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Finding Calm in the Chaos

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I don't think there's one person in this world right now who isn't having some sort of stress. Feelings span the globe. Fear, frustration, anger, depression, isolation...anxiety of any type isn't healthy. Dealing with working from home, the economy, social distancing, having your partner and or your kids with you ALL DAY LONG, it's enough to drive you crazy. With no end in sight right now, learning to cope with these feelings, even just a little bit, can help to alleviate some of the pressure that we are all facing and give us back some peace.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association (AADA) resource page, there are a number of things the people can do to pull themselves up from spiraling negative thoughts. Among the suggestions are sticking to as normal a routine as possible or if you have to adjust then start a new quarantine ritual that balances a new work from home set up and/or family obligations. They also recommend a change in mindset, reframing feeling stuck inside by turning your attention inside and doing one productive thing each day to help boost the attitude.

Johns Hopkins advises not to panic, but to prepare. "Knowledge and preparation can help reduce feelings of panic," said Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., M.A. at John Hopkins Medicine. "It's important not to let fear control your life." McGuire recommends getting information from trusted, credible sources, talking with children to provide accurate information with a focus on prevention, and finally practicing mindfulness by limiting media exposure to prevent feeling overwhelmed, sitting quietly and focusing on breathing and senses to reduce stress levels.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a webpage full of resources for managing stress during this difficult time. It includes links to resources for help with coping including links to a Disaster Distress Helpline and information on things you can do for yourself, as a person, as a parent, as a responder and as a patient.

Here at ECI, we have our own ways of coping with stress. Company-wide, our HR and Marketing departments are keeping things as normal as possible with a quick, daily newsletter filled with inspiration, funny posts to keep our spirits up, and helpful tips for working from home. We've also created our own employee-only Facebook page where we can post and share our thoughts, ideas, and inspiration with one another. When our employees were asked how they cope with the anxiety, here are just a few of their stress relievers and things to do that might make life a little more bearable:

Edith has found peace of mind and success with daily prayer and Diane suggests getting away with a different kind of "good book" like Pride and Prejudice. Check with your local library, many are offering free ebook and video downloads.

JoAnn alleviates stress by focusing on what she can control, like a list of projects. Now is the best time to get some of those projects you've always wanted to get done, DONE.

Martha likes to cross stitch and sew, John works out, Brenda takes long walks and likes a good puzzle, Lisa is enjoying free online yoga classes, Danielle meditates, and Dee Dee is binge watching Netflix.

For me, it's all of the above, and a lot of FaceTime thrown in to connect with loved ones.

We're all in this together. By finding ways to push down anxiety, stay positive, and lift those in need, we're going to come out of this with some great coping skills and a better understanding of ourselves.

About the Author

Alicia Ellis is the Content Strategy & Operations Manager for ECI and has been with the company for more than five years. Prior to her content position, Alicia was the Field Marketing Manager for ECI's Distribution and Field Service Divisions. Alicia spent six years as the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Independent Office Products & Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA) and 12 years prior to that as editor in chief of many dealer trade publications including imageSource and Office World News. Alicia lives in Baltimore City with her husband of 30 years, Jeff, and is a tenor drummer for Shamrock & Thistle Pipe and Drum Marching Band.

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