Stress, we know it well. Being a wedding and event professional is no picnic and we have our fair share of stressors. We thrive under pressure, it’s part of the job. Mental Health Awareness has also been on a popular rise for the past couple of years, and maybe we used to think of ourselves as self-care experts, but facemasks (this word now takes on a whole new meaning) and baths didn’t prepare us for what 2020 had in store. We never could've imagined the toll that our mental health would take during a global pandemic. Our industry has been heavily challenged, from losing income, finding new ways to continue our work with clients, to the personal strain in our everyday lives. All paired with social injustice, an economic depression, and an election. We’re here to tell you that it’s okay to be exactly where you’re at right now. It’s okay to feel all of the feelings. You're not alone. There's no handbook on navigating a pandemic, but here are some healthy tips that you can practice to ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of.
Sweat It Out
With gyms and recreation parks closed it can be hard to find the motivation to get moving. Studies show that there's a strong link between physical activity and mental health. Exercising lowers your body’s stress hormones and helps release endorphins—the happy hormone. It also helps with your ability to have a good night's sleep and it boosts your confidence. Try out some of the following safe yet effective ways to exercise and get some fresh air:
- Outdoor yoga/pilates
- Home workouts
- Bike rides
All of these methods are low risk and enjoyable for you and your family. Check out more Creative Ways to Exercise During a Pandemic. Exercise to help your body and mind feel stronger and don’t let the “quarantine body” stigma get you down.
No Doom Scrolling
According to psychologist Anne McLaughlin, Doomscrolling is a part of our human nature. In a technological age, we seek information that directly impacts our ability to survive. This is all heightened by the pandemic and the majority of the information is negative so we develop an instinctual addiction to bad news. This looks like scrolling through your phone for hours on end, feeling dread, and as soon as you put your phone down you have the instinct to check again to see what other bad news has happened. This is a cyclical process that increases anxiety and greatly impacts your ability to see any good and be at peace. Here are some tips to help reduce doomscrolling tendencies:
- Set time parameters for social media
- Turn off app notifications to stop yourself from being tempted
- Tune into Good News Platforms
- Stop using social media, at least 30 minutes before bed
Gratitude can feel like a distant friend during hard times. These are some of the hardest times and we’ve all been impacted in varying ways. No matter what's happened and continues to happen, finding gratitude in what you have is what will get you through the hard times. Gratitude is a beacon of light even when it seems like there's no light at all. Consider Practicing Gratitude in these ways:
- Reflect on what brings you joy
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Write gratitude notes
- Observe the little things
- Share your gratitude for and with others
- Go out in nature
- Practice being present
Full On Relaxation Mode
You’re spending a lot of time at home and you’re likely reminiscing about the outside world while staring at the same wall. So take that time to make your home a perfect haven. Adding elements that'll be relaxing will go a long way in helping you Stay Sane and Relaxed During Quarantine. Whatever makes you feel that “everything is going to be okay feeling” is exactly what you should add! Here are some calming elements to get you started:
- Essential oils
- Cozy clothes
Bring Back the Fun
Doing activities that you enjoy will always lift your spirits. As hectic as event planning during a pandemic may be, incorporate time for things that bring a smile to your face. It can be little or big things, or both, the more the better! We can all use positivity right now. Ways to get your smiles on:
- Find new hobbies
- Revisit old hobbies
- Have a good laugh with a movie or show
- Spend time with the people you love in meaningful ways
- Go on a staycation
Gentleness & Kindness
This may be one of the most important ways to take care of yourself during a pandemic—practicing self-love and kindness. Loving yourself in a society that actively profits from your insecurities is a revolutionary act. Especially during times of crisis. It can be really easy to get down on yourself for not meeting the goals you had planned, not being where you expected, not writing the next Hamlet, the list can go on and on. Try incorporating these tips into your self-view:
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re trying the best you can given the circumstances.
- Speak to yourself the same way you speak to those you love.
- Steer your thoughts away from self-blame and depreciation.
- Give yourself reminders that this is temporary and remind yourself of how well you’re doing despite it all.
- Celebrate the little things.
- Learn to not base your value on your level of productivity. You're a human that's valuable no matter what.
Unprecedented times call for radical awareness and self-care. It’s with our new connection to ourselves and the world that we'll come out stronger on the other end.
Hero photo courtesy of Rebecca Carpenter Photography