For nearly everyone, everywhere, stress is sky-high. From adjusting to remote working to being there for pals who lost their jobs and figuring out how to balance childcare… it’s okay if you feel overwhelmed right about now. Though there is no magic solution, especially when we don’t have a time frame for the pandemic’s impact, there are ways to manage your anxiety levels.
But what works for you might not be what does the trick for your partner or best friend. Luckily, executives from several industries have shared their sanity-saving must-haves. Get inspired by their artistic, athletic, and therapeutic techniques:
“I have been using Theragun for a while now so this is not a new purchase for me. I mostly use the device after a workout to alleviate stiff muscles. Currently, I have found that using Theragun on my feet, neck, and shoulders, and other areas where I store stress has been a huge relief – especially after being hunched over a laptop all day in my dining room. Not only does the Theragun help relieve my tense, knotted muscles, expel anxious energy, and help me relax, it is also great for circulation and helps me sleep. My headspace is clearer in the mornings to battle the day all around – physically and emotionally.” —Jennifer Walker, owner of WalkerDrawas.
“Currently my days revolve around: leading and crisis-managing FTF through a pandemic, supporting my kids through home school, and co-managing my household with my wife Lauren. This is a very different existence than three weeks ago. Routines are very important to me and La Croix has always been part of my daily routine. It is nice to step away from a crazy day, walk downstairs to the kitchen and grab a La Croix. Normalcy in a sea of chaos is priceless, and you should take it wherever and whenever you can get it.” —Nick Kaplan, president of FTF.com.
“My wife is seven months pregnant and, thus, buying a lot of baby-related items on Amazon. Seeing these packages arrive and opening up the items gives me hope for a brighter future for my son, Kingsley, and the world as a whole. It reminds me that, despite everything happening right now, there are many positive and happy things to look forward to, including the birth of my son. And since my wife and I are cooking at home a lot more, we purchased this family recipe book where we can record our best creations. We love trying and testing new things that we can add to the book. It’s helping to keep us sane throughout this time, and our hope one day is to pass the book down to him and his own family.” —Ric Kostick, CEO and founder of 100 Percent Pure.
“This pull up bar has been my ultimate godsend during the pandemic. Obviously staying indoors limits how much you can do as well as how much you can move, so working out is good for the mind and body during this difficult time. Not only does it help me stay in shape, it helps me take small healthy and productive breaks throughout the day, in between meetings and everything else I have going on.” —Brice Gumpel, CEO and co-founder at Seated.
“As a parent of two kids under the age of 13, finding a family activity can be challenging, especially when shelter-in-place is required. Thankfully, we discovered Paint by Numbers that is an all-in-one paint set and you can choose the artwork you want. It has become a relaxing, de-stressor and a family activity that we wouldn’t have normally thought to seek out. The best part is you have artwork to hang around the house.” —Jennifer Parker, chief revenue officer, WePay.
“This ebook has been extremely useful in aiding any mental anxiety surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. Getting first-hand information from healthcare professionals has greatly improved my mental state, as well as the mental state of my employees. I feel much calmer and settled as a result of the insights provided by the e-book. This, in turn, helps me to focus on carrying on with my day-to-day responsibilities with much less anxiety about the well-being of myself and hundreds of my staff.” —Matutu Nyabange, CEO and founder of Hoooked Up.
“I’ve been adding a lot of essential oils to my diffuser to promote calmness, peace, and good health. In stressful times, it really helps me maintain my center and stay focused on my work. Sometimes all it takes is a smell to reduce anxiety, frustration, or blame. Furthermore, essential oils have a positive impact on health.” —Roshawnna Novellus, CEO of EnrichHER.com.
“One of the key factors that keep me in a state of balance and ease during this time. This cushion has been in my home for almost two years now and is a staple of my morning routine where I am able to sit, breathe, meditate, and get grounded before I start my day. With everything going on, days have become busier, longer, and more digitally connected than ever before, which can be draining on the nervous system. I found the pillow thorough research on the most sustainable meditation cushions, it’s GOTS-Certified organic cotton, lightweight, and actually supremely comfortable and supportive to sit on for my morning meditation practice which is usually 20-30 minutes. Grateful to have it in my space and in my morning practice.” —Lindsay Herr, founder of The Wanderlvst and founder/co-creator of we are SUPERNATURAL.
“In a normal workweek, I am afforded the opportunity to step away from my computer and clear my thoughts. With my entire family and I stuck at home, those opportunities have all but evaporated. So I’ve taken to sketching funny drawings of characters my 6-year-old daughter loves all fending with the current Coronavirus pandemic environment that we have been struggling with. Coming up with ideas for these drawings has been a difficult but fun creative exercise and coloring them with my daughter has been a wonderful shared experience. But these drawings have also given me those moments of pause during the day that I’ve been seeking while bringing some levity and humor to the doom and gloom the news headlines bring. Plus I can easily share them with all of my friends and family so we all get a laugh. As horrific as the times are that we find ourselves in, there is so much opportunity for laughter. And let’s face it: we need it.” —Jessica Zutz Hilbert, co-founder of Red Duck Foods.
