Five Minute Sanity Breaks in the Age of Covid-19

Thursday August 6, 2020

You might think that you have to spend a week vacationing at the beach to de-stress, but that’s not true at all!  (*although, that doesn’t sound bad).

From my years as a caregiver, (and now as a “care-supporter”,) I know first-hand that we need to occasionally focus on ourselves.  Taking short breaks gives your brain and body a break.

These much-needed breaks relieve stress, keep you focused on important tasks, and help you think more clearly.  Even a 5-minute break can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

 10 Ways to take a quick break right now:

  1. Close your eyes, slow your breathing, and count slowly to 10. Then back down.
  2. Drink up! Dehydration makes you tired, headachy, and cranky. Drink a glass of water.
  3. Do a guided meditation. UNC Wellness has several posted on YouTube. Also,  is one to try.
  4. Stretch for your break! Follow this 4-minute relaxing stretch video you can do at your desk or chair.
  5. MUSIC is magic! Find some tunes that speak to you, and dance, walk or just listen.
  6. Take a 5-minute walk outside. If you can’t leave your child or older adult alone, just step outside the door and breathe some fresh air, leaving it open so you can still keep an eye on them.
  7. Do a brain dump. Get all your thoughts out on paper. Don’t worry about being organized, neat, or even making sense. Just start writing things down on paper and don’t stop until your brain is clear.
  8. Do some exercise – do 10 squats, 10 jumping jacks, and 10  Repeat until your body feels energized.
  9. Start planning a fun activity for yourself. Decide what you want to do, figure out how much time you’ll need, and ask family or friends to help with your senior while you’re doing your fun activity. You might want to plan to have a massage, take a long walk, eat a nice meal out, see a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, etc.
  10. Watch a funny video like: Dare you not to laugh!!

Whether you are supervising your kids, assisting an aged love one with physical or cognitive challenges, or just trying to stay sane yourself, these are some tried and true stress hacks.  Show yourself some love!