SOCIAL DISTANCING: & How to Stay Mentally Healthy #COVID19

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

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156 responses to “SOCIAL DISTANCING: & How to Stay Mentally Healthy #COVID19”

    • Thank you so much Derek. Yes – weird time for sure. Sounds like you’ve got some great things lined up! Hugs and love xox

  1. Thank you so much for this article! My school is extending spring break and it looks like they may be moving everything online and closing its doors. My email is blowing up with updates and panic. I’m not sure what to do about housing (I live out of state) or what’s going to happen. So this was encouraging to read. I hope that you are doing well, and that isolation doesn’t drive you crazy! Everyone stay safe, stay productive, and try not to panic. God is our healer and protector. He knows what’s going on, even if we don’t.

    • Oh wow! That’s intense! Sounds like a wise move though. Yes best to avoid the panic. And stick to what you can control. Amen to that! Stay healthy! Hugs and love xox

  2. Thank you for this. This has been my main problem today, spiraling into other mini-problems. I have been hating having to sit on my butt at home. But I made it work, somehow, stumbling around and through various “socially distant” sources of stimulation. And I know for a fact if I had seen you post his hours earlier, I would have had a much easier time achieving all that, so here’s my promise that I’ll keep a lookout for whatever other pieces of wisdom that come from you 🙂

    • You’re so welcome my friend. I feel you there! Aww you’re so sweet thank you. Hang in there!! This won’t be forever, and we can make it through! Skype is our BFF!! Hugs and love xox

  3. To your suggestions I’d add – READ BOOKS! There are so many wonderful works that you’d never run out of great material to curl up with. Fiction? Try a classic from Charles Dickens, Hemingway or Thomas Hardy. Christian? Try Brennan Manning’s “the Ragamuffin Gospel” or Yancey’s “The Jesus I Never Knew.” An avid reader, I could go on and on but you get the gist. And E-books are cheap, folks! Delivered right to your tablet. And don’t panic. This, too, will pass.

    • Yes!! Reading books! How could i forget! You’re so right about that – and amen – this too will pass! Stay healthy friends Hugs and love xox

  4. I worked from home for a couple years, and I definitely did the get up and go through a morning routine thing each day, it helped.
    As an introvert, not going out unless I have to, or I want to go for a walk works well, until I have to go to work. Working from home isn’t even remotely an option at my current job. If I don’t show up for my scheduled shift, I don’t get paid.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. Yeah that is DEFINITELY a driving force to get up and get going! Haha stay healthy friend! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks so much friend. I know – it’s easy to fall into the fear trap! God is in control! Hugs and love xox

  5. Things have unfortunately hit the fan over where I’m at. The government cancelled school for two weeks in addition to March Break. Lining up in the grocery store now. You’d think it was the end of the world by how long the line ups are. What a time to be alive (and hopefully stay live!).

    • I’m sorry to hear that Ab! Yeah bug just declared a state of emergency. Yeah stay healthy and safe friend! Hugs and love xox

  6. As someone who spends weeks at a time working from home, I feel you all the way through this. Working from home is a skill. The GOOD NEWS – I only have to walk 15 feet to get to work! BAD NEWS – work is only 15 feet away! Do everything you can to designate a work area that you keep off-limits come 5:00. Hard to do in 500 Sq. ft., but possible if doing it mentally. Maybe there’s certain tech or materials that’s work related and are verboten off hours. Like making audition videos past 5:00.

    Your #1 – The sales team I’m on is spread across the country, but we’re a tight knit group. We call each other all the time, especially on long drives to pass the time. Even when home, someone will call from their car to pass time and catch up on “water cooler” talk.

    Your #2 & 3. Confession; I’ll spend days before trimming my beard, and I wear sweats to the office. Showers are a daily thing, but the finer points get let go.

    Your #4 – Good idea, but keep it flexible. If I’m going especially bonkers with work at home, I call a time out to go do laundry or vacuum or clean the kitchen. And about work – worry about getting needed tasks done not so much about time spent. Sometimes I’m done by 1:30. That’s the day. And working at home makes you so much more productive, because no one is interrupting your work, stopping by your desk to chat.

    Your #5 – That’s me. I develop inertia and find it very hard to leave the house even when I should!

    #6 – Hobby…like blogging. Wait – everyone reading this already does. I WILL go as far as a week out on my Quote of the Days and even stockpile articles. Read a good book.

