Working from home has never been more stressful. Chances are you are around your family or roommates more often, which can add stress to an already stressful situation.
We talked to Greg Molinaro, a full-time Conventional and Christian Counselor in Bismarck and Watford City, who works with individuals and couples. He offered some tips on how to make the most of your time during the pandemic. He says it begins with discovering a ‘new normal or new routine.’
Molinaro said, “With starting a new normal, it’s important to be deliberate about it.” He suggests asking ourselves, ‘How can I adjust my media consumption, How can I get up at a normal time, how can I have more fun, read more books or do things differently.’
Molinaro says he has noticed people are starting to reach out more to friends and family because we have more time on our hands now.
The first couple of weeks of this time have been a shock for some people. In Molinaro’s professional opinion, people are experiencing some level of pain right now. He says we aren’t designed to go through the pain alone. He added, “It’s a great opportunity to reach out to those who are family, friends and just share what you’re going through.”
Another way to deal with stress is realizing this is a phase of transition into a new lifestyle. It may look different for some families, couples and individuals. Finding time alone can be difficult so adjusting your schedule may be an option, as well as finding time to Zoom chat, Skype or FaceTime a close friend if you need someone other than a family member to talk to.
“A transition is a deliberate process. One of the things I’m reflecting on a lot these days is how much effort it takes to end something and how much effort it takes to start something new,” said Molinaro.
He says to be gentle with yourself as you transition into the newness of living your life during a pandemic. Do some of the things you love but put in the extra effort for a while in order to create a new routine.
It takes about six weeks to create a new habit he says. With all the extra time to think and more space to feel, he says it’s important to lean into those moments.
Overall, Molinaro says stress comes from a blocked goal, something you wish you could have but is struggling to reach. Along with practicing a new routine he adds, practicing acceptance and joy are keys to making stress management as well as celebrating the smaller things in life.