While it seems like we might just be on the brink of ending quarantine status for many of us, several state and local governments are extending stay-at-home orders into May each day. Honestly, it sucks. Yes, these measures are needed, but there is so much information out there, and it’s hard to tell what is accurate and what is false sometimes when all your friends are sharing different articles on social media. I, for one, experienced things that I’ve only heard about on the news and through people’s stories on Instagram this past weekend. I had to wait outside of Sam’s Club for 40 minutes prior to opening in a bid to get some more toilet paper because since this has started, I have only seen one box of individual rolls in the stores. Over a MONTH of not seeing toilet paper on the shelves. By the time Sam’s Club opened, the line to get in was at least a half-mile long. I also had to wait in a short line to get into Whole Foods to do the rest of my grocery shopping. Fortunately, that wait was only a few minutes. It can be so overwhelming!
So, I thought I would compile a short list of tips to help keep your sanity while we are all stuck here at home for the next several weeks!
Limit Information to Prevent Info Overload
Select one or two sites that you trust to be your source of news on current events. And by one or two sites, I don’t mean the entirety of Facebook! Constantly bombarding yourself with doom and gloom media has been proven to have negative effects on your health, both physical and mental. If you have a friend who shares nothing but article after doomsday article and you find that you can’t seem to help but click on every single one, maybe try snoozing them for 30 days or removing their status updates from your newsfeed. You can still stay friends, but won’t be tempted by seeing the information pushed at you every time you open the app.
Take Up a New Hobby or Hone an Old Skill
Nows the time to start working on those dreams! Always wanted to learn a new language? Now you have the time to sit on your couch and do it! Want to brush up on your baking skills? Homemade bread is freaking delicious AND not as hard as you might think. Did you use to knit or craft? This is the perfect time to bust out those materials and get back into it. Learn a new stitch or finally do something with ALL the pictures you’ve been saving for years.
Get Fresh Air Every Day
This one is a little tricky, especially if you are in the city and you live in an apartment that might not have access to a balcony or windows that open. But spending even 10 minutes sitting on your front porch or hanging out by an open window can significantly boost your mood and reduce anxiety. If it’s available to you and you can do so safely, try hiking a local trail. I’m lucky to live in the country, where I can hang out in my back yard or unroll my yoga mat in my orchard. I understand that not everyone has access to such things, but putting in the effort to find a natural spot to get some fresh air can do wonders for you.
Spend Some Time On Yourself
Not the easiest to do for a lot of people! Take the time to journal out your thoughts, clearing your mind of any lingering anxiety. Try some skincare that you’ve been wanting to try for a while now. Do that deep conditioning hair mask. Meditate. Even if it’s for five minutes after you put your kids to bed. Make it a nightly ritual to have a little treat at the end of your day, even if all you did was binge-watch old TV shows. Change out of your pajamas! Maybe even plan a fancy dinner one night, and get all dolled up. It might seem silly to waste makeup or hair products when all your doing is sitting at the kitchen table, but looking good can lead to feeling good.
Have Patience and Give Grace to Others
In other words, don’t be that asshole!
Just because you might believe this is all some sort of conspiracy doesn’t mean that the next person thinks the same. Give people a little space at the store. Don’t grab things from other people’s carts. Don’t bogart the TP! If you have extra, reach out to friends and family because they might not have any. Say thank you to the store clerks, because who knows how the people before you treated them. We are all in this together, and by giving a little grace to others, you might be surprised at what you get in return. Remember that stress and anxiety affect people in all different ways, so someone who might normally be a rational person could be struggling with day to day tasks and decisions.
I hope these tips help ease some anxiety or reduce some stress you might be feeling. I don’t have kids, but if any of my readers with kids want to comment on how they are dealing with kiddo boredom in the comments, it would probably be greatly appreciated! The more we work together, the sooner we can be together again!