In our current situation where we are self quarantining, staying in our homes waaaay more than we probably ever did and social distancing when we do have to go out, this change in our regular routine can really throw us for a loop and can really tax our mental health.
If you are starting to feel a little like this ⬇️ (see video), it makes total sense, and maybe you could use some ideas for feeling less stuck. (Maybe making a music video parody could be one of them 😉😉)
Ok, so this is one of my new favorite artists. But I digress.
So how not to lose your mind while chilling in your house?
First, let’s recognize that, for many of us, we’re essentially mourning a loss for what used to be. There are so many things that have changed within our daily lives–all to ensure the health and wellness of not only ourselves, but the people in our community. Though we may not all be grieving the loss of what was, all of this sudden change can have us feeling sad or overwhelmed or stressed, and that is ok.
Recognizing this can be helpful; sometimes just giving the feeling a name is helpful. Maybe write it down or say it out loud to yourself. I know for me, this has always been helpful.
But if you are feeling really down and alone, please reach out to someone. We’re all in this together. There will be times when we can be that help for someone and there will be times when we are the ones in need of help.
We’ve got you!
Action Steps you can try
I don’t know about you, but I need a routine or I quickly go cookoo bananas.
Prior to self-quarantining, you likely had some sort of routine. If all semblance of routine has melted away, I’d like to suggest trying to get back into a routine. If you used to wake up at 7am and were sipping your coffee and reading your emails by 9:10am, then stick with that. Since commute time is out, maybe you have time to come up with new breakfast meal options or maybe you can use what would have been your commute time to do some pleasure reading or developing a meditation habit (more on that later).
Or maybe you’ve spent a long time struggling to get enough sleep and now you can use what used to be your commute time to get some extra shut-eye. Either way, it can be really helpful for your body and your mind to give yourself a regular wake-up time (and a regular bed time).
Write out your day so you know what it will look like. Life in self-quarantine is definitely different. Some new to-do’s might have popped up and some others might have disappeared, but getting stuff written down so you can see where you can fit the things in and structure your day will help to provide your day with some structure. It will give you direction and you’ll be able to see where you also have some down time.
In times of stress and uncertainty, having a way to help ease that anxiety is really important, not only for your mental health, but for your physical health as well. Stress lowers our immunity so if we have a way to counter any stress we are feeling, we are doing our mind and our body good.
There are so many meditation apps out there that you can try. Calm is the one I like. It offers meditation sessions and breathing session guidance. If you prefer a more breathing focused app this article has a list of several to choose from and you can pick the one that seems the best fit.
A movement practice or some sort of exercise is really good for you physically and mentally.
Believe it or not, I had planned to write about mental health and fitness for this post before things got really weird, but in light of the COVID-19 health crisis, it took on a different slant and became a small section in this post instead.
You have probably heard how fitness can help improve depression or give you an overall bump in your mood.
Moving your body and exercising releases feel-good endorphins and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. Exercise can also reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, increase the ability to relax and many more positive effects on your body and mood.
Right now, there are a whole bunch of online and virtual options out there for having a movement practice at home. You can find bodyweight workouts, yoga, pilates and cardio classes on YouTube and many other platforms. We have several different options right now that you can choose from. We also offer a Free Live class on Facebook and Instagram every Saturday morning at 10am (EST) for anyone to follow along.
Get Outside for some fresh air
Get outside, breath in the fresh air, soak up some sunshine. That could mean you take a walk around your block or find some more open spaces–the park, the countryside or nature preserve. Of course, you may have to maintain an appropriate social distance from others who might be doing the same, but getting out in the sunshine and especially getting out into nature is a great boost for your mental well-being.
Pick up a new hobby/Personal development
If you find yourself with a little more time on your hands this could be a great time to pick up that hobby you have been meaning to try or you could use this time for some personal development. This might involve taking an online class to learn a new skill or activity or maybe your ‘new thing’ could be starting a meditation habit or a movement practice, which will also help reduce stress and can be things added to a routine if your day felt a bit empty or repetitive.
Maybe you start making your parody videos like the one above or maybe you pick up coloring or writing. If you want to color, my friend has fun printable images from her coloring book.
Stay Connected with folx
Call a friend, video call a relative or do a group brunch virtual meeting. There are so many ways to do group video calling; use these to make connections with those you know. Say hello to your neighbor from afar. Smile to a passerby as you stay six feet away. But keep connected.
Humans are social beings and we crave connection with others, keep that part of your life active by talking with others on the phone or video call. If you want to talk with us we are having a 30 minute coffee talk every Friday at 11am (EST). You don’t have to be enjoying coffee, feel free to have tea or whatever floats your boat. We post about the coffee session the day before on Facebook or Instagram so you’ll be able to get the invite link.
We are wishing you all health and wellness in these bizarre times and always. Keep connected with us and with others. Keep moving and stay safe.
~Be Well, Theresa and Mike.