Living during a global pandemic can be challenging. Worries about your health, your family’s health, and your employees can be stressful. Families who started out feeling okay about the situation may be struggling now. These worries can lead to overwhelmed feelings. Here are tips to help you navigate these unprecedented times.

1. Find Your Triggers

Figure out what sets you off. Identify the situations and behaviors that push your buttons. Make a plan for what to do when that happens. Identify the physical signs of stress. Signs include rapid heartbeat, sweating, fast breathing, and muscle tension. Figure out which sign you show first so you can put your plan into action as soon as you feel it.

Use a one-to-10 scale to identify how stressed you are. If you start your calm down strategy when you are at a 5 rather than a 10, it’s going to be easier to calm down.

2. Take a Break

If you start to feel overwhelmed, walk away. Take a break from whatever is setting you off and get some space from that situation. Having some physical space will allow you to calm down. Then you’ll be able to process the situation differently.

3. Engage in a Calming Activity

Find some activities that calm you down. These activities may be different from those that someone else uses to calm down. Try a few things until you find something that’s right for you. Some ideas are exercising, deep breathing, and listening to music.

4. Talk to Someone You Trust

Call a friend or a family member and tell them about what’s bothering you. It may be calming to share your feelings with someone else. Having a support system is always important in challenging situations. It’s comforting to know you’re not alone.

5. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Positive self-talk helps to reframe situations. You may find it reassuring when you acknowledge that you are doing your best. Examples include phrases like:

  • I’m a good parent
  • I’m doing my best
  • I’m not alone
  • Everyone else is struggling
  • I know I can make it through

Positive self-talk can decrease stress. It can also lead to better physical well-being and greater life satisfaction.

6. Make Time to Be a Family

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, it can be hard to find time during the day. Finding an extra five minutes to spend quality time with your children can make a difference! If your children have been acting out to get your attention, this may result in better behavior.

7. Talk to a Professional

Have you tried some or all of these strategies? If you still feel overwhelmed or concerned about yourself, seek professional help. It could be depression.

  • Employee Assistance Programs: These usually offer a few free therapy sessions. If you’re employed, contact your employee assistance program.
  • United Way 211: This free, confidential information helpline can connect you to essential services. 211 can be accessed via phone or computer and can put you in touch with local agencies that can help.
  • Telehealth Appointments: Our internal medicine providers treat depression in adults. Schedule an appointment today.