woman siting crossed legged on a rock looking at the rocks

Pete sitting outside on a park bench meditating

It’s time to get rid of stress when it arrives and not let it fester into every area of your life. You might be feeling more stress now than ever before due to global events. Or maybe it is job or family stress. I know what it is like as I had to stop doing personal training at a school gym which cost me 50% of my income. It was very stressful but through it I’ve had to figure out how to calm myself down in a way that doesn’t use food, alcohol or social media scrolling to numb myself. And it has worked!

That’s what I want to share with you today because whether you’re someone who has lost their job, stressed out about not knowing when you’ll be able to re-open your business, going stir crazy being in quarantine, or the thought of you or your loved ones getting covid-19 freaks you out, these tips can help you.  

Man standing in a kitchen pouring garlic over a tray of lasagna
Pete cooking a healthy lasagna dish

Focus on what you can control, during this time. It’s really easy to feel powerless, as if everything is outside of your control. In fact, a lot of things actually are outside of your control right now, such as when does our business re-open? It’s perfectly normal to feel stress and negative thoughts. But what does focusing on what’s outside of your control do for you? Nothing! It just increases your own stress level since you can’t do anything about it! When you focus on what you can control, you give yourself the power to thrive in any circumstance. Examples of focusing on what you can control include the food that you eat and whether you workout today or not.

Give to someone in need. If you are only focused on yourself, the weight feels heavier. You don’t have to give someone money to make an impact. There’s always a way to help someone out, even if you feel like you have nothing to give. You can help out a friend or family member who is under stress. I find it really helps me take control of my emotions and feel like a better person when in times of stress I help someone else like donating to a charity, helping stressed friend calm down and showing my support, or giving career advice to someone who feels stuck.  Saying THANK YOU to someone is also another way of helping someone feel better about themselves. Who doesn’t like getting a thoughtful and personal thank you email!? I’ve started to send thank you notes to people at work and even though not everyone has replied, the act of me saying thank you to someone puts me in a much better mental state than before! The people who have replied to me tell me that they’re really touched by my thank you email.  

Stillness. I don’t meditate regularly, but when I’m really stressed, I use it to calm myself down right away. I personally like to put on a meditation app or listen to a meditation on YouTube. Since I’ve been working from home, I’ll lie in bed and play a 5-10 minute meditation where I just focus on my breathing. Or you can get out in nature for your meditation. I like to find a park bench or sit by the beach and just focus on the sound of my breath.

I hope these tips help bring you to a brighter place!

– Pete