• The coronavirus has snuck its way into our day to day conversations, thoughts, and news feed. We are being asked to stay home, our kids are attending school online, and some of our favorite businesses have closed. We can no longer greet friends and loved ones with a hug or even a handshake. The ballfields remain empty, the playgrounds are deserted, and resort towns are now ghost towns. We are concerned about our parents and grandparents’ health, the amount of toilet paper we have in our homes, financial loss, and the possibility of losing a loved one. The questions that play on repeat in most of our heads are, “When is this going to end? When will life go back to normal? Are we going to be okay?” Our new normal is the perfect recipe for anxiety, depression, or marital conflict. Most of us are feeling overwhelmed.

    You may be experiencing: problems with sleep, changes in appetite, grumpiness or irritability, unexplained crying, muscle tension, increased anxiety, or ruminating thoughts. This pandemic has quickly affected every area of our lives.

    Here are five tips to help you feel better:

    1. Take a trip down memory lane. Pull out the old vacation photos. Share what you loved about those trips or vacations. Laugh about the mishaps that happened while you were there.

    2. Listen to uplifting music. Have a dance party in your living room. Hum to yourself as you pull weeds from your garden. Play the piano or pull out your guitar.

    3. Surround yourself with different textures. Let the grass tickle your bare feet. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Pet your dog or cat’s soft fur. Notice the coolness of your lemonade as it goes down your throat.

    4. Find a pleasing scent such as your favorite lotion or candle. Cut open an orange. Allow yourself to breathe in the aroma for a few minutes without focusing on anything else.

    5. Savor the taste of something you enjoy. Maybe it’s chocolate ice cream, a cup of coffee, or a peppermint candy. Notice the texture, the flavor, and temperature as you enjoy this treat.

    There are so many things we can do to reduce our stress and anxiety. I hope that these simple tips help you capture a bit of peace. Find what works best for you.

    If you still find that it’s difficult to manage your worry, sadness, or anger, please reach out to a loved one or professional. This pandemic can become overwhelming, and our feelings can become unmanageable.

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