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If you’re anything like me, the coronavirus has turned your world upside down. Between the constant news updates, kids home from school, social distancing, and the possibility of total lockdown, I’m finding it difficult to keep from going crazy.
So how do we stay sane when the coronavirus and social distancing is stripping us of everything normal, steady, and constant? Rather than listing activities to do at home, I have compiled a list of no-cost strategies that are helping me stay grounded and calm in the midst of the chaos. Hopefully, these ideas will be helpful regardless of your situation.
Find (or Create) Peace
Finding peace has been the most difficult, and yet most important thing for me to do during this crisis. I have found that if I can take the time to spend a few minutes in stillness a few times a day, everything else goes better. Here are some ways I have found to help me find and create those moments of peace.
Turn off the news. At the very least, limit how often you check it and what sources you go to.
Focus on your faith, whatever that may be. Regardless of who or what higher power you believe in, spending time in prayer and meditation can bring a great sense of peace and comfort.
Listen to music that soothes your soul. My go-to song is Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of The Swan, from Carnival of the Animals.
Journal. Writing down your thoughts, fears, worries, and everything you’re dealing with can help get it out of your mind and off of your shoulders. Plus, down the road, your journal may prove to be an interesting window into what life was like during the coronavirus.
I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.Bob Hope
Make people smile. At a time when hugs and handshakes are potentially dangerous, my daughters and I have instituted a new greeting to help alleviate the awkwardness of social distancing. When we see someone we want to say hi to, we give them a deep bow or curtsy. In addition to being a safe form of greeting, it never fails to bring a smile to their face.
Watch something that makes you laugh. I learned long ago that laughter is the best way to stave off negative feelings. When I feel a cloud coming over me, I go to YouTube and find a comedy bit to watch. My favorite is Dry Bar Comedy. With over a thousand uploaded videos, there’s certain to be something to get a chuckle out of you, and with no crude or foul language or dirty jokes, you can even feel comfortable letting your kids watch.
Connection is one of the most fundamental human needs, but we don’t need to lose it because of social distancing. Making an effort to stay connected to friends and family via text, video chat, and email is one of the most important things I am doing to stay sane. While we may be limited in the physical support we are able to give, we can continue to provide emotional support and reach out to others when we need it ourselves.
This might sound crazy, but cleaning has been one of the most effective techniques to help me when I start feeling overwhelmed. Cleaning requires action, often vigorous action, which gets our hearts pumping and the endorphins flowing. On top of that, it produces immediate, visible results. So much about the coronavirus situation is unknown and out of our control. Cleaning allows me to regain that feeling of control, if only for a short time. When combined with some pumped-up music, cleaning has the power to lift my spirits and bring me back to the present like little else can.
Light and Fresh Air
If you can get outside, do it! Even if that just means walking around the block. (Just remember to stay 6-feet away from anyone you meet.) If that’s not possible, open the curtains, or better yet, a window, and let in some sunlight and fresh air. Not only is it healthy, it will lift and invigorate your spirit and the atmosphere of your home.