Greetings everyone. I am finally returning The Stress Nest. Let me first say that I have missed bringing various stress management topics to you. I appreciate all who continued to return to (or find) The Stress Nest over the past year. What a year it has been. A once in a life time pandemic and all the uncertainty that comes with that.
The Shock Felt Round the World
In the beginning of the pandemic I think most of us around the world were in a state of shock. After all a pandemic is a once in a lifetime ( or many lifetimes) event. It became more evident over time that this situation would be slow to wrap up. It was time to increase efforts in the stress management mode. In other words, time to get off the couch and look at what I would do to get through.
Lucky for me I am a healthcare provider and as such am considered an essential worker. In the beginning this meant a lot more work for me which often included weekends. I say lucky because I was not restricted to my home. I went out and back to work everyday. This created a framework around which I could continue life in a relatively straight forward fashion. It also created a frame around which to develop new skills.
I had to consider, “how am I as an individual, a worker, and a family member going to get through this pandemic?” As an essential worker part of that decision was made for me (i.e. I would be working), but what about all the other areas of life?
I managed my stress by using information found in some of the posts I had written. This served to nudge me forward when my go to was to sit with chips and dip on the couch.
First Things First
I had to determine where my stress was coming from as in 5 Minute Stress Management. Then make some decisions as to how to proceed. A lot of my new found stress was significantly beyond my control as it flowed from pandemic issues, but not all. I had to take some time to determine where that stress was coming from. And then determine how much control I had over those areas. While much of what was occurring was well beyond my control—-e.g. whether my state would require masks or lock down. Other parts where in my direct control. For example how much work I could do from home. Or how much to expose myself to others in the community.
I also had to prepare myself for change. Change that would come from outside my control and change I could enact to maintain safety. I also had to find ways to navigate through an historically stressful time. I had to make the hard decision to put this blog on hold for the time being. My focus was to navigate myself through this difficult time and assist others in my personal and work life. The “put your own oxygen mask on first” approach to crisis.
Next, it was important to determine what self-talk I had going on. In the beginning of the pandemic I turned to some of the skills detailed in Taming Stress with Self -Talk. I had to look at how much negative self-talk was creeping in. Then challenge the self-talk as well as focus on how I could use more adaptive forms of self-talk. I had to work at changing to instructional or motivational self-talk mind set while challenging my judging self-talk.
Be The Change
It was also important to for me to start work on building new skills at home. I identified that I had been getting a lot of my amusement from outside sources. Much of that amusement was no longer available. For example meeting friends for cocktails or going to the movies were no longer viable activities. This helped me to look at what changes needed to be made. For the next unknown period of time I would be staying very close to home. I developed some new skills and honed others. I knew if I made it through this, I didn’t want to come out only having watched television (but of course a lot of that got done as well).
However you’ve made it through this historically stressful time, Welcome! Or Welcome back! If you’ve “Liked” the Stress Nest, Thank You!
I plan to post new material every week or two. In the coming year I am also hoping to add some video content. It’s good to have goals.
As always please leave comments as to what kind of content you would like to see. Is there a form of stress that you may be experiencing that I haven’t covered? Would you like to see more detail on subjects already covered?
Have a great day! ~ Lynda