    And news. We cut off our cable years ago. We get our news online, and I mostly scan headlines. I usually find it unnecessary to read the articles. My favorite source is The London Daily Mail. It’s a bit more international. They could tone down the Kardashian coverage, though.

    Yep, staying home is a real skill!

    • Hey Jeff! You’re right about that – it is a skill for sure! Haha yeah that’s true – both a good and a bad thing! Glad you can still have a virtual water cooler culture. That camaraderie is important! That’s a great point on number 4! London daily mail…I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your helpful insight!! Sending your healthy hugs to you and your girls! Xox

    • Thank you John!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Oh nice! Yay for Myers Briggs! Hugs and love xox

  7. I may eat my own words. But right now we don’t have any cases in my state So not much has changed. But this is the time to find a good book. Be safe and healthy.

  8. Loved the picture of you chilling. It is really inspiring. We do need to make the most of this. It reminds me of Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities.
    “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

    • Haha thank you 🙂 I am highly skilled at chilling 🙂 hehe you’re right about that. Stay healthy friend! Hugs and love xox

    • Aw thank you friend. Yeah it really is quite scary! And the grocery stores are a terrifying sight with the empty shelves! Stay healthy my friend. Hugs and love xox

    • thank you Brenden! you’re right about that! it will be life as usual on the blogosphere 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  9. First off, lovely dress in your picture at the top (this is coming from a maxxinista lol). Secondly, I foresee some guitar videos coming up right? 😉

    • aw thank you! hahah oh gosh – i dunno about the guitar videos! id have to work up some serious courage! hehe thanks for stopping by! stay healthy my friend! Hugs and love xox

  10. You share some great ideas in your post Caralyn. I agree-the last 12 hours seem like a week (if not longer) in the CoVid19 saga. The next several weeks will certainly continue to be interesting. When I first heard the term “social distancing,” I was like “Wut!?!” But I guess it is the best way to flatten the curve. Blessings.

    • Aw thank you so much! Yeah you’re right about that. Prayers for the world! Hugs and love xox

  11. I love all of these! I especially wonder what would be become of our lives and the world if we flipped the order of your list and began with time studying scripture and with praying. Not sure why its so hard to discipline myself to put God first even when there’s nothing else to do … but it’s amazing how much my perspective changes once I do. Thanks for another great post … as always.

    • Aw thank you Shelly! I’m so glad this resonated with you! I definitely can relate…it certainly changes things! Stay healthy! Hugs and love xox

  12. Grateful for your tips when we’re confine in our homes. Actually, we will be in a “community quarantine” this March 15 until April 14 here in Metro Manila, Philippines. Can I share this to fb?

  13. It feels like the world went crazy. I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime. If my classes are canceled, I hope it is not for long because it will be so hard on me financially.

    • You’re right about that! I pray they don’t cancel your classes!! Hugs and love xox

  14. I never go around people anymore. I stay to myself when i go to the grocery store i stay well clear of people and i like your blogs just because i dont comment or like. i do read them Oh i listen to music for entertainment and blog preach it keeps my mind occupied I like your tips tho keep up the good work!! God bless you

  15. Great tips. My 19yo old son is doing first year Uni in Melbourne and I think it’s only a matter of time before try close them all too. Such strange times we’re living in. Must admit as I work and write freelance from home I do a lot of these things already. Not forgetting the good ole kindle and books of course. Wonderful post.

    • Thanks so much Miriam. Will definitely be keeping your son in my prayers! Amen to that! Hugs and love xox

  16. Practical advice for everyone. So much happened in my state (Utah) just today that it blew my mind! Church cancelled, universities moving to all-online, a flood of emails, over-packed stores, and conspiracy theories, oh my! Today I bought a paint-by-number kit since it was on sale, and my daughter has suggested pulling our family games out of storage.

    • Thanks so much Camie! Oh wow – yeah it’s definitely turning life on it’s head! Ooh game nights! Fun! Hugs and love xox

  17. Fantastic post, Carolyn! Uplifting and with lots of common sense.
    I’m enjoying more time with the Lord and also doing an online Bible course. ☺

  18. Excellent advice. And don’t forget – READ! Grab that magazine you haven’t had time to look at. Go through the pile of books on your nightstand. Don’t have anything on hand you haven’t read? No need to spend money. Get out your library card and download Overdrive or Libby and check out ebooks from your couch. There are so many good books out there that aren’t being read. I can even suggest a few (she says humbly trying not to boast).

