At first, when we heard we were to stay at home, we thought this will be fine, we can do this! As the weeks wear on many of us are struggling. We may find we are feeling depressed or anxious. We don’t know when this will end, we can’t plan anything and the plans we did have are being canceled. It seems like all the fun in life is being taken away.
Seeing as we may have more weeks of this, how can we thrive, keep our mood up and be pleasant to those around us? Here are a few tips –
1. Whatever you are feeling, let yourself feel it. If you are sad because your child won’t get to go through graduation, feel it. If you are disappointed a family reunion has to be rescheduled, feel it. If you are anxious because you don’t know when this will all end, feel it. We have a tendency to compare our situation to others and say “Well, I don’t have it so bad. I have food and shelter so I shouldn’t feel so bad.” While that may be true, it is also true that your feeling sad, disappointed or anxious is legitimate too. Let yourself feel it. You will move through it faster.,
2. Take time every day just for you. What do you enjoy doing? Reading? Taking a walk? Binge-watching a series on Netflix? Whatever it is do it.
And pay attention to the calming and pleasurable feelings those activities give you. Those positive feelings will help recharge you for the coming days.
3. Schedule your day. Plan for when you will get up in the morning, when you will eat when you will exercise when you will work when you will play.
When we schedule our day and follow it, we feel we have some control which is sorely lacking currently. And with that control, our mood will get better.
4. Exercise. We know from research that daily exercise helps diminish depression and anxiety. Make sure that everyone in your household is getting outside at least once a day to walk or play. Moving our bodies in the fresh air helps clear our minds and help our mood.
4. Connect, connect, connect. We are made for relationship. And while we have to forego the hugs and touch of others, we can still see and talk to others through Zoom, FaceTime, Skype. Be intentional about connecting with others as much as you can. Be creative!
We can all get through this time and get through it well. We will come out on the other side of this stronger, more adaptable and more resilient.