How I Am Dealing With The Stress Of Covid-19

how I am dealing with the stress - Tiffany Burke

How’s your anxiety level right about now?

On the surface and on social media I may look calm but I am not. Today I lost it at the breakfast table and began to cry. Our dog was barking, 1 kid was crying while the other one spilled a full glass of orange juice. All this while in the back of my mind was a list of all the classes I needed to film / edit for DPTV and, memberships I needed to place on hold or cancel for my studio because we are closing the studio do to COVID 19. Oh and do not forget about the dreaded “home schooling”. Thank god my kids are 3 and 5 years old because I am really half assing this parental duty. Just writing this has me taking deep breaths which is why I am writing this. Not only do I need a find a way to cope during this crazy quarantine life I need to find a way to thrive. My kids do not understand stress yet. To them this quarantine is life is just a really long weekend so they do not understand why mommy was crying at breakfast. The look on their faces when I began to cry was a bit of a wake up call. I need to do better then survive I need to find a authentic way of thriving for my sake and theirs. I say”authentic” because faking it will only cause me more stress. So after breakfast and another good cry I locked myself in my bedroom to breathe and press my reset button so to speak. 

Here are my top 4 steps to “reset” when dealing with stressful situations like COVID 19:

  1. BREATHE. First and foremost I BREATE. Breath is SO important when dealing with nerves and anxiety. Ever notice Olympic athletes such as figure skaters or down hill skiers take a deep breath just before their performance or race? I learned this technique as a competitive figure skater and still practice it to this day. Deep breathing comes from your diaphragm which causes your body to relax and can reduce anxiety. Taking long breaths from your diaphragm will also help:
    • Increase the amount of oxygen and release a sense of calm throughout your brain and body.
    • Lower your heart rate 
    • Relax your muscles
    • Focus your mind on your body and away from what is making you anxious. 
  1. GRATITUDE. Next, to put things into perspective I make a list of everything I was grateful for.  Finding gratitude helps my mindset big time. It also prevents me from feeling sorry for myself. 
  2. PRIORITIZE. With the stress loading building I find it helpful to make a lists. For me I make 3 lists. List 1: family, List 2: Studio and List 3: DPTV. Within those lists I prioritize which tasks are most important or time sensitive. 
  3. SAY NO TO NEGATIVITY I try my best to distance myself from negative outlets such as the media and negative friends. Negative energy can be contagious and damaging. I am not saying to bury your head in the sand but limit your exposure to the negativity. Setting some boundaries is very helpful fo me. 

I remind myself of a daily basis that worrying about things I cannot change or control  is counter productive and damaging to my mindset. Right now my focus is on the things I can control. COVID 19 will pass and my family and business will survive. I cannot let fear control me right now. I hope this helps someone. I am not perfect, I have spent a lifetime dealing with anxiety and this along with CBD (which is a post topic for another time) is what gets me through the tough times.