If you are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed, you’re not alone. The corona virus epidemic has had a massive impact on our daily lives, and we may not be able to control how long the situation lasts or when our lives will return to normal.
So, for people who are fortunate enough to be in good health, in addition to crucial health measures such as washing our hands and practicing social distancing, what can we do in a challenging time like this?
1. Take care of your body. This is important for health and also for mood. Get enough sleep, wake up at a normal hour, stick to a regular routine of personal hygiene and get up dressed as usual.
Keep moving. This may be tough if your normal exercise routine is disrupted. Figure out how to keep active. Even in a small space you can do yoga, you can watch YouTube videos for cardio workouts, you can use exercise apps, or one of many other resources to give you a work-out at home. Drag those dusty hand-weights out from under the bed. And remember to stand up and walk around frequently. In everyday life, we have to move from Point A to Point B, and it may take more effort to get yourself on your feet.
Healthy food and boost your immunodeficiency! I was for a very long-time searching for health supplements that I could rely on and that I can feel makes a difference, giving me more energy and keeping me focused. I thought, with the healthy life that me and my family are living that we should have good levels of immunodeficiency. But we tested us all with a simple blood test, only to find out that also we need to do some changes.
2. Help others. One of the best ways to make yourself happier is to make other people happier, calmer or not so alone. Look for ways to help others, to make sure that they know you’re looking out for them.
3. Connect with friends and family and reach out to people who might feel isolated. This is a time when technology can really come to our aid! Call, text, do video calls, send funny videos, we all want to feel connected and cared for. I have seen so many fun videos that gave me many laughs, which I am very grateful for. Please keep sending those! Strong social relationships are a key to happiness, so find ways to help others—and yourself—avoid feeling trapped and lonely.
4. Make good use of this opportunity. Being stuck at home is an opportunity that none of us wished for, but it’s an opportunity, nevertheless. Look for ways to use the time to get things done you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. Go through your closets, clear your clutter. Learn something new. Practice guitar. Find a YouTube work-out class and get in shape. Do yoga. Cook some new recipes. Get back into meditation. Write that novel you’ve been meaning to write. Update your resume. Organize your photos.
5. You might keep a journal of this time. It’s a milestone in the life of the world, and when this is all over (and at some point, it will be over), you may be very glad you kept a record. A tip that I got from one of my daughters yesterday, a brilliant idea that I am happy to share.
6. Catch up on books, podcasts, movies, or TV shows. Is there something ambitious you’ve been wanting to tackle?
7. Continue or create comforting rituals. You may already have rituals that help you feel grounded throughout the day. These might be helpful now—but it might also be true that you’ll have to adapt now, if your usual comforting ritual is disrupted. Find ways to have pleasant patterns through your day that make you feel grounded and calm. It might be meditation, it might be a cup of your favourite tea, it might be a bedtime story with your children.
8. Beware of information overload. We all want to stay up-to-date with the latest news, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Learn what you need to learn, but don’t get sucked into the three-hour scroll. Monitor your screen time so you have a solid sense of your habits. You might want to schedule time to check current events—perhaps twice a day—so the news doesn’t overtake you.
9. Use positive affirmations. Take some inspiration from Gloria “I Will Survive” Gaynor and create your own personal positive affirmation. Two of my favourite affirmations is: ‘I am strong, and I can handle anything that comes my way” and “I am enough.’” Write it down on a bit of paper or as a note on your phone (or even save it as your screen background), keep it nearby, and read those out load any time you need some support.
10. Record your daily acknowledgements. Dr. Cherie Carter Scott, also known as “The mother of coaching”, taught me something very precious that lives with me every day and I share it with all my clients, family and friends. I use it as help to focus on the right things, not focusing on all the things we could have done better or worry about things that our outside of our control. It is to write a diary about what we are grateful about and 10 acknowledgements a day. It is not like a diary that you wrote in your childhood, the main purpose is to check in with yourself, your inner world. The headlines can be several, but it is a good start with these to important headlines. The first reactions when I introduce the diary is usually “I can’t find 10 acknowledgments a day!”. An acknowledgment can be that you made a phone-call to your mother, being a good daughter, friend, mom. A smile to someone (on-line), sent someone a text message or read a good book. I promise you that you will find at least 10 acknowledgments.
You can also find ways to combine these tips. For instance, I like to listen to a god book or to some good music when I do the dishes. I write my plans for the day in the morning with a good cup of healthy ginger tea when the sun goes up, my acknowledgments and grateful list is something I do every night before I go to bed, that is a ritual for me for a good sleep.
What tips, ideas did you find that can be helpful for staying calm?