Written By: Lauri Doepke, MS, LC, NCC
As many of us are confined to our homes and spending an extended period of time together, it’s not uncommon to begin feeling stress, tension, or irritability. It’s important to have an array of coping skills and self-calming tools that you can utilize on a daily basis to help keep you centered, calm, and relaxed.
For some of you, these tools might be familiar, and a regular activity in your day, and for others it may be a new skillset. Either way, I encourage you to explore new skillsets and to set aside time to practice them on a daily basis.
Here are a number of techniques you can utilize to self-calm:
- Don’t be afraid to be flexible! – Our routines have been disrupted! That’s an understatement right! The sooner we mentally accept our current circumstance, the sooner we can emotionally and behaviorally adapt to carrying on with less structure.
- Avoid toxic connections – When possible, limit your interactions to supportive, calming people; set boundaries with those who tend to stimulate you in emotionally unhealthy ways. This is a good resource to reference: https://www.oprah.com/spirit/begin-to-set-personal-boundaries_1/all
- Self-empowerment – Action Educate – Limit your incoming knowledge to resources that will help you to make healthy, educated decisions. For instance, limit resources to those that are reliable, and factual (CDC, Johns Hopkins); and then set a time limit on your access to these avenues. Here are some trusted resource sites: https://www.cdc.gov/ and https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/
- Set Daily Normalcy Goals – As difficult as it may seem, work towards ‘normal’ life activities; creativity may need to be applied here given the current circumstances.
- Take a time out – Read a book, color, journal…find something positive that you can do to help others. This will create a nice distraction from letting your mind take over during these stressful times. Here is a great site for coloring mandalas: https://colormandala.com/
- Use resources at your fingertips – There are many great, no cost resources that you can tap into on YouTube. Look for instructional videos on deep breathing techniques, muscle relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, yoga, relaxation videos, and so much more. Never underestimate the power of a good stretch. Explore different options to see what works best for you!
I hope you found these tips helpful! Check out some of the links in this article to get started with various self-calming techniques. Check out The Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau website for helpful blogs here: https://www.bhcwausau.com/blog/ We recently posted an article about the Benefits of Telehealth which keeps you connected to therapy options during this time of social distancing. Many insurance companies are covering online services with the same benefits as if you were to come into the clinic. You can inquire with us to help you navigate what options are available to you.
You can also follow BHC on Facebook to see informative vlogs on how to cope in these difficult times, and other helpful topics.
Lauri Doepke, MS, LC, NCC