As human beings, we have all experienced stressful periods at some point in our lives. We all know what it feels like to be “stressed out”, and we usually know how to manage our stress. However, the current coronavirus pandemic has elevated the idea of stress into the stratosphere. With most of the country under stay-at-home orders, this black swan event has an impact on every aspect of our society. Whether it be families shut in the house 24/7 with parents trying to balance working from home and educating children or a single person living alone in isolation, we are all experiencing stress in a way we never have before.
As stressful as the uncertainty we face is, remember that it will pass. We are all in this together, and together we can beat COVID-19. Corvus is here for our customers, franchise owners, teammates, and communities. To that end, we would like to provide some brief insight on how you can manage stress while you are doing your part and staying at home:
Movement and Exercise
Movement is essential to relieving stress, tension, and anxiety. We already know exercise is good for our bodies, but it can also improve our mental health by releasing endorphins, improving our quality of sleep, getting us out of our heads and releasing tension held in our bodies. Exercise doesn’t have to be something you dread; instead, get creative and find activities you enjoy! Dancing, walking, jumping rope, shooting hoops, yoga, or anything that gets your body moving is great. Many fitness studios are offering online streaming classes, and YouTube has free videos on many different types of workouts.
Focus on Your Breathing
Often times when we’re stressed and under a lot of pressure, we breathe shallowly instead of deep and slow. When we breathe deeply, it sends a message to our brain to calm down and relax. By gently bringing your awareness to your breath you can start to intentionally slow down and deepen your breathing. Spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing whenever you are feeling stressed. You may not feel a difference right away, but with continuous practice, you will notice the calming effects.
Disconnect to Reconnect
With so much fear and negativity in the media it’s important to take the time to disconnect from all that is going on in the world. While it’s good to be informed, you don’t want to overload yourself with information and negativity. Choose how much media you want to consume and once you’ve reached your limit turn off the TV, get off social media and find a way to disconnect. Our brains focus on what we feed it, so be sure to find positive outlets. This could be talking to family and friends, watching a funny show or movie, making a list of everything you are grateful for, getting outside, reading, or cooking a healthy meal.
How You End Your Day is How You Start Your Day – and Vice Versa
This applies to our work life and our personal life – how we start our day is how we end our day and how we end our day is how we start our day. Many of us are working remotely and find it easy to crawl out of bed and hop onto our computers right away. But by taking a few moments each morning to take care of ourselves, organize our workspace or plan our day, we can start our day refreshed and clear-headed, leading to a less chaotic day.
If we end our day in a frenzy of sending last-minute emails and feeling frazzled, we are more likely to wake up in the same state and continue this pattern throughout the day. So, take a few minutes at the end of each workday to set yourself up for success the next morning. For your personal life, take time at the end of the day to decompress, rest, and do something that brings you joy.
Uphold a Positive Mindset
Staying in a positive mindset can be especially difficult right now. When we find ourselves stuck in negative or fearful thoughts, we can simply acknowledge the thought and choose a new thought. Ask yourself, how can I reframe this thought? What positive spin can I put on this to change my outlook? For example, “I am stuck at home” can be “I am safe at home.” A simple change of “stuck” to “safe” alters our mindset to think more positively. While it’s important to stay positive, it’s equally important to give yourself compassion if you’re having a hard time and let yourself feel the emotions that are coming up. When you’re ready, start reframing any thoughts that are bringing you down.
Social Support Systems
Now more than ever we need the support of others to get us through an unprecedented time. While visiting people in person is not advised at this time, there are alternative options. Calling, texting and video calls are easy ways to stay connected with friends, family members, colleagues or counselors. It’s great to reach out to others and check in with them on how they are doing, as some people might have a hard time reaching out if they are struggling. There are hundreds of Facebook groups covering a wide range of interests. Joining a group can be a good way to connect with people online who share the same hobbies as you.
Maintain a Routine
It can feel like we are losing control over our lives, leaving us feeling powerless. While we cannot always control our outer circumstances, we can turn our focus to what we can control – our routine. Establishing a routine can help us establish some normalcy in our lives and help us feel less like a victim of our circumstances. Start by following the routine that you already have – waking up at a certain time, getting dressed for the day, taking walks, eating meals at a set time, and performing household chores you do every day. From here, you can add in other habits such as at-home-workouts, self-care practices, social hour – carve out time to reach out to others to maintain social connections or any new habits you would like to work on.
Though these are stressful and uncertain times, there are things each of us can do from our homes to help manage our emotions. The list above is by no means comprehensive and each person will have their own ways to destress. However, if you are having a tough time right now, incorporating a few of the listed items may prove beneficial.
This piece is meant simply to inform, not to provide any legal or medical advice.
About Corvus Janitorial Systems
Founded in 2004 to make people’s lives better, Corvus is a full-service commercial cleaning franchisor that offers cleaning services through reputable local Franchisees. Corvus has been guided by its mission to transform people and transform places by consistently delivering independence, security, and freedom to Franchisees who deliver high-quality cleaning to offices, educational buildings, medical buildings/offices, recreational centers, industrial parks, and other spaces. The company has 17 regional support offices across the United States with nearly 900 Franchisees. For more information regarding Corvus, visit www.corvusjanitorial.com or www.corvusjanitorial.com/franchise for franchise information.