This time is strange, it’s stressful, and it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of anxiety. Everyone has their own way of coping with this new reality of Coronavirus, and there’s a lot going on in our country and the world that can get overwhelming. We hope that one of these tips strikes a cord with you and helps you not just survive through this time, but thrive through it. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to take care of others.
MEDITATE: This looks different for everybody. Maybe you can do this quietly in your room for 15 minutes when you wake up, maybe you need to practice some yoga in your living room for it to happen, or maybe it’s even just taking a few minutes to focus on breathing. The point is, give your mind a chance to rest. Pause, breathe, and focus on understanding how you’re feeling at that moment. Taking deep breaths and quieting our mind can help us feel more peaceful and ready to take on challenges elsewhere in our life.
Need help starting? There are several apps available that help to bring some structure to meditations – especially helpful if you don’t normally practice this. Utilizing yoga videos online or finding some calming nature sounds or music can be really helpful to direct your focus and keep your mind from wandering while trying to be still.
SET A ROUTINE AND GOALS: If you can mimic your normal daily routine, great, but if not, make a plan for what you want your daily routine to be and do your best to stick to it Monday-Friday. Give yourself a normal wake-up time and bed-time, and work hours, lunch hours, and rest hours. This is different from a to-do list! While to-do lists focus on achieving tasks, a routine for many can reduce anxiety and importantly helps keep your sleep quantity and quality in check. Whether we admit it or not, humans crave routine. It’s something we can control in this time of chaos. Designated time for work, family, sleep, activism, and self care helps manage the days and move forward.
Need help starting? Jot down an ideal time frame for your day, then think about the best way you manage tasks when you’re at your office or workplace. Are you someone who needs to write it in a notebook? Keep one at home and work from that. Do you need pings from your phone to keep you in check? Set up calendar reminders to keep you on track. Most importantly, know you can tweak if needed. Try it one way for a week and adjust accordingly.
EAT WELL: It’s easy (and definitely ok) to enjoy snacks while we’re at home, but also look at this opportunity to spend time in your kitchen in new and fun ways! Bake up some cinnamon rolls, make your own pasta, or even just have a family build-your-own-pizza night. This is an excellent time to test out recipes and build a repertoire for weeknight meals that you can use when we’re back out of the house.
Need help starting? Aren’t we glad for the internet? YouTube, Pinterest, even Instagram can give great recipe links and ideas. We also love seriouseats.com since they break down recipes and explain the science of why they work well.
CLEAN: This does not have to mean everything in the house is getting cleaned in one weekend, nor does it have to mean you’re re-organizing every drawer (unless you want to – go for it!) but it is a good idea to keep your space tidy, if only to keep your mind at ease. If you have a family, come up with a task list and cleaning schedule so everyone can help out. Clearing your space physically will help clear your mind mentally. That being said, embracing a less than pristine home right now is also a good idea, we’re not super-humans!
Need help starting? For normal upkeep, take time before bed to do a daily tidy. It may only take 5 minutes, but do the quick things like put dishes in the dishwasher, fold blankets on the couch, and tuck shoes or odds and ends back into their places. It helps so much to wake up in the morning to a tidied home, and starts the day off on a good note.
TAKE BREAKS: Stand up, stretch, make a meal, go for a walk – whatever it is, do the things that you need to keep yourself productive and happy. Especially now it is so important to spend time outside (safely) and to feel rejuvenated with our friends and families (even if we’re only seeing them virtually).
Need help starting? Set a calendar reminder for yourself to take a break. When it pings, get up and do something else. Either a 15 minute coffee break or a 45 minute walk outside, then get back to it.
AVOID OVERLOAD AND BURNOUT: It’s important to stay on top of what’s happening in your community, your country, and the world, and to use that knowledge to help make an impact. Be careful to avoid information overload or burnout by making sure you’re taking time away from the virtual world. When you’re maintaining your own mental health, you’re more able to positively impact your world when you are focused and making change.
Need help starting? Most smartphones have the capability to remind you when you’ve hit a set amount of time on an app, or even disable apps for you once you’ve hit your limit. Check your smartphone settings for a category labeled Digital Wellbeing, Parental Controls, or something similar to see what apps you can mute. Your phone might also have a focus mode where it pauses apps that distract you the most on a schedule you set!
Allow yourself to feel everything happening now. Everyone is in a season of growth and adaptation, and we’re all hopeful of coming to the other side better for it.
*all images are property of HAVEN Home Staging and/or have been used with permission*