These are challenging times we’re living in; stress and uncertainty grips many of us. However, one thing that we can take comfort in is that by staying home, we’re each doing our part to maintain the health of others in our community by keeping social distance to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The more time you spend at home, the more stir-crazy you may feel. However, you don’t have to get creative in order to keep your mental health and safety, and find beauty within this more secluded life. You can find pleasure in simple things, some of which we’ll be discussing today.
Practice Social Distancing. Explore your inner world.
Now that you don’t have the stimulus of the outdoor activities to occupy you while the "stay at home orders" are in place, take this opportunity to turn your gaze inwards, to yourself and the worlds of your imagination.
If you’re anything like us, over the years you might have accumulated a collection of unread books (that we perhaps have gotten based on recommendations from friends, gifts, just jumped out at us at the bookstore). Now is the perfect time to open some of them.
If you have built-up guilt from watching too much TV or Netflix, then you can read a book. The worlds inside novels are just as rich as the ones on our screen. Reading can be a family activity, as well, whether you’re reading out loud or enjoying separate books in silence in the same room.
The audiobook company Audible is also offering free audiobooks to children and teenagers while schools are closed.
Another way to get in touch with your inner world is through mediation. It can also be a great tool for managing anxiety related to the pandemic, or the added stress of having your children constantly in the house. In addition to medication, meditation is also being included in treatment plans for many types of illnesses, as well.
There are many wonderful, free guided meditation videos on platforms like Youtube. You can also use a paid app like Headspace, which is a good choice if you want to continue your meditation journey long term. If you’re a health care professional, Headspace is also offering their premium offerings for free during these turbulent times.
Find new ways to socialize
Everyone is feeling a bit of the cabin fever. However, new ways of socializing are popping up every day. Maintaining personal connections and a support system is more important than ever. Now that we don’t have the opportunity to spontaneously see our friends and family or do activities with them, it’s important to take a conscious effort in scheduling social time in order to avoid feelings of isolation.
Thankfully there are many video calling apps like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype that allows us some much needed face-to-face contact. Schedule time to chat with your friends, even if it’s just to catch up on each other’s isolation hobby projects (taking up knitting, perhaps?). If you know you have some more antisocial friends, or people in your life suffering from anxiety and depression, take extra care to reach out to them. Without a regular routine, these are the kinds of people who may suffer during home isolations.
One thing to do on these calls is to host a virtual dinner party! This is also possible with just your family or roommates. For the virtual party, make sure everyone has the same recipe and ingredients. Set up a call, open a bottle of wine, assign someone to DJ, and it’s almost as if you’re all in the same place.
If you’re not going analog, cook together with the people inside your home. Comfort food is always a good option (like chili or baked macaroni and cheese), but with all the time, you can also explore new recipes that you’ve never tackled before. This way, you can all learn together!
Be part of a community
Or rather we should say, continue being part of a community. You’re not alone in this. Some things that are taking a hit during this period of self isolation is our physical health and our connections to the people around us. Don’t underestimate the value and importance of being part of a greater whole.
It may sound silly, but one way you can do this is to support your local exercise studio doing online lessons. Not only will this get you out of bed and moving, but you’ll be alongside many other people doing the exact same thing. Though you can’t feed off of their energy like you can do in an in-person class, you’re still getting the benefits of productivity and collective action. Plus, you can support a small business.
Finally, now is a time for generosity (read our guide on it here). Unfortunately, many people in service sectors, like our waiters and waitresses, our shop clerks, and especially local businesses, are losing business and work. If you’re someone who’s fortunate enough to be able to work from home, consider generosity and give to an organization helping to feed and support others. United Way and Feed America are just two examples, and chances are, there are local action networks, local food banks, and churches that you can support locally to help save lives.