    • Thank you Amy! Yes!! Oh gosh reading is such a great thing! sounds like you’ve got quite an impressive Rolodex of reccomendations! Hehe stay healthy! Hugs and love xox

  19. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”‭‭‬‬
    Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NASB‬‬‬‬
    I add here one other that is at the top of my all-time favorite verses which my mother had a lot to do with it being so if not making sure it was my favorite!
    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
    I’m sure I should mention Psalm 23 makes me cry, it is so deep into my soul when I think of those words from God letting us know that nothing should be feared if we truly walk with the Lord our God in the Holy name of Jesus! Amen. 🙏 🙏
    For the truly faithful this is not life, but a term of time spent through our prayerful contemplation, actual eternal life, and that is our only ultimate goal, nothing else! Lawrence

    • You’re so right – what powerful verses. Brings comfort in these uncertain times! Hugs and love xox

      • Hi Caralyn! Thank you; and I mean also for doing a fine job of putting together a list or itinerary for the holed-up masses. Some entertaining thought here too; a positive effort and highly commendable of you! I’ve been in a very offset mood with all that I see in the tumultuous man-made world on all levels so I needed a bit of an epiphany and I got it yesterday which was totally unexpected as to the actual amazing components of it but should have been less anxious while I was waiting for an answer. You reminded me of what I don’t do, which is to lay it down and get with the activities that are numerous, God knows, even the “Spring Cleaning,” LOL. So, I have something to try and share soon I hope, as to how things turned around even though the same big problems are there basically right in all of our faces, yours truly included of course! I know it’s all cool, after all God has it covered and in His hands! Let’s stay encouraged and do the good we know we can do, and try doing, but in my case maybe even better! Talk to you soon when I spend more time on what I need to chronicle. God Bless. Hugs and Love to you too, I appreciate it Caralyn! 😉 👍 🇺🇸 🙏 🙏

        Was that Boogie Woogie GIF clip YOU? WOW! If it was that’s some fancy exercise and housework combined! You’ll have spring cleaning done in a fraction of the time it takes me!!! 🤣😜😉 👍

      • Just ya body double huh! I kinda wondered, figured you’d have some cleaning moves that good, but now come to think of it, I bet with your varied skill sets, you have those and some better ones to boot! But all things considered she did OK! 😉 👍

      • Imagine how ridiculous I would look doing that; now that’s something to laugh about!!! I mean side splitting rolling on the floor in tears laughter!!! 🤣

      • While on the topic of China, and although this may be a tiny bit askew of this specific blogs thrust, politics has everything to do with everything these days; so I include this brief commentary of mine which was my reaction to an article that pointed out what Tucker Carlson had to say about the COVID-19 outbreak and who China is trying to blame, the US military; so here I leave this for you and the readers to consider when looking at any matter involving the Chinese government.
        Tucker Carlson has the goods and is spot-on! We’ve been dealing with the atheist dragon the Chinese Communist Party which is not a friend but truly an adversary who would squash America like a bug if they had the opportunity! They’ve been proving this for many decades now as America has become more dependent on their cheap manufactured goods all the while they were rigging the system and also stealing intellectual properties while continuing to be two-faced with us regarding North Korea, playing us for the fool, while buying into anything and everything they could in America to have us totally economically beholding to them; over the proverbial barrel! If this isn’t a recipe for dominance and control then I’m a madcap twinkle toed leprechaun sailing by the outer reaches of the solar system somewhere past Pluto! The good news is our president Trump has locked horns with them and said enough already, and the bullfight began in 2016 rather than what we had for eight lost years under OBOZO, of rolling over on our backs and saying we will kiss ya butt China; all the while they robbed America blind under the useless team of Obummer/Biden, the same two creeps that are supper wealthy now and for what? Public servants that served themselves; not you and me! Nothing but legalized top dog criminals that fed off the US Taxpayer, while selling us out to socialism! Like Harry Truman said, the givem hell Harry after WWII; “the buck stops here!”
        He didn’t coin the phrase but was spot-on in using it as the President! Famously, the plaque on his desk stated “The Buck Stops Here,” his promise to take full responsibility for all of the actions of the Executive Branch. That is exactly what President Trump is doing!

  20. Praying for safety for you! Thanks for sharing your tips! This is a time for us, as believers to pray that our nation would repent and God, in His wrath, would remember mercy. Blessings!

    • Thank you so much Rachel! I appreciate that. Amen to that. Lord have mercy! Hugs and love xox

  21. It seems counter-intuitive, to be sure: but we have been conditioned to using the internet more, with less face-to-face communication. This may save us from the pandemic. However, we must also stay positive, and send love (as you have done) to everyone out there. Blessings, Carolyn.

