Stressed to the max? You’re not alone.

Advocacy and Education Manager Carmen Schlatter takes a minute to expand on four important ways that you can defend against stress.

Change expectations

We must be realistic with what we can and can’t do right now. Focus on what is within your control (my words, behaviors, actions, efforts, ideas and beliefs) and try to let go of what is outside your control.

Set a schedule

Much of our stress right now comes from the need for routine and current lack thereof. The brain loves routine and predictability. Try to maintain your routine from before COVID-19 or create a new routine:

  • Get up and go to bed at the same time every day
  • Shower
  • Get dressed
  • Take a lunch break
  • Add a daily walk at a certain time

Intentional positivity

Even in the darkest of times, we need to try to find some light. Focusing on gratitude is one of the easiest ways to stimulate your prefrontal cortex and shift your brain from a stress response to a more peaceful, calm response. What are some things that have pleasantly surprised you amidst these unique circumstances?

Take a break

Go outside. Sunshine and fresh air are fantastic ways to ground ourselves and decrease stress and anxiety.

Stay active. Exercise, even just a short walk, can improve mood and reduce stress.

Be mindful of news consumption. Make sure you’re watching all the positive and creative responses that are occurring in response to the pandemic! For example, check out John Krasinski’s (best known as Jim from The Office) Some Good News on YouTube.