Stressing Out: How to Relax in 5 Easy Steps

Challenging times, Yep! Stressed out, yep! COVID‐19 got you worried, concerned and pissed off, YES!

Our lives are upside down, we’re living in close proximity to loved ones, we’re lonely and isolated. It is more than we could have imagined as we greeted 2020 back in January.

You’ve binged watched TV, went for more walks then you have done since high school and even had Zoom calls with family and friends. So, now what? We’re not going to flick a switch and get back to normal and the “new normal”, whatever it is, has not fully developed. Here are 5 things you CAN do to stay sane, reduce stress and minimize the doo‐doo we’re currently stuck in.

1. Pets. Have one, then you get it. Do not have a pet, consider it. Studies show……’ve seen the studies. Smiles, hugs, laughter are just a few things pets give us. I have a dog – Eddy. A Golden Doodle. He has been a phenomenal therapist for a dude who has his “act” together.

2. Any form of exercise. Any form is good! Get to it, stop with the excuses and do something. I’m a runner and practice yoga. It has helped a ton! Go stroll with a friend (3 meters apart), take your loved one, go it alone. Question? When was the last time you did some stretching? Go online and follow a teacher as they take you through 5‐30 minutes of juicy, limbering stretches. You’ll be happy you did, and your stress will decrease for sure.

3. Only talk to people who are somewhat positive. You’ll want to jettison the negative ones from your daily chats for the foreseeable future. Less stress, more happiness and less BS! Aren’t you glad we had this conversation?

4. Work less. Yes ma’am/sir you heard it right. Working remote is great IF you know how to chill too. Breaks every 45‐60 minutes. Put on a timer. Your phone will do the rest as long as you get your butt out of the chair, walk, destress, stretch, have some water and nibble on some food. Increased energy, less stress and greater productivity. Many of us are new at this remote life and were not provided with direction. As a professional leadership speaker, I work remote all the time. I’ve got this down!

5. News‐less. Read the news lately? It stinks. It’s depressing. It’s stressful. Try this. Go one day without looking at the news. Repeat often. I do. Benefits are lower stress. Happier. Informed by wife or friends if something good/bad goes down. But, I am comfortably out of the 24 hours downward spiral of news cycles and a better, more balanced Scotty.

Some things are simply out of our control. Many things are in our control. If you follow one or more of the steps above, you’ll stress-less, sleep better and get through this difficult chapter in your life. I’m counting on you to take control of you. I know you can do it!