It’s not easy right now to pull yourself away from the constant flow of information pertaining to coronavirus. Although it’s tough to admit. You need a break. Yes, seriously.
In these uncertain times, it’s okay to admit that you may be feeling anxious. Experts are continuing to recommend social distancing and self-quarantine measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), sending most of us into isolation.
Reducing your stress is actually one of the best ways you can deal with this crisis. Too much stress can hurt your immunity and your mental health. At Blind Motherhood, we know that’s not an easy task right now. The good news is there are resources that can help you tap into mindfulness techniques or your own spirituality to help cope with the ripple effects of this pandemic.
I encourage each of you to try these proposed suggestions to help balance your mind, body, and spirit, in the midst of these uncertain times.
Let GIFs Guide Your Breathing:
A soothing breath can be immensely effective for calming and regulating your anxiety. You can learn about the research behind using your breath for stress relief, or jump straight into experiencing the benefits by following a calming GIF that guides your breathing. Some great “free” examples of these deep breathing exercises are 6 GIF’s from DeStress Monday or these 10 choices from DOYOU Yoga. Remember, the key to diminishing some of your anxiety can be unlocked with a single breath.
Visit a Virtual Museum:
Feeling like you just want to get out of the house? While you may not be able to physically visit a public space like a museum, you can experience some fascinating museum tours right from the comfort and safety of your living room. More than 500 museums and galleries around the world have partnered with Google Arts & Culture to display their collections online as virtual tours. You can explore all of the options on the Google Arts & Culture website, or start with this curated list of top choices.
Take Comfort in a Good E-Book:
Libraries offer online access even when their physical locations are closed. The selection of titles is comprehensive, including classics, best-sellers and everything in between. The only drawback is there may be a waiting list for some of the titles, depending on their popularity. Don’t have a library card? That’s okay. OverDrive’s app Libby lets you borrow free e-books and audiobooks from local libraries. You can enjoy them right from your phone, tablet, or Kindle. Currently, about 80 library systems in the U.S. now offer this feature.
Embrace Nature Through our National Parks:
If you’re craving the great outdoors, Google Arts & Culture is offering an interactive documentary and exhibit entitled The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks. This unique experience allows you to take 360-degree tours of U.S. National Parks. Park Rangers act as tour guides through this interactive exploration that includes flying over an active volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, dive through a shipwreck at Dry Tortugas National Park, and many more.
Take an Online Exercise Class:
With so many businesses closed due to isolation regulations, many have decided to offer “free” or inexpensive online courses via video conferencing. One great resource is the YMCA of Greater New York which is providing free classes online. Participants can follow along with instructors to stay active while observing social distancing in the comforts of their own home. To take advantage of these online classes, click on YMCA @ Home. But don’t stop there, reach out to your local yoga studio or gym and ask what they can provide via video for members or guests.
Practice Guided Meditation:
There are many types of meditation, and depending on how much your anxiety is in overdrive at the moment, there is no one size fits all. Calm: Meditation & Sleep Stories is a “free” app that offers the soothing sounds of a fire crackling, rain falling on leaves, birds surrounding a mountain lake, or wind in the pines—whichever appeals to you. In addition, there are other options to practice breathing and holding your breath among the birds chirping, and to try the 7 Days of Calm—daily 10-minute guided meditations. Being aware of your mood patterns can help you stay mentally centered and balanced in the world around you despite the obvious stressors.
Connect with Your Congregations through Video Conferencing & Social Media:
If you are missing the support of your religious community, try connecting with them via video conferencing or social media. Technology has allowed religious leaders to connect to their congregations for a variety of reasons, from Bible Study to meetings and even provide church services in novel and creative ways. Reach out to your local house or worship to see what services may be available remotely. Can’t find anything? Do a quick Google search and join your desired denomination anywhere across the world.
Things to Remember:
These are unprecedented times that are causing a deep sense of anxiety for millions of people across the globe. While it feels as though our lives are slightly out of control, there are things you can do to feel more personally empowered and spiritually centered. Be vigilant in practicing social distancing and maintaining good hand washing practices. In addition, allow yourself to know it’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling, but there are healthy ways to process these emotions.
How have you or how has your church been recommending ways to combat anxiety in the midst of COVID. Drop me an email at [email protected] and tell me about it.