Featured Author Guest—J. T. Ellison
It is pub week for the EXPANDED edition of BECOMING MRS LEWIS and instead of being with you out there in the world, I am here with you in the world. We will celebrate this week in very different ways.
“How do we live our lives at home that we once lived out in the world?” Today is DAY FOUR of our author experts. I have gathered a cadre of author pals who are also experts in other fields. I want to introduce you to my dear friend J. T. Ellison—not only is she a New York Times bestselling author, but she is also the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, a literary interview television show where she talks with authors from all kinds of genres and walks of life. She will be providing us with some helpful tips for staying calm and balanced while working from home in this time of social distancing. I will let her take it from here (see below).
Keeping yourself and your mental health healthy during a crisis—
My adrenal systems are on constant alarm right now, which means massive spikes of stress hormones, over and over and over. It’s making me feel awful. So I’ve decided on a course of action to stay sane and healthy during this crisis. And it starts with the most simple mandate of all:
Try for as much normalcy as possible.
Yes, we’re all scared. Yes, we have access to a firehose of information designed to both educate and terrify. If we’re going to make it through this with our minds intact, though, we have to find some balance.
Here are my tips:
Keep to your schedule as much as possible. Get dressed--workout clothes count, pajamas do not. Try not to dive into the bad news first thing--give yourself a moment to breathe, exercise, eat breakfast, love on your family. If something truly awful has happened, your phone will be ringing. Give yourself grace and space.
Exercise is wonderful, always. You don’t need a gym or equipment to stay healthy. Yoga with Adriene and Strala with Tara are both excellent ways to destress and stay fit. If you have equipment, fabulous. If not, jogging in place, doing leg raises, trying to master plank, walking around the block-- movement is life. Now is the time to be kind to your body.
Meditation helps a lot. You don’t need to sit on a cushion and chant. I find folding laundry one of the finest mundane meditative tasks. If using this for actual stress relief, try not to multi-task. Stay in the moment and let the repetitive nature of the task soothe you. The same goes for cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, sweeping the floor... the trick is to calm the adrenaline flow that’s making us feel janky.
Do your work! This is not a vacation. Is it realistic to have a normal workday with your children home, and your concern off the chart? No. But you still have to find ways to make the work happen. If you lose yourself, lose your identity, in this crisis, you won’t be happy when we come out on the other side. Plus, you parents know how soothing normalcy is to your little ones. Apply the same principles to yourself.
Employ any trick that works for you to keep yourself calm. I have a couple of group texts and if something noteworthy happens, we reach out. That means you don’t have to be glued to the news 24/7. Turn on the Freedom app to tune out the world for a while. Limit your news consumption to one local and one national, and TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS. Don’t let strangers determine what’s vital news for you— 90 percent of the time, it doesn’t affect you directly.
We will get through this. Hang in there.
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Newsletter March 25, 2020
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