STRESS MANAGEMENT TIP #27 – Focus On What You Can Control
We are experiencing crazy times. Our regular life and everything that we’ve been used to has been put on hold indefinitely. A lot of people are afraid, confused, worried and out of sorts.
Uncertainty causes stress and it seems to be everywhere. It makes us feel like everything is out of control and it causes us to feel vulnerable.
Unfortunately, the reality is that many things are out of our control right now. However, if you can shift your focus to those things that are in your control, you will feel less vulnerable and less stressed.
Of course, there are the obvious Covid-19 precautionary measures that we can take control of:
• thoroughly cleaning our homes, surfaces, door handles,
• vigilant hand washing,
• physical isolation in our homes
• going out only if necessary for groceries or medicine.
And there are many other things that we can control.
For example, maintaining regular routines or creating new ones. The brain loves routine…it knows what to expect so there is no guessing, no surprises. And when the brain is happy, you’re stress level goes down.
Try keeping regular dinner times, bedtimes, morning routines.
Or if you’re former work- related routines are no longer working for you…set up new routines.
Take the dog out for a walk in the morning. Have a coffee break at 10 am. FaceTime with someone over lunch. Research new recipes in the afternoon. Gather the family together for your evening meal at a regular set time. Have family game night on Fridays. If you have kids at home, set up a morning and afternoon school or study time for them.
The beauty of routines is that they offer us structure.
With many people either working from home or not working at all right now…the loss of structure and routine can be hard to handle. You end up feeling like you don’t know what to do with yourself. You can get bored very easily. Or fall into the habit of watching tv for hours and hours on end. It can be mind numbing. I always joke that I would end up a danger to myself and others if I didn’t have something to do. 😊
If you are feeling this way…take charge of your days and set up some routines or a bit of structure and you’ll notice your spirits lifting.
Another focus to help you feel a bit more in control is to get organized. Yes…you read that right!
With everyone spending a whole lot of time at home now, the house can easily get cluttered.
I mentioned earlier how the brain loves routine…but it also loves organization. If your environment is cluttered or messy, or if there is a lot of ‘stuff’ around, the brain sees this as chaos. And it can’t rest when it sees chaos. This can absolutely affect your stress level without you even being aware.
So, do yourself and your brain a favor. Organize your environment. But start with small steps. Pick out a drawer that needs your attention. Or a shelf in your closet. Go through it, save what you need and get rid of the rest. Unleash your inner Marie Kondo 😊
Perhaps your pantry needs your attention. Or the closet in your spare room. The basement. Garage. Attic. Home office. Toy box. Kitchen cupboards. Bathroom cabinets. Laundry room.
Pick one thing or area at a time. Take it slow. Be thorough.
And then, stand back, take a deep breath and enjoy how good it feels.
You’ll find this helps especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. When you can distract yourself with an organizational task it gets you out of your own head. And by organizing your environment, you will get a sense of control that will crush that overwhelm.
Good luck! And when you’ve finished at your house…let me know. I can always use some help! 😊
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