GOT STRESS? NAVIGATING THE UNKNOWN
The past six months have tested our resilience in ways we never expected. In contrast to the usual stressors we face, the uncertainty of the pandemic has challenged our sense of control. We are not sure how we will be impacted nor how long this will last – six more months? A year?
While our current experience is certainly not normal, what we can control is our reaction. Reminder: You are not alone.
During the pandemic, our ability to be and feel safe has been challenged. It feels like a lot because it is a lot. Give yourself permission to feel. Think about what you miss – for instance, I miss hugs and handshakes. I miss smiles.
Now – think about what you do have. A home, a job, friends, a mask, toilet paper? We live in Newport, we can walk on the beach, enjoy a bike ride on Ocean Drive, meet with a few friends and families maintaining social distance.
When you think about what you do have, it will assist you in moving forward. Focus on what you can control – including your attitude. I recently had one of the best cups of coffee in my life – delivered by a young woman with “smiling eyes.” Her kind words and grace were a gift to everyone in the coffee line.
Eat Your Broccoli
When we were growing up, my mother steamed big platters of vegetables for us to “pick on” as our afternoon snack. Do your best to eat healthy meals and snacks – especially during the pandemic. If you are going to “stress eat” – steam a few stalks of broccoli – yum!
Sleep is a vitamin. Do whatever you need to do to ensure you are getting enough rest. There are plenty of articles focused on natural remedies to get your zzzz’s.
Exercise – start with some sort of movement, 10 minutes a day – every day. Keep building on this based on your capacity. There are so many resources on YouTube for yoga, stretching, strength and movement. One of my octogenarian friends walks in place 45 minutes every day with Netflix on in the background. Inspiring!
While exercise, healthy nutrition and sleep may seem very basic – they will assist you both mentally and physically. Take care of your “basic” needs.
Schedule YOU Time
It’s a world of people looking down. Curate your news sources and intake, choose what you put into your head. Yes, information is paramount – do your best to choose wisely with the deluge of information and misinformation being presented via our multiple screens.
Schedule time for you and activities you enjoy. Take a screen break and be present to others and yourself.
What’s Your Next Chapter
You are never done – learning, doing, being. Kaizen, the Japanese theory of constant improvement, illustrates that we have the potential to do great things and achieve excellence when we put our mind to it.
Do you have extra time during this pandemic? Explore new career opportunities, take courses online, get in shape, serve others, enjoy a new hobby. Enhance your tomorrow!
Write the book you want to read, it’s your story.
Gail Lowney Alofsin is the Director of Corporate Partnership & Community Relations for Newport International Boat Show/Newport Restaurant Group. An adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island and Salve Regina University, author, speaker and volunteer, Gail lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
Looking for motivation? The second edition of Gail’s business/personal development book, Your Someday is NOW! What Are YOU Waiting For? is available by contacting her directly at email@example.com. 100% of book sales benefit non-profit organizations, raising over $42,000 to date.