And just like that, we went from being so busy to feeling so desolate and despondent. We’re used to being stressed by the busy-ness of life. Now we’re stressed for more important meaningful reasons. We are learning real quick how to manage stress in difficult times.
How do you manage stress? Do you fight, flight or shut down? When I have chronic, mild stress, I shut down. But today, I’m fighting. I’m fighting for my family. I’m doing everything I can to keep us all safe, healthy and happy.
Stress is an important thing. It keeps us alive. But we have to know how to manage it and channel the energy correctly.
Acute stress that pushes us into flight or fight is healthy and important for our survival.
Chronic, daily stress is bad for us. It wears us down on so many levels and it suppresses our immune systems. Now is not the time for a suppressed immune system.
Now is the time to evaluate your priorities. Prioritize how you will spend your time and more importantly your energy. We’re all feeling the angst, but what can you do to channel that angst into something productive?
When this crisis is over, don’t go back to being stressed over the busy-ness of daily life. Restructure your life, your time, and your energy in a way that makes your soul happy.
Spend this time you have now reimagining your life. What changes will you make? How will you feel when we’re on the other side of this? How will your family feel?
Spend this time repairing broken relationships.
Spend this time with your family in meaningful ways. Embrace the downtime.
Learning how to manage stress can help prevent illness.
Here are 7 simple habits you can start practicing today to manage stress in difficult times. They will help you feel less stressed, more empowered, and more in control of your situation.
Affiliate disclosure– Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Read my full affiliate link disclosure here.
I know you’ve heard this one before, but seriously, find the silver lining and be grateful each and every day.
- Be grateful for this downtime. For this time of re-structuring and re-imaging your life.
- Be grateful for this extra time you get to spend with your family.
- Be grateful for extra snuggles and cuddles.
- Be grateful for the community stepping up around you.
- Be grateful for the teachers who are doing the best they can and for being fully invested in your kids.
- Be grateful for your friends and family.
- Be grateful for your home, your shelter, and modern amenities. Even if you lose them for a brief period.
- Be grateful for the change of the season. Spring is going to be a miraculous re-birth this year.
Move Your Body
Find ways to stay active. Sitting around all day in front of a screen (TV or computer) will only make you more tense and anxious.
Get outside and walk or run (if you can). If you can’t get outside, find ways to be active inside.
- If you have a treadmill, dust it off and get moving.
- Have a dance party with your kids.
- If you have interactive games like Wii, dig them out.
- Watch exercise and dance videos on YouTube.
- March in place.
- Play Simon Says.
- Do some spring cleaning and vigorous housework.
- Play Twister.
Most of us are used to shallow breathing. When we’re stressed, it becomes even more shallow. Take note of yourself right now. Are you hunched over? Is your jaw clenched? Are your muscles tense? Are your shoulders up by your ears? If so, you’re breathing shallow.
Deep breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to lower stress. Deep breathing relaxes your nervous system. It helps you get out of the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
When you feel yourself getting tense, take some deep breaths. If your kids are causing your stress, everyone needs to take some deep breaths. You can amplify the calming effect by using essential oils (see below).
Try this morning breathing technique. Start in a standing position and bend forward at the waist, letting your arms dangle freely. Inhale slowly and deeply as you return to standing, rolling up one vertebra at a time. Breathe all the air out. Repeat a total of 5 times.
Similar to exercise, laughter bumps up the release of endorphins in your body and promotes a general sense of well-being. It also decreases stress hormones and strengthens your immunity.
Just hop online and let yourself have a good laugh. The memes are everywhere and they’re hilarious. Allow yourself to be silly and laugh.
Laugh with your kids. When we’re too busy, we sometimes brush off their silliness. Let them be silly. Be silly with them. Laugh together. It will lower everyone’s stress. Kids are feeling the stress too. We have to do everything we can to protect them and make them feel safe. Laughter feels safe.
- Put on a family-friendly funny movie.
- Listen to a comedy podcast.
- Have you kids do a funny skit together.
- Watch people do dumb stuff on YouTube. Whatever it takes, just laugh.
Eat to Reduce Stress
Eat healthy foods full of vitamins and minerals that support your physical and emotional health. Don’t stock up on junk food.
Practice mindfulness when you eat. Don’t mindlessly shove food in your mouth. Learn more about everyday mindfulness here.
- Take deep breaths.
- Smell your food.
- Chew your food.
- Savor the flavors and textures of the food.
- Take your time between bites.
