Emotional stress is hitting us from all over as we deal with the Covid pandemic situations. There are health risks, layoffs, fer for the future, grief for missing out on all that we thought 2020 would be, and so many other things. Home life ranges from total isolation to driving each other crazy and just itching for something else to look at other than your four walls. No matter what our situations are, many of us are finding that we need some alternate outlets for managing our emotions. Self-Care seems to have fallen by the wayside for some folks. People are having trouble sleeping, they are eating too much, drinking too much and haven’f yet adopted a new schedule for our current normal. All of that is leading to feeling bloated, tired and moody. Can you relate?
I want to give you a few quick tips that can help you adopt a healthy mindset, bring novelty into your experience and hopefully improve your overall experience of this time. All the of the tips can be done by anyone and they are all free!
5 Ways to Deal at Home during Covid
1. Explore a new neighborhood. We all know that moving our body in any way really is much healthier that being sedentary. Moving your body outside can give you even more benefits. The fresh air and vitamin D from the sun can help improve your mood and boost your immune system. The problem is, that after about 2 weeks of walking our neighborhoods, everyone started getting bored with the scenery. It was easy to just not have much motivation for it. Injection of novelty can change this around very easily. Go explore a new neighborhood. We may not be able to congregate in crowded city streets or parks, but it can be fun to get in your car and park it in another neighborhood and just walk around there. With this as your plan, there’s really weeks and weeks of novel places to go!
2. Help Others. When we are stuck at home, our world starts to get closed in and its easy to stop thinking about all of those around us. Do you know someone that might benefit if you picked up a few groceries for them when you were going? Maybe an elderly neighbor or a mother with young kids? Maybe a friend could use some help with their garden or an outdoor project. Maybe you have a co-worker who you know is very shy and maybe doesn’t normally have a lively social life and now with the restrictions, they may be really isolated. Give them a call- say, “Hi, just wondering how you’re doing”, When we are in a slump about our own life, doing even small gestures for others can help us refocus on gratitude and generosity of spirit. You’ll feel better and so with the person who knows you thought of them.
3. Creative Meditation Outlets. It seems like meditation is talked about everywhere these days. It can be so amazingly helpful in helping someone change their mood and mindset. It’s also great for helping decrease anxiety and the angst of all the stress around us. The problem is that it can be really tough to do what most people think of as meditation – Sitting quietly with a “clear mind”. I heard once by someone who is a health influencer that even for him, he sits for 20 minutes, but is grateful if he gets even 3-5 minutes of true peace because it was so difficult for him to clear his mind. So, if you are like me, you get what he means by that. My alternative suggestion is to do something creative. Draw, paint, build, knit, bake, write. It can be very cathartic to just focus on the task at hand and not think about what’s bothering you for 30 minutes. It’s that trance-like state that you get when you’re driving. You lose yourself in what you are doing and all of a sudden, you realize that you’re not a stressed for the day. Throughout our shutdown restrictions, Ive seen break baking, kambucha making, tie-dying and candle making all trend through social media. Is there something you’ve been wanting to try? This is a time for thinking creatively to pass the time, stay sane and healthy. Moments when you get to break away from it all and create something can make all the difference.
4. Learn something new. OK, the initial unwanted vacation time where we binge all the netflix has passed. People are yearning for something else. HOw about come out of this on the other side with new knowledge. Not only are there free ways to learn – virtual library rentals, but there are tons of free courses you can take through universities and online course hubs. Maybe ths is the time that you take the opportunity to get a certificate that could get you ahead in the job market or level you up in your career. Here are some great choices!
- Harvard Extension Free Courses
- Open Library – Rent Books Online for Free
- EdX.org Free Online Courses from the Top Universities
- Kindle Lending Library – You can borrow and Lend certain titles to your friends
- You can download my workbook – The 60-Day Plan for Embracing Your Inner Leader right here!
5. Virtual group activities. Lots of social festivities were happening on Zoom when this all started. But we quickly realized it’s tough to interact socially with 6 friends all vying to talk or have conversations on 1 screen. There needs to be some other way to connect with others and get something out of the experience. Well, there is. There are a lot of group classes going on. There are music classes, cooking classes, dance classes, drawing classes. Hey, I know it’s not exactly the same as learning it in-person, but it is certainly a viable way to get out of a social rut, or away from feeling isolated and have a fun experience while you’re at it. Here’s a few leads I found:
- 9 Great Online Cooking Classes -on CNET.com
- CreativeBug.com for the crafty person
- 15 Online Dance Classes recommended by GoodHousekeeping
OK – There you have it. Now, for those of you who are trying all the things but still struggling and can’t shake the anxiety, depression or fear you might be having, counsleing certainly can be helpful. The good news is that most therapists are proving online sessions, so now may be a great time to fit it into your life.
Whatever you choose, I hope you remember that if you can’t change your situation, you can change your experience.