Let me preface this post with letting you know I am writing this from my couch with a 3-year-old curled on my lap feeling far from his best. So whatever you’re dealing with right now trust that I feel you, sister — you are not alone! I am a mother.
For many of us, this is the first time we’re facing a pandemic since becoming parents. We’re used to the usual possibility of the flu, the stomach bug and other colds and viruses that come through our homes, schools and daycares. What we’re not used to is the systemic panic in addition to these threats. Throw in the stress that is already present from everyday life and a dash of sleep deprivation, and we have a recipe for a pretty anxious mama.
All of this considered, it’s easy to get carried away by everything we’re seeing on the news and other media. We have to keep in mind that how we react during these times not only affects our own mental health, but our children are observing and learning from our behaviors.
I am staying grounded by choosing to look at this whole situation as an opportunity. It might sound crazy, but we have a chance here to practice some powerful skills that will get us through these stressful times and come out on the other side as more resilient parents raising emotionally intelligent children.
Here are some practical tips to navigate the coronavirus craze:
- Look at the facts, and no more. Get your updates on the outbreak from reputable sources like the World Health Organization (www.WHO.int) or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.CDC.org). Limit your time on social media, especially if your newsfeed is feeding the anxiety monster.
- Remember, you can only do what you can do. Experts are advising us to practice some simple precautions: wash hands often, cover your cough, don’t touch your face, practice social distancing (3 or more feet), and stay home if you feel sick. If you’re following these recommendations, rest assured that you’re doing all you can!
- Practice mindfulness and choose optimism. This is where mindfulness really comes in handy, because you first need to be aware of your thought patterns before you can make any adjustments. There is actually research that has linked optimism with an increase in immune system function. This could be due in part to how a positive outlook is also associated with lower stress levels and other healthy behaviors (such as a nutritious diet). When you catch your mind wandering to a place of fear of the “what-ifs”, then follow the step below.
- Express gratitude, relentlessly. Gratitude is the doorway to a positive outlook. Try right now to make a list of all you are grateful for in this moment. I’ll share mine with you… I am grateful that this week I will not be on a strict timetable which will be MUCH less stressful that a typical weekday morning for us! I am grateful for technology that allows me to do my job from home, and for the beautiful weather that has allowed us to spend so much time outdoors these last few days. Ok, your turn :).
- SLEEP AND REST! I can’t emphasize this one enough. Sleep (or lack thereof) affects literally every system of the body, especially the immune system. Research has shown that poor sleep may make you more likely to catch a cold and also make it more difficult to fight off an infection. I know some of you are probably laughing reading this thinking, “Yeah, would if I could, lady!” I know it can be easier said than done as a parent especially when you’re so stressed out, but that’s what I’m here for — to help you through these kinds of struggles.
Like many of you, I’ll be home with my son this week. My mission is always to make my resources as accessible as possible to those that need them, so I’ve decided to offer all classes and privates virtually. With or without children your children at home, I encourage you join me from the comfort of wherever you’re bunkered up to de-stress with therapeutic stretching, functional fitness, mindfulness, meditation, and Reiki energy healing. All classes will be offered for $5 and unlimited access for only $25 for the week. Invite the whole family to participate with you to boost everyone’s immunity!
If you need extra help in this area, reach out for a consultation: book online at https://www.integrativewellnessri.com/ bookings-checkout/15-minute- phone-consultation or call/text 401-268-7225. You can also follow my Facebook and Instagram pages (@IntegrativeWellnessRI) or my Raise Your Vibration community group on Facebook — I keep my people armed with plenty of uplifting content and useful tools.
Vibe on, Mama warriors! This, too, shall pass!
Join Alyssa Knapp for a previsouly recorded guided meditation.
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