Related Article >>> 9 Plant Based Foods That Will Boost Your Mood <<<
If you need some help with meal planning, check out this free resource.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are well known to have therapeutic effects on your physical, mental and emotional health. Learn more about the Emotional Benefits of Essential OIls with this free ebook.
Oils to help you accept the current circumstances: Bergamot, Jasmine, Spikenard
Oils to help you with feelings of alienation: Cedarwood, Myrrh, Arborvitae
Oils to help you deal with feelings of anger: Cardamom, Thyme, Geranium, Ylang Ylang
Oils to help you deal with anxious feelings: Basil, Frankincense, Patchouli, Sandalwood
Oils to help you deal with feelings of bitterness: Bergamot, Juniper Berry, Myrrh, Arborvitae, Thyme, Citronella
Oils to help you deal with feelings of burn out: Basil, Arborvitae, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara
Oils to help you remain calm: Lavender, Lemon, Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood
Oils to help you feel less chaotic: Lavender, Cedarwood, Ho Wood, Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, Vanilla Bean Absolute, Hawaiian Sandalwood
Oils to help you feel cheerful: Tangerine, Lime, Wild Orange
Oils to help give you mental clarity: Lemon, Rosemary, Cardamom, Spearmint
Oils to help you feel more confident: Bergamot, Cassia, Spearmint, Roman Chamomile, Lavender
Oils to help when you’re in a crisis: Lavender, Basil, Peppermint, Geranium, Vetiver
Oils to help when you feel defeated: Clove, Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Fennel, Arborvitae
Oils to help when you feel depleted: Basil, Peppermint, Arborvitae, Jasmine
Oils to help when you feel despondent: Lemongrass, Melissa, Eucalyptus, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy
Oils to help when you feel discouraged: Lime, Melissa, Wild Orange
Oils to help you feel empowered: Arborvitae, Ginger, Clove
Oils to help you feel fearless: Juniper Berry, Clove, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Sandalwood
Oils to help you feel grateful: Wild Orange, Helichrysum, Douglas Fir, Spikenard
Oils to help when you feel heartbroken: Geranium, Rose
Oils to help when you feel helpless: Clove, ginger, Wild Orange, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary
Oils to help when you feel imprisoned: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tangerine, Rosemary, Geranium, Juniper Berry, Cilantro
For more information on how essential oils can support your emotional health, check out Emotions and Essential Oils.
Reading is good for so many reasons.
- It can help train your mind to calm down and focus.
- It can help take your mind off of stressful thoughts, giving you a much-needed break.
- It can open your mind up to new possibilities.
- It can help you learn important new life skills.
Read whatever books you like. If you’re looking for some inspirational books to help you navigate stressful times, check out the following:
The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron.
We always have a choice in how we react to the circumstances of our lives. We can let them harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and allow our inherent human kindness to shine through.
The Tapping Solution for Manifesting Your Greatest Self by Nick Ortner
What if you could experience more ease and flow in your life, banish self-doubt, fear, and anxiety, and live your greatest life? Can you imagine what that would look like–and more important, what it would feel like?
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
“If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” Louise Hay
“Eric Greitens provides a brilliant and brave course of action to help navigate life’s roughest waters.” —Admiral Mike Mullen, seventeenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Invest in Personal Development
Be proactive and combat your anxious and stressful thoughts with personal development.
Here are some very helpful and inexpensive resources to invest in to help you become a better person and feel less stressed.
When we take care of ourselves, we don’t just feel better, we can actually be better – sharper, kinder, more energetic, more of top of things… Doesn’t that sound amazing?
How would you like to expand your self-care library with resources to help you:
- Create a self-care plan you’ll actually stick with
- Improve your strength, flexibility, balance, and energy
- Heal acne once and for all, naturally
- Build a fashionable, functional wardrobe that works for your everyday life.
- Slim down and feel great with healthy weight loss
- And more!
Are you searching for a clear path forward to help you grow in your faith?
Are you looking for ways to be thankful – even when it’s tough?
Are you wondering how to find encouragement during these crazy times?
We’ve put together something to answer your questions!
Finding Your Way To Manage Stress in Difficult Times
The purpose of this article is to help you find your way. To empower you to find a way to funnel your stressful thoughts and fears into something more productive. You can’t change what is going in the world, but you can change how you react to it.
- You can choose how you interact with others.
- You can choose to be reactive or proactive.
- You can choose to survive or thrive in uncertain times.
- You can choose to spread fear or hope.
- You can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
What will YOU choose?
Discover more ways to deal with stress and build resilience in difficult times.