Thanks to COVID-19, days are long and dollars are short. We’re all beginning to get a bit stir crazy and tense about the uncertainty around us. Gratefully, there’s more and more affordable options to combat mental stress alongside financial stress.
Here are some of the things that I personally have been doing to help manage my stress levels when I reach the end of what I can do:
I try to start my day with some form of meditation or preparation. It’s the chance to define how your day goes, and it’s amazing what 10 minutes can do. Practice consciously relaxing your mind and your body. That’s a skill that will come in handy after half an hour of hold music or trying to get the budget to balance. I have used different apps, but Oak and Smiling Mind are both very easy to use and are free. The latter is doing a course to specifically target psychological well-being in response to the pandemic. If that’s not your thing, take 5 minutes of your morning shower to breathe and mentally prepare for the day before it jumps in on you.
Being at home more means we are apt to get more sedentary, and that makes for an equally sluggish brain. If you live somewhere that you can get out in the yard or walk around the block, do it! Set a reminder preferably so you keep up with it. If I don’t walk for half my lunch hour, I make a point to do it with the kids after work. It gets blood and endorphins flowing, and it’s amazing how my outlook brightens.
- For those with FitBits, they’re offering 90 days of free premium access to workouts and resources to keep you moving.
- There’s also movement apps for phones (I used Pacer for a while) that track your steps, though it means having your phone on you most of the day.
- For a quigong and tai chai option, Flowing Zen is offering a free course in response to COVID19.
Not Minimizing Successes
I set a manageable goal for the day, and when I get that daily challenge done, then I take pride in the small accomplishment. At work, you’d likely tell the coworker next cubicle over. With social distancing, that’s harder. Use slack, discord, or Teams chat to connect with a coworker friend if you can. Or tell your buddy on your walk together after work hours. If that’s not an immediate possibility, consider a simple calendar or journal to log how things are going.
For more ways to combat mental and financial stress, check out our Money Minute blog: