What a world we are living in! I hope you are all staying safe at home, and keeping your social activity limited to immediate family and only those friends who are doing the same. #COVID-19 is serious.
I am so fortunate to 1- have a home office and 2- live in a warm climate. I am able to spend lots of time outdoors. I have been keeping myself occupied with real estate related work, reading, yoga, puzzles, pickle ball (in the driveway), and gardening. Some friends brought their kayaks over last week and left them on our dock, so I am going to try to make use of them – if I can get my family members out there with me!
If you are finding yourselves overwhelmed with worry, here are some things that might help. (I borrowed several from this list I found in a post by Caitlin Constantine, Deputy Managing Editor of The Penny Hoarder).
- 1) Take Deep Breaths. Breathing exercises are common in yoga. They are great for calming you down. Simply breathe in to the count of four, and then breathe out to the same count. Or, you can try breathing through alternate nostrils: put your middle and index fingers of your right hand on your forehead and close your right nostril with your thumb; breathe in through your left nostril to four counts; close left nostril with your ring finger and open right nostril; breathe out of right nostril for four counts. Breathe in through right nostril to four counts, then close it with your thumb and breathe out left nostril. Do this for a few minutes, and you will be very relaxed. Some fresh oxygen to the brain is good for you!
- 2) Get Outside. Spending time in nature has been proven to reduce stress as well as depression. Take a walk or do some gardening. If you can’t get outdoors, look through pictures of your favorite nature scenes – beaches, forests, mountains, etc. Or listen to ambient sounds like ocean waves or birdsong.
- 3) Meditate. If you need guidance, here are some free Mindfulness Apps.
- 4) Journal. Writing your thoughts and feelings down is a great way to deal with conflicting emotions. It helps to focus when there are a million things swirling around in your head. Here is a great post about journaling to soothe anxiety.
- 5) Learn a New Skill. Learning something new occupies your brain, so there’s less room for anxious thoughts. And what better time than now, when we’re all sheltering in place!
- 6) Work Out. Working out releases endorphins, the hormones that make you feel good. There are so many options available: dance, walk in place, do sit-ups or yoga. Just do what you like, three or four times a week. There are lots of free YouTube videos out there if you need ideas.
- 7) Reach Out. You are not alone! Everyone is in the same boat here, so throw an anchor out to friends and family. Call or FaceTime someone. Or get in on the #Zoom craze. Zoom allows everyone to get in on the fun at the same time.
- 8) Take a Break from Social Media. This is important! We are inundated with news, both on television and the internet. Be aware of how much time you spend on your electronics and plan breaks during the day, especially around mealtimes. Turn off alerts! Puzzles are a great way to take your mind off things. You don’t have to spend hours on them (although that’s easy to do); just find a piece or two at a time. It makes you feel good!
- 9) Create a Schedule. Being stuck at home for days on end can lead us to lose track of time and even what day it is. We don’t have to wake up to go to work or school. Establishing a daily routine will help you prioritize the things that need to be done, and it will also help create normalcy in a world that has suddenly been turned on its axis.
Most importantly, stay safe! If your state is opening up businesses and you personally feel it is too soon, STAY AT HOME. I am.
Let me know if you have any other ideas for staying sane in this crazy time!