We’re living in a pandemic world filled with distraction and stress. That’s a big problem for our bodies that crave homeostasis (a relatively stable internal state despite changes in the world outside).
So how can we reconcile our body’s need for inner calm when what’s happening in our world is out of our control?
Here are some experts’ suggestions I found to consider:
Have A Morning and Evening Routine
- Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
Our circadian rhythm (aka our internal clock) sets itself by the time at which it sees daylight each morning. Our bodies need consistent sleep.
- Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast keeps our hormones from crashing and helps fend off anxiety and depression later in the day.
- Soak in Sunshine
Light combats depression. If you’re not comfortable walking with a mask, or can’t, open the shades or blinds and stand by a window or door, or pull a chair outside.
- Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night
This maybe even harder than getting up at the same time every morning. But disciplining ourselves to a regular bedtime that allows for ample sleep (at least eight hours according to experts) does make a difference in our daily health and energy.
- Shut Off Electronic Devices Early in the Evening AND turn Off the Screens
Avoid spiraling into the black hole of news and social media
Yes, we need to be informed about important virus details and our responsibilities in dealing with it. Yes, we need to connect with family and friends.
Truth is, too much time online and listening to news only increases anxiety and worry.
Be wise. Give yourself a shield against the unnecessary anxiety triggers and information overload by setting limits to news watching and social media time.
Most important, Be Kind to Yourself
We’re all under enough pressure right now. When your chest and stomach clench with tension, your neck and jaw stiffen, tears build, and thoughts won’t settle, acknowledge you might need to chill for a while.
Stop what you’re doing. Read or watch something that makes you laugh. Maybe stretch out on the couch and do nothing.
Do what’s works for you at any given moment. To be of any use to others, we must first take care of ourselves.
None of these expert suggestions will make the virus go away but trying them may help calm the chaos.