April 23, 2020
Probably the scariest part of the pandemic is feeling like your life has been upended in some major way. Make no mistake, it definitely has but there are action steps you and your family can take to help adjust to the new normal and bring calm to your home life when everything and everyone else around you is falling apart.
1. Keep Your Routines
As hard as it sounds, a routine may be your best bet to overcome the unsteadiness of the pandemic. Without a routine, it’s easy to become irritable or feel like life is in limbo. Ask yourself what parts of your daily routine you can keep. If you can get out of bed at the same time every day, get dressed, have your morning breakfast and coffee; it will be easier to organize your day at home. For the parts of your routine, you can’t keep, now is the time to adjust and adopt some new routines.
2. Limit Screen Time
Being constantly connected to your phone or television isn’t going to do you any favors. If you can work from home, be sure to turn off your computer and walk away once work is done for the day. While there is a ton of information out there, it can quickly become overwhelming. Set limits on how much time you’re taking to read about current events and then stick to them.
3. Incorporate Exercise
Physical activity helps raise endorphins and combat negative thoughts or feelings. If you went to the gym or an exercise before social distancing orders came out, it’s important to maintain that part of your regular routine. Of course, you will need to make some adjustments or substitutions for some of the exercises but that’s not to say it can’t be done. Substitute your free weight time for resistance bands at home. No yoga classes? Hit up YouTube or download an app that offers free instruction videos. Get creative at home or outside.
4. Share Your Talents
Is there something you’re good at or has someone ever told you that you should lead a class on a subject or activity? Maybe you’re the perfect person to teach online yoga classes or knitting. Invite friends to learn your secret potato casserole recipe or read a bedtime story to your nieces or nephews via video chat. Keep book club meetings with Google Hangouts or Zoom meetings.
5. Give Back
During times of uncertainty, help is always needed. If you can sew, consider making masks for health care workers and the more vulnerable members of your community. Do grocery runs for your elderly neighbors or start a neighborhood library and invite neighbors to donate books for others to borrow or trade.
It sounds clichéd to say “we’re all in this together” but we really are. Allowing yourself to feel anxiety, grief, or anger over this crisis is the most normal thing you can do; accept those feelings and let them run their course. No one knows for certain when this crisis will be over, but eventually, it will.