I woke up this morning feeling like a giant stress ball. My jaw was so clenched that I had to massage it back to life. And I know I’m not the only one—this is a tough time, for both kids and adults.
For times like these, when I wake up already overwhelmed, I keep a mental toolbox of things to help me chill out. I used a few of these tools today before my new coworkers (my husband and baby) woke up, and they helped me transform myself from a giant stress ball into a medium stress ball. I’ll take that as a win!
Below, I’ll share some tools that help me manage my overwhelm and anxiety. I’ll also share some great resources for kids too!
I have to admit, I used to loathe yoga. I’ve tried it off and on over the years because it is recommended by practically everyone, but I never really got into it. Then I tried the Down Dog app. Now I’m totally won over. I like it because you can be so specific—you can pick the exact amount of time you want to work out, the difficulty level, what you want to focus on (lower back stretches, core strength, hip stretches, etc.) and you can even pick the music and the narrator’s voice! You get a unique, personalized yoga practice every time. Because of the current pandemic, Down Dog is offering this app free to all customers until May 1. And they are offering it free to students and teachers until July 1. I totally recommend giving it a try.
A lot of us have found ourselves with some extra time on our hands. Why not set aside a few minutes for meditation? Since my baby demands nearly all of my time during her waking hours, I usually reserve meditation for early in the morning before she gets up. It always makes me feel more centered and ready to take on my day. Hoopla has lots of resources on meditation, from books to videos and music. Here’s some meditation resources just for kids.
If you prefer an app for guided meditation, Headspace is great. Unfortunately, after a free trial it is pretty pricey to use. However, if you are a U.S. healthcare professional, you can get free access to the Headspace app through December. Just fill out this questionnaire. If you are a K-12 teacher, school administrator or supporting staff, you can also get Headspace for free.
Sometimes you just need to hash things out with a mental health professional. Unfortunately, many offices are closed at this point in time. If you or your child would like support and help coping with the stress and anxiety related to the life and routine changes due to COVID-19, the MU Psychological Services Clinic is offering telehealth services via videoconference or telephone. Fill out this survey to get connected with a mental health professional.
The DBRL Adults blog wrote a similar article recently about other things you can do to protect your mental health. Check that out here.
What are other things you are doing to keep yourself and you kids calm during this time? Share your ideas in the comments below.