May 20, 2020

It’s now been about two months of stay-at-home orders. Time to check in with ourselves and see what’s working well in our daily lives, and what could work better for us. It’s time to evaluate our stress levels and make sure we’re taking care of our minds, bodies, and spirits. Our team has a list of things that can help reduce stress. By no means are we prescribing that you do everything on this list! But, if you’ve been looking for ideas or confirmation that you’re doing enough, some of these tips might be helpful: 

  • Maintain a daily routine – consistency and predictability can increase your sense of control and reduce anxiety.

  • Eat meals, wake up, and go to bed at regular times as part of this routine.

  • Try to get enough sleep.

  • Modify/develop new routines when necessary.

  • If the idea of a daily routine isn’t for you, try making a prioritized to-do list. For example, if you want to make sure to go on a walk or return emails regularly but the time of day can vary (or can’t always be the same), put those things on a recurring list and check them off as you accomplish them.

  • Get outside daily, when possible.

  • Move your body – walk, stretch, yoga, run, gardening, etc.

  • Limit news consumption – It’s important to keep informed to know facts & how to protect yourself, but obsessive news consumption will increase anxiety levels.

  • Recognize and accept uncertainty instead of trying to resolve it, which can be counter-productive.

  • Connect with loved ones and friends – video chats, texts, phone, email.

  • For more community connections, join a live online session like the Forward Together discussions through Monterey County Behavioral Health.

  • Acknowledge circumstances with your children, while promoting a sense of safety.

  • Practice calming techniques – Deep breathing, meditation, prayer, sitting with a pet.

  • Engage in music and reading material that you enjoy.

  • If you’re overwhelmed, you might be overloaded. If there is a way to take something off of your plate to help reduce your stress level, try doing so without guilt (easier said than done, we know!) 

  • If you need to talk, our helpline is available. Call 831-375-4357(HELP).