These are unprecedented times we’re living in, and with communities far and wide not only the country, but the globe, taking measures to distance ourselves for the safety of all, it leaves many of us feeling stuck or secluded at home.
There are a million posts out there right now about how to work from home or find ways to stay focused and productive while at home (including ours from a while back—check it out!) But, it’s important to say that during times of stress, anxiety, and the unknown (resonate with anyone?), it’s just as warranted (in our humble opinion) to have tools in your back pocket to be well, stay well, and to create an environment that serves you.
Sometimes home is a sanctuary. But, when the entire family is home, dishes need done multiple times daily because you’re cooking more than ever, and the house seems a bit too small, your own wellness can take a nose-dive.
Here are a few ways to calm the inner storm and be your best self, so you can go out into the world (via technology if necessary) and be exactly what this world needs … you!
Teach Someone Something … Anything
If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet in the last few weeks, you know the memes are rolling in about being home with kids, spouses, etc. But let’s get real for a minute. One of the best things we can do for ourselves and for each other is to keep our brains working, learning, and growing. This doesn’t have to involve rocket science.
Remember the days when your grandparents taught you to play cribbage? (15-2, 15-4, anyone?) Sit down and teach someone something new—whether it’s a game or a lesson on how to plant a seed! Bake with a kiddo, teach a friend via FaceTime how to cook something as you do it in your own kitchen. Get creative. Now is the time, and you never know what you’ll learn from it, too! Your brain will thank you and so will someone else.
Let the Light In
If the weather allows it (it’s technically Spring!), open the windows and let in some fresh air. Or, at least open the curtains and bask in the sunlight when you can. A surefire way to ruin your mood is by locking yourself away in the dark. If you’re able, getting out in the direct sunlight even for just a few minutes a day can make a big impact on your mentality (get that vitamin D!). Your front or back porch are the perfect spot for a 5-minute break.
Clean Up Your Act … Without Cleaning
While you’re at it, make your whole environment less dusty (without dusting!) and change the air filters in your home furnace. Don’t know how? Look it up on YouTube™ and learn something new (wink, wink.) Don’t have a new air filter? Did you know you can subscribe to them online on places like Amazon and they’ll send you a new one every few months? You’ll be shocked at how dirty they can get and how changing it can help you breathe a little better at home! Add a few houseplants and your home air will never have been better.
Make a List … Check It Twice
Create a daily checklist; write it down with pen and paper and keep it out somewhere you’ll see it all day—kitchen counter, fridge, coffee table, wherever. Make this a list of the top 3-5 things you want to get done today. Make them small, medium, or huge projects, whatever suits your fancy. Examples can include (but are not limited to): Call Mom, make three business phone calls, play a game with someone, eat a vegetable, do one load of laundry (and put it away), read for 13 minutes, walk 17 laps in the backyard, water houseplants, write one paragraph about the day … the possibilities are truly endless. The idea is that every time you check something off, you have the endorphin boost of accomplishing something. We can all use this every day, but especially right now.
Set aside a bit of time each day to move. If your local community allows it, go on a walk, get out to the woods and go for a hike, take the dog for a stroll, go on a bike ride. If you need or want to stay closer to home, race someone in the backyard (can be done with or without kids!), run or walk up and down your stairs as many times as you can, clear out a small area in your home and do any number of the thousands of online workouts available. Take your pick and press play. You’ll likely find that of any of the suggestions on this list or any others out there, this one will have the biggest positive effect on you and your well-being. We were made to move!
Inhale … Exhale
Stress and anxiety can lead to … you guessed it, more stress and anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle, and during times when things are unknown or out of our control, it can get out of hand quickly. One way to help break this cycle is to breathe. It might seem too simple, too mundane, or too cliché, but it can have a huge impact on whether stress continues to build in your body. An interesting idea is that if you are focusing on breathing, even for just 10-20 seconds, and truly just focusing on breathing, your brain can’t focus on anything else. And just like that, you’re reaping the benefits of stress relief.
Phone a Friend
We are social creatures by nature. Isolation can get lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! The good thing about “social distancing”? Everyone’s doing it. Pick up the phone, FaceTime, Skype™, Zoom™ … whatever fits your situation best. Odds are, you’ll be met with someone on the other end who wants to chat for a bit in real time. Treat it like the 80s, but without the long phone cord dragging behind you.
Make Time to Read
There’s no time like the present to get going on that TBR pile. When we can’t go anywhere, books can take us to places we never thought we’d see, feel, or interact with. Read each day for a bit (just you or make it a family event!). Don’t know where to start? We’re a big fan of Who Moved My Cheese. Or, check out our TBR pile post to get working through your own.
Whatever your situation looks like right now—working from home, working at work, not working, social distancing, kids home from school, sheltering in-place—we’re all in this together and we all need the support of one another, even at a distance. Check on each other, find out if there’s opportunities to safely help in your community, support local businesses during this time of great need, and take care of yourself so that you can be there for others.
We want to hear from you! Share in the comments below how you’re adapting to the current global environment. Maybe you’ll help someone else!