    • Thanks so much Lisa! Amen to that — and yes!! His podcasts are THE BEST! He’s on ascension presents and bulldog catholic

  22. Thank you so much for posting this. It was so helpful to get through today! I had to disconnect from social media (specifically Twitter) just to keep sane. But making a schedule for my day and getting dressed and doing my make up really helped. Stay safe and healthy!

    • Hi Sami! Oh good, I’m so glad it resonated with you and helped a bit! Yeah I feel you – lots of fearful information out there. Stay healthy my friend! Xox

  23. Too many people are not prepared for such an emergency such as the coronavirus. People rushing out buying toilet paper of all things when I think it’s important to have all this stuff already in case you have no choice to stay at home. Going to write a blog on this.

    • That’s so true. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    • To be fair, a lot of my neighbors are preppers: emergency generators, MREs, crank flashlights and radios, etc. Their extra runs to the grocery store aren’t “emergency” so much as the repercussion of everyone staying home: children need lunch, parents aren’t grabbing coffee-and-a-bite on the commute, and everyone is using the bathroom throughout the day. No one’s wasting the 40-year emergency food on it. 🙂

  24. I love the cozy photo of you. As far as WFH, I would add that using the Pomodoro Method of breaking the workday into 25-minute blocks helps, too. I just spent two blocks setting my Livingroom up as an “office” for the next two weeks, and it helped when the timer went off just as I was feeling anxious. (I do NOT like seeing the sofa, chair, and part of the floor covered with piles of essays, notebooks, and books.)

    • thank you so much J! yes, trying to stay cozy and sane! I like that idea! stay well friend! Hugs and love xox

  25. Must say that living in the woods with the closest neighbors nearly a 1/4 mile away, social distancing is easy here. I was happy (working in health care with nearly hourly Covid19 e-mail updates to read and decipher) to finish up Friday & come home. We got plenty of fresh air, cleaned ditches before this evenings storm and moved wood for next winter’s wood stove heating, and enjoyed the emerging daffodils. Oh, forgot to mention, read Romans (start to end) in one sitting over 2 cups of coffee. Stay well. – Oscar

    • oh wow, yeah that is definitely ideal right now! thanks Oscar, stay well! Hugs and love xox

    • thank you so much Amanda!! I’m glad you found it helpful!! stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  26. I especially liked where you said: “we have a truly unique opportunity to spend quiet time with our Creator.” – this is so on point. It just literally posted a tiny video that accentuates and embodies how beautifully enriching and crucially mportant it is for us to spend quality time with our Creator. Here is the link to the video:

    Thanks for posting this!

    • Hi Mindy! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yeah, i think a lot of people are feeling unsure during this time. Stay well my friend, and sending big hugs! keep running too! (Good for the immune system!!) Hugs and love xox

      • I had actually meant to comment this on your wake up call post but they were both excellent! Keep doing what you do, you are an encouragement to so many.

    • Thank you friend – absolutely! I would be honored if you did! Stay well. Hugs and love xox

  27. Good imput about what to do indoors. I am just getting the mindset of being in a quarantined environment. And learning about the virus has actually been a comfort by realizing what it is, and that the steps of the government to stop its spread is a really good thing. It definitely will not be a repeat of 1918. Thanks for another good post. Blessings.

  28. Stay healthy physically and Mentally! I have been practicing social distancing 5 years and still distancing from anything that making me unhappy … glad I did it so it’s not weird at all but of course I miss the gatherings like serving God and its people, hope this end soon ! Love reading your post been a while haven’t seen your post …

    • Yes!! Both mentally and physically healthy are so important!! Stay well friend! Hugs and love xox

  29. I grew up with enjoying doing Jigsaw puzzles, the ones that require a bord to place them on, but there are one online theses days. OK I’m a slob as my desktop is a pig sty, in dire need of spring cleaning 🙁

  30. I grew up with Jigsaws puzzels the kind that require a borad to place them on, but theses days you can do them online
    My desktop is in dire need of spring cleaning, as it’s a bit of a pigstyYou can’t help being informed using the internet, but I Won’t let myself get obsess (promise)
    Add to you list have Fun, even Laugh at yourself

  31. Like this very much. Feel like I’ve just read my diary for the past 2 weeks. 3000 miles apart, yet we could be next door. Life is certainly almost identical, world wide now…how often would that ever happen!

    • Thanks friend – glad you could relate. A surreal world we’re living in right now! stay well! Hugs and love xox

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