The stress and uncertainty that comes from living and working during a global pandemic is taking its toll on everyone. Staying positive, productive, and present throughout the long days can be challenging, especially with all the confusion swirling around and the work/life demands piling up. Many people are reporting that for various reasons, they are working more than ever and finding it hard to disconnect.
Although there may be a lot out of your control, there are things you can do to help calm the chaos and feel more relaxed.
1. Start your day with intention. How you start your day sets the tone for the energy and attitude you have throughout the rest of the day. Before you jump into work, get going in a positive way by creating a morning ritual that gives your attention to the things that matter and support you most. Reclaim your first morning minutes as an opportunity to ease into the day with a cup of coffee, connect with your loved ones, meditate or pray, move your body, or spend time reading and reflecting.
2. Get outside. Connecting to nature is one of the simplest and easiest ways to slow down and feel better. Take time during each day for a short break to go outside and breathe in the air, look at the clouds, feel the earth beneath your feet, listen to the wind, or smell the flowers. At least once a week get outside for a longer walk, hike, or some other type of activity that helps you clear your head and renew your energy.
“We are not machines made to work non-stop.”
3. Walk away. Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away when you need a break. The next time you feel yourself losing energy or focus, or trying to force something that’s not coming easily, get up from what you are doing and walk away from it for at least ten minutes. Call a friend, walk around the block, pet your dog, or simply take some deep breaths before you return to the task at hand.
4. Do a distraction dump. Oftentimes our biggest distraction is all that’s bouncing around in our head. Getting those thoughts out can help you and gain calmness and clarity. Make time each day, especially when you are feeling particularly overwhelmed or confused, to get what’s on your mind down on paper. Set a timer for two minutes, and write down every single thing that you are thinking and worrying about. Then go over it all and determine which items you can do now, defer, delegate, or delete.
5. Turn on some tunes. Listening to music we like can alleviate bad moods, increase our energy, and even help us sleep better. When you need to clear your mind and unwind, turn on your favorite song, radio station, or playlist and pay attention to the words, sounds, and how it makes you feel. And if the music moves you, move your body, too!
These may seem simple or silly, but making time to clear your mind and unwind is key to navigating through these times successfully. We are not machines made to work non-stop. Taking breaks to rest and recharge will help you return to your work with renewed energy and focus.
Nicola Ries Taggart is a life and leadership success strategist and coach who helps business owners, leaders and their teams calm the chaos and confusion so they can increase their impact and influence, in both work and life. She is the author of the soon-to-be released Calm the Chaos Cards: 65 Simple Practices for a More Peaceful Life, available for pre-order on Amazon, and Calm the Chaos Journal: A Daily Practice for a More Peaceful Life.