These are stressful times we’re living in. We all deserve a pat in the back, a high-five, a hug (Oops, no more hugs, high-fives, or pats on the back — but you know what I mean), and even a treat just for coping through these crazy day-to-day scenarios. While some are holding up better than others, all of us are undoubtedly dealing with stress - both conscious and unconscious. 

I’m a big believer in feeling what you’re feeling — but in finding the silver lining. There’s always a lesson in anything good or bad. 

But, the climate today is extreme. We all need to protect ourselves from drowning in worry, fear, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. 

I’m always looking to create the circumstances that find that silver lining to the best of my ability, so I’ve been trying to incorporate as many of those activities into my routine for some time now. And even so, I’ve had to kick it up a notch recently to find balance and keep my head on straight. 

Now, I’m not perfect – just ask my wife — but I do try my hardest to take care of myself, listen to how I’m feeling, and be open enough to see when I need something. The only way I can be there for others is by being there for myself, first. Kinda like how you’re told to put on your own oxygen mask first … 

Here’s what I’m doing every day to be the best Jon I can be – for me and everyone in my life.

Wake Up without Distractions

With WFH as a reality, we’re all spending way more time than usual looking at our phones. I try to watch myself to reduce any unnecessary scrolling throughout the day, but I’m most strict about not letting this leak into my mornings.

When I wake up, I spend at least 45 minutes with no phone time. This is my personal time. Well, almost every day. 

15-30 Minutes of Movement

To wake up on the right side of the bed, I need to get my energy flowing. I always spend at least 15-30 minutes engaged in some kind of movement. Whether it’s a workout, cardio, or some stretches, I’m always giving myself this time to prepare for my day.

5-20 Minutes of Meditation

When was the last time you sat with just yourself? Every morning after working out, I spend a few minutes getting grounded in meditation. This is how I relax, quiet my mind, and exercise my attitude of gratitude. This helps me step outside of my little problems and see my life as the miracle that it is, giving me an elevated perspective of the circumstances around me.

Reach Out to Old Friends

Just because we’re social distancing doesn’t mean I’m no longer a social guy. I love reaching out to friends and talking to people that I haven’t spoken to in a while… so much so that I actually have a list of people that I want to call up.

And I do, every day. I pull names and numbers from my list and call 3 of them. These conversations bring me so much joy and adds that social element that I’ve been missing these days.

Don’t Rush

I give myself a lot of time to charge up for the day. I don’t want to feel rushed, especially as we’re working minute-to-minute with WFH. If you’re feeling overscheduled, make sure to leave time to breathe. Take mental breaks anytime you feel stressed.

Disconnect and Unplug

Clocking out during WFH doesn’t look like it did before we transitioned to #WFH or wherever you are. When my workday is over, I’m doing things that allow me to relax and unplug. Going on evening walks and bike rides are one of my favorite ways to reset my mind and body after a hard day’s work.

Switching Off the News at Night

As the person who’s always reading about what’s going on in the world, I’m a huge advocate for shutting off the news at night. 

It’s one of the best ways to deflate during a time when the 24/7 news cycle has been going strong for months. My brain was feeling over-inflated with too much information, but I’ve been much less stressed when I just shut off the news and engage with something that makes me happy before going to bed. 

What are you doing to reduce your stress levels? Share them with me in the comments!