Days at home can be extremely long as one role blends into the next and there is no decompression time between the office and our second job at home. Stay at home moms are finding their routine seriously altered by everyone’s presence. Empty nesters find their nests filled back with college children who are stressing over studying at home and being stuck with their parents! Engage your family in sharing home chores and engage them in meal preparation. Talk about your respective daily activities, triumphs and challenges during a joint meal instead of eating in solitude or in front of TV.
Designate some family and personal time related to relaxation - teach everyone simple breathing exercises: inhale to the count of three, hold for the count of two and exhale to the count of three. Practice this for 5 minutes and you have engaged your parasympathetic nervous system responsible for relaxing the body and mind and you will soon recognize its benefits. Do it as often as you need during the day under stressful circumstances.
Those of you who are experienced meditators, enforce the practice and share it with others. Find time to read, listen to music and try to take a break from social media or the internet at least an hour before going to bed. Do catch up on your favorite shows but don’t stay up past your routine bedtime just because you can sleep in. Importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized. Deep sleep relaxes the body and neutralizes stress hormones which are inflammatory and immunosuppressive.
It is important to recognize that these times of isolation can be particularly difficult for those with anxiety and depression. Supporting a friend or a loved one by frequently checking in with them will be greatly appreciated.