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Five Ways to Take a Pandemic Pause

You’re home. All the time.

You’re burnt from video call after video call.

Your watch beeps a news headline of the impacts of covid-19 on an hourly basis.

When exactly do you take a break?

We are in an unprecedented time full of anxiety, fear and the unknown. It makes perfect sense that these feelings would leave us stressed and unsure how to handle our days. Our work and life expectations remain, but look very different - from a commute down the hallway to wearing a mask everywhere we go. With this stress, we must find ways to take a moment, give ourselves a break, and shift perspective. Here are five ways to do just that.

Meditation. There are many statistics out there that state how good meditation is for you. I know for me, even when I take 5 minutes in the morning to pause, it sets my day up in a much more positive way. If you have never meditated, there are many great apps and guided meditation sites out there to try. For more information on why it’s good for you, check out this article on Forbes -

Exercise. I know, some of you may say - “I don’t have time! The kids, the dogs, the work…” Trust me, I’m the queen of procrastination and making excuses to get out of a workout. But I’ll tell you, moving makes me feel SO much better. It gets those endorphins going, and in a time of crisis, I think we all could use a dose of feeling good. So for you it may be a bootcamp, it may be a stroll with your dog - get moving to shift your mindset, get fresh air and a new perspective.

Breathing! Ok, it’s something we do every day, but how many of us swipe away that reminder on our iWatch to take a minute to breathe deeply? Recently I started paying attention to it, and it really works! Those deep breaths bring my heart rate down if I’m stressed, my head feels clearer, and I can then reengage in whatever activity I was knee-deep in.

Turn to a hobby. My husband plays guitar and for him, it’s something that relaxes him. He enjoys learning new music and practicing the art. I probably can’t count eating as my hobby, but I do love to read. So taking a break for me means anything from a business article to a beach read - just a break to do something that brings me joy. For more information on hobbies, take a look at this article.

Make that sourdough starter. We’ve all seen the stories and photos of people returning to simple and comforting things, like baking bread. I recently bought 23 ingredients to make a killer mole sauce. For many of us cooking and baking are cathartic practices that help us destress. And the bonus - you have a great product to savor at the end.

Whatever you chose, take a moment to step back from the frenzy that is our current existence, and pay attention to yourself. You deserve a moment to sit back and recharge your batteries. Taking a pause will help you come back to those video calls that much stronger.

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