“I’ve started cooking pasta from scratch. At first, it was out of necessity as there wasn’t any pasta on the grocery store shelves. So I dusted off my pasta machine and got cooking. Now, despite pasta’s reemergence at my local grocer, I’m still finding I want to make it from scratch as it helps clear my mind. As most of my day is figuring out how to get our tour guides back to work despite museum closures, making pasta from scratch has been a great way to grab some mental space and come up with creative solutions for my team.” —Tasia Duske, CEO of Museum Hack.
Working from home, especially in cold climates, can sometimes mean days without going outside. One thing that’s kept me sane is surrounding myself with house plants. I’m not exactly a green thumb, so all of my plants are survivors. I have a few snake plants, a money tree, and an areca palm, all of which have made a big difference in my overall mood. Studies show that looking at nature can help calm you, and the plants help clean the air in your home office as an added bonus.” —Michael Alexis, CEO of Team Building.
“We all know that self-care is important right now, but executing on that is easier said than done, especially for people that are overwhelmed with work, or in charge of taking care of children or a sick loved one. I love a weighted blanket because it takes no additional time or thought to add into your sleep routine and it can meaningfully impact the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, particularly anyone dealing with anxiety. Starting with just this change can make a difference in your quality of sleep and then as you’re able, you can add in other changes to up your bedtime game, like limiting screen time before bed and charging your phone in another room overnight. And better sleep can boost your immunity to- score.” —Cara Price, marketing at Social Print Studio.
“Over his lifetime, Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, and one of the most celebrated stoics wrote many passages to himself designed as guiding principles. ‘The Emperor’s Handbook’, one of the most recent translations, is written in today’s tongue, allowing readers to gain modern-day insight from one of the world’s most beautiful minds. His short passages help keep things in perspective, challenging you to look at adversity, pain and disruption as places to foster growth and insight. A much-needed perspective at this time.” —Sam Stewart, co-founder of Mad Hippie.
“Bringing live plants and flowers into my workspace always brightens my mood. It reminds me that there is opportunity, vitality and life outside of this time. This simple vase is trendy and goes with almost any floral arrangement. I currently have mums and English roses sitting on my desk so it’s a winner for me.” —Elizabeth Giorgi, Co-founder and CEO of soona.
“Working from home with kids is total madness, something no parent needs me to tell them at this point! Our company motto ‘The Juggle is Real’ has never felt more true! This Tula baby carrier has been an absolute life—and back—saver, and the thing is sturdy. It’s a relic from when our 4-year-old was a newborn. In the past week, I’ve paced the house during Zoom calls, tested recipes for our (soon to launch) new site, and thrown my laptop on the bedroom dresser to update investors—all with my 5 month old happily snuggled in. Am I looking forward to the return of childcare, coffee shop meetings, and a reason to put on real pants? Absolutely! But at least I can huff the sweet scent of my baby’s head while facing supply chain interruptions.” —Catherine Smart, Co-founder, and CEO of Not Just.
“This is a stressful time for everyone, and it is easy to focus on what we used to have that we do not have any longer. However, I am trying my best to focus on what this experience is giving me and what I can give to others. Since I’m working from home and homeschooling my kids, this is a good opportunity to get a little time back in my day by skipping the hairdryer/round brush antics typically involved in my morning routine and give my hair a break from the heat. Instead, I use the OUAI Wave Spray and just spritz all over, scrunch your waves with your hands, and you’re good to go. Also works on second day hair to give it a little refresh. Every morning I’m delighted when I remember my hair routine has gone from 10-15 minutes down to less than 1.” —Nisha Dearborn, founder & CEO of Fresh Chemistry.
“It’s easy to lose the motivation to dress when you don’t have to. While I may not be pulling out the stilettos right now, putting on something I feel good in each day lifts my mood and helps set the tone for a productive day. I’ve always worn caftans and maxi dresses on weekends, but now that I’m home every day I’m loading up on these! Add a few bangles and an oversized cocktail ring and you’ve got the perfect blend of comfy and chic.” —Terri Bryant, founder of GUIDE BEAUTY.
“If I keep baking for myself, I’m definitely going to pack on the quarantine 15…but it’s so therapeutic. So I’ve switched to baking for my dogs! This mix has an adorable little dog bone cookie cutter and all I have to do is add water, cut out and pop in the oven. They make the house smell great, my sweet pups tails wag in delight and keep me from “sugar soothing.” That right there is a recipe for my happiness.” —Cindy Eckert, CEO of The Pink Ceiling.