For many of us, September usually marks the beginning of a new order. It ushers in a shift back to structure; routine, school, bus schedules, after school activities, new clothes, new school supplies, homework, etc. Until this point, this year has been a whirlwind to say the least, and for most parents, this school year is bringing in much more anxiety and stress than usual. The many choices to be made; the ‘what ifs’ and ‘what nows’ have most parents mentally exhausted. For many of us, it feels like no choice is the right choice. This year has been full of uncharted territory, and it seems like we as parents have no choice but to learn how to adapt to these unprecedented times.
Our team at Spread the Joy has been discussing many of these issues, and we understand the level of stress everyone is under, especially if you also have a sick child in the mix. While what feels “right” to one family may look very different to another. No one can give you a perfect solution at this time, but we can offer a few suggestions to help you cope with the stress and anxiety you might be feeling.
Even 5 minutes of deep breathing can help you to check in with yourself and find a little more balance. Studies have shown that breathing exercises can help to recenter and let go of some of the stress you may be feeling. Check out this article from Harvard Health Publishing:
Here are some of our favourite videos online for a guided meditation:
Exercise produces endorphins, and this in turn helps to manage stress. We know that right now, going back to a gym may be difficult, so here are some great at home work out options! Many gyms are also offering home workout videos on their Facebook Pages or websites so check with your local gyms if they are doing something that might interest you!
Stay hydrated folks! Dehydration can cause an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone. Drinking 8 glasses of water should be at the top of your to do list! Here are some tips for including more water into your day:
- buy a cool bottle that you’re excited to drink from!
- add lemon, cucumbers or ginger to your water
- keep a jug of water by your bed so you start your day with 1-2 glasses of water
DANCE IT OUT
Take even just 5 minutes, turn the music way up and dance to any song that makes you happy. Don’t worry about how you look, or how you sound if you choose to sing along! The point is to get yourself moving and dance the stress away.
Whatever you decide to do, and whatever ‘normal’ looks like to your family right now, make sure to take time for yourself. Self care is the first step to managing all the other daily stresses that might arise. Let us know if you have any special tips and tricks in the comments below!
Stay well everyone & spread joy like confetti!