It’s an intense time in the world – many of us have been forced to cancel plans, work from home, and be flexible with upcoming events and social outings. It feels disorienting.
I’ve always been a fairly sensitive person, but I have found a few simple things that consistently help me reset when things feel overwhelming or out of control.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Take a Break From the News
We all need to stay informed, but being hooked into news updates and social media banter 24/7 can be overstimulating and anxiety provoking to say the least. Decide when, and how often, you want to check in, and then give yourself a break.
Connect with Others
Depending on where you are in the world, you may be affected by the call for social distancing, or other measures intended to keep your community safe. Maybe you’re avoiding travel, events, or public transportation right now. Instead of becoming increasingly isolated, this is an opportune time to reach out to friends and family, and spend some quality time with the people you love most, whether in person or virtually.
Get Back to Simple Pleasures
As someone who is known for never slowing down, I’m taking this time as an opportunity to practice doing just that. For example, I just baked blondies with my girls and we topped them with vanilla bean ice cream and sea salt. It was epic. I’m also integrating simple activities like stretching when I wake up, putting lemon in my water, and making a concerted effort to be more present and mindful in my day to day comings and goings. Consider the creative things you enjoy doing that help you feel more present.
Move Your Body
It’s widely known that exercise can help decrease stress and instantly boost your mood. You can get those endorphins going by taking a brisk walk, heading out for a run or bike ride, or even just having a dance party in your living room.
Focus on the Things You Can Control
There is so much that we simply can’t control in the world, but there are plenty of things we do have control over – how we show up in the world and treat other people, the foods we choose to put in our body, how we spend our free time, to name a few. Even a simple gratitude practice can feel restorative when things feel out of whack. Put energy into the little decisions that you make every day that can help you regain a sense of control.
When I found out my kids would be off school for at least the next four weeks (send help!) I immediately got to work creating a daily calendar to help give our days structure and help keep us all sane. The schedule includes a mix of art activities, reading, baking, educational tech, movies. I also included simple pleasures like hot cocoa breaks and nature walks. Consider how you can give your own days and nights an organized structure. If you’re working from home, consider when you can get some focused time, and when you are the sharpest. I work best in the early morning and start to fade as the day goes on, so I schedule my focused project time early on and hikes, cooking, and movies later in the day.
Think Outside the Box
If ever there were a time to be flexible and creative, it’s now. Entrepreneurs are busy brainstorming how they can pivot, offer services or products online, and carry on despite the challenging times. Parents are sorting out how to occupy their kids and still get work done and stay sane. I’m also thinking about how to make the most of this period and stay productive and creative. If you’re worried about getting stir crazy like me, here are a few ideas:
- Organize your junk drawer
- Experiment with a new recipe
- Host a skill share swap with friends or colleagues
- Bake something delicious
- Clean out your closet
- Stream yoga videos
- Support your favorite small businesses (a good excuse to splurge on goodies from Mille and Vintage Rug Shop!)
- Learn a new skill
- Donate to a cause you believe in
- Feed your brain some positive news right here
- Have a spa day at home
- Learn a new language
- Write someone you love a letter and send it
Make Your Environment Feel Good
I’ve built my entire life and career out of my belief that your environment deeply affects your overall wellbeing. Especially, if you’re working from home, now is the time to put some effort and intention into making your space feel like a sanctuary. A little goes a long way here. Clear a surface. Pop a flower in a bud vase. Make your bed. Clear out your junk drawer or inbox. Light a nice smelling candle.
The little things will make a big difference. Whatever it is, make sure you are spending a little time to take care of yourself today, and every day.
Hang in there, Friends!
P.S. The Virtual Workspace Makeover Program is open for registration this month. If you could use some support to reclaim control over your space, CLICK HERE.
Image Credit: Madeline Harper Photo for The Identité Collective
6 comments on “When Things Feel Beyond Our Control”
Very nice list! Happy to see that I have been doing a fair number of these things — you have trained me well. [ Of course I am not doing yoga or anything like that – nope.] But I am enjoying putting positive energy into household matters instead of thinking of being home as an unwelcome restriction.
That’s a wonderful attitude!So glad you are embracing the time and making the most of things. Xx
We are self-quarantining –since March 4, as we are considered among the endangered. One structured plan we are into is watching “the Best Movie of the Year” from each year of our lives. We began with “Best Years of our LIves” (1946) followed by “Gentlemen’s Agreement” and “Johnny Belinda”. A fascinating look at the past, including manners, clothes, decor, and ethics.
What a wonderful idea! Might need to copy!!
Thank you, for ideas, photos, tips.
I just discovered your website is soothing, pictures are very nice.
Keep safe and healthy 🙂
So glad. Thanks for your sweet comment!