Written By Ken Lawson, Founder and C.E.O. of FOCL
Most of us have never faced the kind of uncertainty that we do now. This extraordinary time has left us with an extraordinary amount of stress — which is only compounded when you’re also coming to terms with the end of a romantic relationship.
And while relying on favorite coping strategies is always important when going through a separation or divorce, widespread social distancing and self-quarantining prompt us to establish new strategies to handle new challenges. For instance, in-person time with friends and loved ones is now limited; we interact with each other virtually as everything moves into the digital world, including work, school, and even online divorces. While it’s an adjustment, we are fortunate to have platforms like Zoom to keep us socially connected, Instacart to help deliver our groceries, and It’s Over Easy to help us move through amicable divorces.
Life hasn’t stopped; it’s changed. Now is the best time to explore and develop new self-care strategies to navigate the new normal. Read on to discover a few of our favorites
Create a Routine
One of the most important strategies to help deal with long periods of stress (caused by social distancing or other factors) is creating a routine. Long periods of unstructured time can drag on and stress you out, especially if you turn to social media to fill the hours.
So instead, put the phone down! Stretch and move your body, eat a healthy breakfast, get dressed and engage in activities that inspire you. Be sure to set clear boundaries if you’re working from home and aim to get outside at least once a day. Adjust your routine to match your own needs but include time to check in with loved ones. You might end your day with journaling, sketching an outline for your plans for the next day or writing down what you are grateful for.
Research has shown that breathing exercises can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. It’s simple, it’s free and can easily be incorporated into daily routines. If you find that your energy is lagging in the morning, try this energizing breathing practice. If stress and anxiety are getting in the way of your sleep, consider including a winding down breath before bed for better rest. What’s more, regular breathing practices have been shown to have wide-reaching health benefits beyond stress reduction.
Support Your Nutrition
This is a big one, not only for your physical and mental health, but for overall resilience. If you are unable to access foods you typically rely on to keep you healthy, then it’s time to start looking at supplements to fill in the gaps. Choose supplements with evidence showing they support immune health and ease the stress response, such as Vitamin D3, Vitamin C and Zinc. Make sure to give your body the resources it needs to help reduce the overall stress that it may have to endure during this challenging time. And don’t forget to hydrate!
Turn to Natural Remedies
In addition to fortifying your nutrition to reduce stress and support overall health, it’s also important to target specific systems in the body that may be stretched to the limit. For example, if your nervous system is frazzled it may be affecting your sleep, energy and ability to focus. This is exactly what we are dedicated to relieving here at FOCL. Our products include herbs to help ground the body, ease the mind and support sleep. For example, FOCL Night contains soothing botanicals like Valerian Root and Ashwagandha, both of which are natural alternatives to melatonin, calm your mind to help you fall (and stay) asleep so you wake up refreshed. Feeling overwhelmed by daily responsibilities that’s only compounded by emotional strain? FOCL Day includes stress-fighting adaptogens, like Rhodiola and Lion’s Mane, that keep you balanced so you can stay calm and focus your energy on things that really matter and leave the stress behind.
We’re also great believers in the transformative power of CBD. CBD has been shown to support the body and mind against everyday stress. How does it work? When the body is stressed, it produces fewer natural endocannabinoids (molecules that play a role in regulating eating, sleeping and focus, among other things). CBD can help fill in the gaps by binding to cannabinoid receptor sites found throughout the nervous system. So a product like FOCL Drops, which come in three different flavors and can be taken one to two times throughout the day to combat everyday stress and help shift the body back into rest and digest mode. (Something we all could use a little bit more of right now.)
Move Your Body
When you’re stuck at home and going through a big life transition like a divorce, it can be hard to muster the motivation to get active or even the time. Research has shown, however, that including some form of regular exercise can help reduce stress and support overall health. Social distancing in an apartment? Consider having a virtual dance party with friends, subscribing to an online yoga platform or finally taking that tai chi series that’s been on your to-do list forever. (There are options for online yoga training if you're interested.)
If you’re hanging at home with the kiddos, participate in a kids yoga class together or create obstacle courses to navigate through. Dust off the treadmill or even just run up and down the stairs a few times a day. If possible, get outside at least once a day to enjoy nature — walk your dog, go for a hike and enjoy the sunshine.
Give Yourself a Break
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the significant changes that are happening, you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself and know you’re not expected to do it all. The expectation that you can work from home while simultaneously homeschooling your kids, attend all the virtual yoga classes and happy hours your friends are putting together, keep your house immaculately sterilized and still get dinner on the table by 7pm is just as overwhelming as those obligations have always been. Don’t be afraid to seek out a therapist or coach for support and consider using some of the above self-care strategies to ease the pressure and uncertainty that accompany these perplexing times.
We’re all just figuring this out, and the only way to do that is together.