Self-Care in Times of Distress

By Gina Milonas, Account Executive

Crying shrieks erupt from the center of the kitchen. Almost instantly, the high-pitched wails pinball off the walls with incredible velocity, bouncing from room to room before making their way to my makeshift office. Before I can even reach for my mouse to mute the deafening screeches from my two-year-old son, my entire conference call has been disrupted by the sheer madness that has unfolded in my house. Momentarily excusing myself from my professional life, I quickly switch gears and shift into mom-mode to rush to the aid of my son. I discover that his brother has been tormenting him by pilfering Cheerios from the bowl that contains his favorite snack.

Sighing at the trivial magnitude of the situation, I stop and think to myself – this has gone on far too long.

Over the past few months, I’ve felt like a circus performer. As I’ve juggled caring for my two young children with fulfilling workplace responsibilities, all while attempting to carve out some much-needed time for myself, I’ve learned that personal and professional lives often do not blend well. I’m sure many of you have been in my same shoes since mid-March. While some people are well-equipped to operate in a work-from-home environment, others thrive in a traditional office setting, where the dozens of distractions that accompany remote work no longer exist.

If you’re searching for ways to return a sense of normalcy to your life, you’re not alone. Like many others, I’ve struggled to stay sane during quarantine. But at the same time, I’ve begun to grasp the importance of self-care, especially during this period of prolonged isolation.

To care for your mind and relax your body, here are some valuable activities that you can start from the comfort of your own home:

Start a virtual book club

I’ve always been a big reader, but finding the time to dive into a good book has been difficult since the start of the pandemic. I recently started a book club with some of my girlfriends where once a month, we virtually gather to discuss our shared novel. This is a great way to temporarily escape from constant conversations about COVID-19 or at-home work struggles. Our discussions have proven to be intellectually stimulating and utterly refreshing, providing me with a temporary escape from the craziness that has controlled my life in recent months.

Meditate

There’s a laundry-list of benefits that accompany daily meditation. From reducing stress and anxiety levels to lengthening attention span and promoting emotional well-being, meditation is an incredibly positive activity to soothe your soul. Finding the time to center yourself and be present in the moment can help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed in spite of all that may be going on in your personal life. Taking the time to set up some meditative sessions could spark a relaxation response that your body has desperately been craving.

Practice yoga

Another positive activity to center your mind and body, practicing yoga in a quiet place (if you can find one) can incredible for your health and well-being. Yoga helps to calm the mind and improve focus while bringing happiness and positive thinking to your everyday life. If the struggles associated with quarantine and self-isolation have pushed you to the brink, it might be the perfect time to give yoga a try.

Find an activity that you find therapeutic

We all have our unique hobbies and leisurely activities that can help us to loosen up on even the most stressful of days. For me, cooking and cleaning are two activities that can immediately relieve my stress and lighten my mood. Committing your full attention to one particular task can control the distractions that cloud our brains. Whether it’s taking your dog for a walk, blaring musical tunes from your favorite artist, or diving into a board or card game with family, evaluate the activities that you can feel benefiting your mind the most.

Take advantage of alone time

Trust me, I get it – “alone time” can be hard to come by these days, especially with small children that require round-the-clock care. If you have a few hours where you find yourself distraction-free, enjoy it. Put down your phone, find a productive hobby, and let yourself relax. Your mind and body will thank you!

To learn more about Gina or ask her questions about her at-home life, be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn.

Be sure to follow our Acara blog to stay informed on the latest workplace tips and trends.

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