime. The information that you take in goes into your mind and brain, and you have to process it, which takes time. If the mind is not relaxed, the body is not able to follow.
- Self-care must come first. This is essential no matter what business you are in. Finding balance is essential, and by putting yourself first, you will actually create a more lasting ability to serve. How can you extend to others what you have extended to yourself first? You also have to be able to give and take. Many of us want to be there for everyone in your life at all times. As a mom, I didn’t want to miss any of my kid’s basketball games. I had to be OK with missing one or two, and he had to learn that I’m not always available. We also need to make ourselves unavailable on social media. You can’t make yourself available all day and all night. You will run out of energy if you don’t refuel. Remember that saying “No” is one of the most essential parts of self care! And remember that “No” is a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain or justify your “No.”
- Release the desire to control. For most people, there are many opportunities to exert control in our lives, and we are tempted to try to exert that control all the time, especially when things feel crazy. We want to bring things back into control. However, the virus isn’t something we can control. We are at the mercy of the way the world works right now.
- Focus on the positives. If you can take the time to express your gratitude in a journal or to a friend, you will begin to find ways to release the desire to control and you will recognize more ways that you find connection. It will also support your ability to create self-care routines. Your attitude impacts your mental health and further supports your success.
Keeping these simple steps in mind will help build up the capability to manage stress, no matter the circumstances. The strange opportunity that sheltering at home gives us is a chance to work on both our personal lives as well as pivoting our professional lives, which will put us in a situation to succeed and thrive both during and beyond the pandemic. Remember to keep your priorities in order so that you can say “No” to what is not essential, which will lead you being able to calm your mind and calm your body and ultimately living in a way to keep stress and anxiety at bay so you can enjoy your life to the fullest.
About the author:
Tarinna Olley’s expertise is in the mental health field. Her ability to translate the psychological into everyday language is a special ability she brings to her clients. This helps make it easier to create success with stress management and self care.