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Calm in the Chaos: A Survival Guide to Relieve Stress
March 18, 2020
Uncertainty and stress are bubbling up in all of our lives to various degrees given the current global health pandemic, and we are all experiencing this together. It’s essential that we take time to relieve our stress and stay grounded.
Let’s just pause and take a collective, audible *EXHALE*
Though we don’t know exactly what the future holds, you do have an opportunity to take this stressful time one day at a time – doing what you can to keep yourself healthy, calm, and connected.
To help you find a little calm moment each day, we’ve compiled a list of free resources to help teach you how to relieve stress, including some of our favorite guided meditations.
3 Tips for Relieving Stress in the Chaos:
Here are three tips on how to relieve stress in moments of uncertainty:
1. Recognize and Acknowledge Ruminating Thoughts
When we are facing something that seems out of our control, such as the coronavirus, it can be easy to let ruminating thoughts take over.
If you notice your mind spinning, try to:
Redirect Your Attention: Changing your focus can help interrupt negative thought patterns. Try calling a friend, taking a walk, or reading a book.
Make a Plan: Write down a few small, actionable steps you can take right away to address the problem. Being proactive can help ease your fears and keep you from that tipping point when problem-solving turns to panic.
Examine Your Thoughts: When you are spiraling into fear scenarios, try to ground yourself by observing what’s happening in the present moment. Once you’ve done everything you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, let go of what might happen in the future.
2. Build Your Resilience
In order to relieve stress, we need to become more resilient, we need to better understand our relationship with fear and uncertainty. The next time your mind starts to ruminate, notice what triggered your ruminating thoughts, and observe your emotional reaction to them.
The better you understand your patterns, the more calmly you will be able to relate to things that feel out of your control. It might mean turning off the news for a little while so you can gain solid ground again.
It’s also important to keep healthy mental boundaries if you find yourself being bombarded with media, conversations, or information that feel like too much – remember it’s ok to say you’d rather not talk about it right now!
3. Double Down on Self-Care & Mindfulness
In times of uncertainty, it’s important to take extra good care of yourself. This means getting enough sleep (healthy immune systems need rest!), eating healthy nutrient-dense food, exercising, and keeping up with (or even increasing!) your meditation practice.
When we meet uncertainty with our best, most resilient selves, we’re more likely to stay calm, courageous, and in the present moment.
3 Daily Stress Relieving Habits (while in quarantine & for everyday living):
We don’t need to scare you into remembering that stress has a profound effect on our mood, immune system, sleep, and overall well-being.
Meditation provides a powerful way to beat stress. Research has shown that those who practice meditation regularly experience less stress when facing challenges in their daily lives and are able to recover more easily from stressful situations.
We, therefore, encourage you to do these three things daily:
Trigger the brain’s relaxation response by starting your day with one of the 20 free meditations in our “stress-less challenge” collection on the Muse App.
Engage in physical activity during your lunch break by tuning into free and discounted workouts online. Here is a list that CBC news put together some awesome classes.
Seek out social support (digitally) by calling friends and family frequently and joining us daily on Instagram Live at 2 PM EST for community meditations and the opportunity to connect with others.
Muse’s Free Resource List:
Free Access to Featured Meditation Collections on the Muse Meditation App
1. If you haven’t already done so, download the latest version of the Muse App and create a Muse account. 2. Swipe right to the last page: Guided Meditations. 3. Click on Collections. 4. Click on the Featured Meditation Collection at the top. 5. Enable push notifications for helpful reminders.
In times of Coronavirus, it is not only important to take care of our health, but also to be mindful and not to merely act out of a place of fear. Untangle podcast guest, Dr. Mark Bertin explains how one can find the balance — and notice our tipping point — between problem-solving and panic.