The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone deeply. It’s hard not to feel frustrated, isolated, or anxious about what is happening in this new reality. With shelter in place and self-isolation protocols being adopted more widely, it’s time to develop some new routines.
I’ve come up with some suggestions for staying busy and avoiding meltdowns. These are things that work for me, and I hope to hear some things that work for you too!
1. Take care of your body.
Stress, poor eating habits, and lack of sleep lower our immune system’s ability to fight illness. Getting enough sleep and eating plenty of fruit and veggies can help you feel better, both physically and mentally.
Even if you aren’t able to go to a gym, there are exercises you can do at home. YouTube videos can help you practice yoga, learn some new dance moves, or just keep you entertained while you walk in place.
3. Practice self-care.
This is always important, but never more so than in times of stress. Self-care can look different for everyone. It can be taking a bath, meditating, doing yoga, painting your nails, putting on makeup, lighting a scented candle, spending quality time with your pet, or anything that makes you feel a little better.
4. Connect with others.
Social distancing and sheltering in place don’t mean that you have to be cut off from friends and family. Phone calls, video chats, and reaching out online can help us feel less isolated.
5. Practice kindness.
Even difficult situations can bring out the best in people. If you’re low-risk, you may want to reach out to family members, friends, or neighbors who are high-risk and see if they need anything. With many people unable to work, buying something from a person who has an online shop (rather than a large corporation) can make a huge difference. Even if you don’t need something, sharing a link to their shop can be a kind thing to do. Share some positivity, whether this is posting something funny on social media, or starting a thread where people say nice things to each other.
6. Devote some time to your hobbies.
It’s hard to find time to engage in hobbies when life is busy, but take advantage of the slower pace in your days. Reading, joining a book club or challenge, coloring, watching TV or movies, crocheting, doing puzzles, or playing video games can be a great way to pass the time. If you're like me, you are catching up on your TBR and blog posts!
7. Learn something new.
Most of us have at least one thing that we’ve wanted to learn but just haven’t had the time. The internet is a wealth of information when it comes to learning new skills. Practice a new skill in the kitchen, learn to craft, or take an online class!
You can organize your book shelf, closet, junk drawer, anything that you’ve been putting off. It’s a good way to set your mind at ease, and will let you feel more productive.
9. Take a short break from social media or the news.
Keeping tabs on everything that’s happening can be stressful, not to mention exhausting. Setting aside a little time without the distraction of social media or news can have a positive impact on your mental health.
10. Ask for help.
If you are struggling mentally, or you’re high-risk and can’t visit a store to get things you need, don’t be scared to reach out to someone. It’s okay not to be okay, and to ask for assistance. If you’re dealing with mental health concerns, therapists are available for telephone or video chat sessions.