The other week I attended an online training on mindfulness in the face of our current pandemic. The presenter shared that we need to be aware of engaging in more problematic behaviors due to increased stress levels and the degree of isolation we're experiencing.
She provided a simple acronym which I think is helpful to keep in mind during this time of crisis: STRONG
S: Sleep - get plenty of it
T: Take your vitamins & medications
R: Resist using drugs & alcohol
O: Once a day, do something productive
N: Nutrition - make healthy choices
G: Get exercise
Another acronym that I want to share focuses on our thoughts and emotions: APPLE
A: Acknowledge and notice the uncertainty as it comes to mind. Worrisome thoughts are bound to happen during this uncertain time.
P: Pause and don't react as you normally do. Don't react at all. Just stop and breathe deeply focusing on your breath.
P: Pull back by telling yourself this is just the worry talking & you don't need to believe everything you think. Thoughts are not facts.
L: Let go of the thought or feeling as it will pass. You don't need to respond to every thought in your head.
E: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Explore your 5 senses and what each is experiencing and then shift your focus on what you were doing before the uncertainty crept in.
Lastly, I love this article: Staying Mentally Healthy During A Pandemic. It's written by a social worker giving his own experiences with challenges and tragedies and offering up 11 stay calm strategies.
How have you been coping during this difficult time?
What tools have you found that work for you?
Stay STRONG and Go APPLE!