More than two weeks have passed since our national lockdown in Puerto Rico began. Yet it feels as though many of us are starting to get past the stage of preparing for the unknown, as we begin to settle into the idea of a new normal... While being at home can give many a sense of safety, it is not the same for others. On one hand, you find yourself with the opportunity of finally getting some well-deserved 'me-time'. On the other hand, you might also find yourself becoming a homeschool teacher, your home's very own president of sanitation, swamped with work from well, your work and... you guessed it! online classes. All while this global pandemic takes place. The probability that many of us are feeling anxious is very high.
That is why we created a small guide to deconstruct your anxiety and help you deal with the quarantine blues. It is fairly simple; when anxiety starts creeping in, there are two things you can do. Distract yourself from it or address the issue.
Distractions can help one remove themself from situations or thoughts that feel overwhelming. They help us calm down emotionally so that later on we can confront our issues in a calm state of mind. Here are a few things you can do to distract yourself:
1. Play a game. Something that challenges your mind, like a puzzle or my personal favorite: sudoku.
2. Sing your favorite song. Put on that Ednita song and sing and dance your worries away! (Maybe our Spotify playlist Valija Quarantracks can help)
3. Call mom. Anxious or not. CALL. MOM. Or dad (they can be funny sometimes). Love from the parents feels nice, even when it's virtual.
4. Do a bit of cardio. Online Zumba, dance party, squat challenge... just something that requires you to think and feel your body and not your mind.
5. FaceTime with la corilla. Make it a wine night, a brunch, maybe even cook together. You'll get a good laugh, we promise.
Addressing an issue is a great way to slowly deconstruct a problem so that you can finally have a clear mind. If you choose to address your anxiety, here are some tips that can help kick those worries to the curve:
1. Validate your feelings. Crying is valid. Feeling worried is valid. Feeling anger is valid. Yes, what is happening outside our homes is overwhelming and yes, what is happening inside our homes can be just as overwhelming. It is a lot and it should be acknowledged.
2. Check the facts. What was going on when you started to feel uneasy? Write them down. Then look at your surroundings and list all the things you do have. You have food, water, shelter, you are taking care of yourself.
3. Do yoga. This is a great way to check-in with your feelings. It is being present for yourself: body and mind.
4. Talk about it. Confiding in someone you love and trust can provide a safe space for you to express your feelings.
5. Trust that you're doing your best. Believe in your capacity of overcoming difficult situations. Celebrate your efforts, whether it's preparing a meal, getting out of bed, getting dress, exercising 15 min or finishing all your workload.
There are many ways of tackling anxiety; hopefully one of these tips might be of help. With all these ups & downs let's not forget 'que nos tenemos' !
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The world we currently live in needs us to change, so let’s do it! But ‘how’ you ask? It’s a big question with even bigger answers and in all honesty, a bit overwhelming. That's why at Valija we say let's start small! Here's a hint: think biodegradable goodness!