By now you might be sick of people telling you to take a deep breath and try and relax. The truth is, this may be the first time the whole world is stressed out at once. We’ve all grown up knowing the benefits of a global economy. And while some warned of this coming, few understood the implications of a global pandemic on our modern civilization.
Some of us are working from home while home-schooling our children, while some of us are suddenly unemployed. Others are scrambling around delivering food or goods to homes, or twice as busy rushing around medical facilities. For those of us traveling down the fertility journey, life may feel even more suspended than normal. All of us are less sure of our future and it’s stressful to say the least.
So here we are in a new normal. Take a deep breath and count back to five.
Know that this is a moment in time we will get through. And try, as best you can, to use it as an opportunity to put a new emphasis on your health and spending quality time with your loved ones. When people say ‘Everything happens for a reason’ they are reminding us to focus on positive outcomes.
10 Ways to Stay Positive
If you haven’t sprayed your house down yet with germ killers, start there. Doorknobs, light switches — anywhere lots of people touch should be cleaned with disinfectant. But now is also a perfect time to knock those deep cleaning projects off your list. Organize your pantry, closet, your sock drawer or your home office. Take advantage of the slower pace to get your space in shape for when life picks up again.
You are now more in control of your diet as restaurants are closing and sharing meals outside of your home is limited. Focus on eating healthy and curbing your alcohol intake. Take it one day at a time. If you fall off the wagon and stress eat, you’re not alone. Just start again tomorrow.
While you’re at home, you can still talk on the phone and text. Take this opportunity to reach out to loved ones to let them know you’re thinking of them. Helping elders feel less isolated has health benefits for you as well.
Try a new project to challenge your family or housemates. Bake a log cake (yum) or construct a robot out of cardboard. Chances are you have all the supplies you need already in your home. A Virtual ‘Bake Off’ with long distant cousins or friends is fun even though you won’t get to taste each other’s creations.
- Schedule News
Set a time to listen or read the news and set a time to turn it off. Two times a day is plenty to stay informed and safe. Protect yourself from false information by relying on trusted sources and allowing that if something sounds wrong, you should research it.
It’s been practiced for thousands of years because its effective at strengthening the body and mind. Try watching a YouTube video on Sun Salutations and do 5 rotations two times a day. When you’re finished is a perfect time to bless your loved ones, your pets, the stars, the sun and the moon or whatever you feel like blessing at the moment and focus on being grateful. Regardless of your beliefs, saying Thank You and listing the people, pets, and things you love is spiritually uplifting.
- Get Outside and Move
Surround yourself with nature and enjoy the signs of spring. Walking, jogging, or planting a garden are excellent ways to build strength and improve your mood. The endorphins we get from exercise are natural mood enhancers.
Keep a journal of your thoughts, ambitions and emotions. Writing is therapeutic. Venting on paper has the same effect as venting to a person and you can spare someone your toxic spew. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Get them out on paper and then toss them away or save them as notes for the killer novel you’ll write someday.
- Zoom Happy Hours and Socials
You can still host a party while social distancing – just do it online. Zoom and Skype are the most popular ways but there are many hosting sites. Times are weird and we’re all open to new things. Send out a recipe for a cocktail and snack suggestion beforehand – but don’t be surprised if everyone shows up with their own drink of choice. Lots of us are limiting our trips to the grocery store so we’ll just drink whatever is at hand – even if it’s just ice water. The point is social interaction and we all need it.
- Pamper Yourself and Those You Love with Attention
Being forced to stay in can be a luxury. Maybe it’s time for a facial or an aromatherapy bath. Perhaps you’ll finally find the time to try a new hair or makeup routine. But be sure to spread your attention to those sheltering at home with you.Play 20 questions with your partner; they will surprise you. Shoot short videos of how your family is spending time during the shelter in place. Design an inside obstacle course. Teach your dog a new trick.
Above all, make the best of this stressful situation by knowing that we will move past it in a few weeks. While we may never get back to exactly the same place, we will absolutely move into a new normal. Family and spending time with loved ones will continue to be what’s most important in life.
Here’s to getting to our new normal.