It feels like the last 12 hours has been a week!
The impact of COVID19 is being felt across the country, now not just on the grocery shelves, but in the newest buzz word on the block: SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Practically all of NYC, as well as much of the US, is now working from home. Schools and universities are closing their doors. Coachella, Stagecoach, SXSW, the NBA are all cancelled.
And we are being urged to practice strict social distancing.
And for an ENFP ((aka: (and I quote from the website): someone who lives for “the social and emotional connections they make with others)) — being holed up alone in a studio apartment is about as enjoyable getting a root canal.
But it’s no joke — by limiting our interaction with large gatherings, it can drastically help slow the spread of the coronavirus…or “flatten the curve.” Which is advantageous because it would reduce the strain on our hospital systems. Think “trickling in” verses a mass influx.
So, I am doing my part to adhere to the guidelines. But I’ve gotta say…as of 36 hours in…I am practically climbing the walls of my 500 square foot Manhattan apartment.
SO – I thought that tonight I’d share some tips for staying mentally healthy when in social distance mode. Because let’s be honest: being cooped up is not good for the soul.
So without further ado…
1)Take advantage of virtually connecting!
This is quite honestly the most important one for me! We are the most connected we’ve ever been: FaceTime, Skype — we can be with people without having to actually be there! Skype date! 🙂
2) Get Up, Dress Up!
What is the first thing people think of when they hear, “Work From Home?” Working in your PJ’s. Which is great…for a day. But by getting dressed in regular clothes…even just yoga pants…it communicates to your brain that you’re going to be productive. And that’s a powerful thing!
3) Do some extra self-care!
Believe me, I know the allure of dry shampoo…but don’t neglect your personal hygiene just because you won’t be “seeing people!” Bonus: This is an awesome time give your skin some extra lovin’ with a face mask!
4) Stick to a schedule
Again — when WFH, one can be tempted to sleep until noon. But it really is so good for the mind to stick to a “life as normal” schedule.
5) Limit Technology or “Screen Time”
Sure — binge watch something on Netflix, or lose track of time playing CandyCrush (is that still a thing?). BUT don’t turn into a digital zombie. Why not…
6) ..Take up a new hobby!
Like cooking? Or learning Italian? Or in my case, dusting off my guitar and actually learning how to play! The downtime will inevitably drive us up the wall…best to have some non-screen activities to avoid the doldrums. (Puzzle anyone?)
7) Move your body!
Running or walking outside is a beautiful mix of fresh air and exercise that I personally love. But there are also terrific workouts that you can stream online, no equipment needed! Staying active, even while indoors, is super important for staying healthy!
8) Make your space your sanctuary
AKA…CLEAN!! Allowing your space to turn into a pig sty is one sure fire way to feel like a slob – which is no bueno for your mental health. I’ll be spring cleaning…I’m looking at you, dusty baseboards.
9) Stay informed, but don’t obsess
If we just scan the internet all day for the latest doom and gloom statistics on COVID19, we will for sure, live in a state of panic and terror. Stay informed, be prepared, exercise caution, but let’s not let fear or anxiety get the best of us.
10) Listen to podcasts/music/content to expand your mind & grow in faith
Lastly, fill the silence with positive things: there are so many SO MANY great podcasts and other content out there that can grow your mind. And sure, I love a good Bachelor Recap podcast, but ones that fill me spiritually are so important to my faith life. Anything by Father Mike Schmitz is a great place to start! He’s hysterical and a powerful speaker!
Lastly, we have a truly unique opportunity to spend quiet time with our Creator. How often have I used the excuse that I’m “too busy” to pray, or work on my relationship with Christ? Well now, I have literally nothing but time. Study scripture, take time for quiet prayer, do a devotional, journal — I know a pretty great one called Bloom, by Yours Truly! 😉
It is my prayer that we all stay healthy, friends. And my prayers are especially with all the doctors and medical professionals that are on the front lines.
I love you all! Stay healthy!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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