The weather is getting nicer, cherries are starting to blossom and spring is in the air! But we are stuck at home during this Coronavirus quarantine with what seems like no end in sight. As long as social distancing measures are still in place, it’s normal to feel fear, anxiety or just loneliness. Many of us are feeling the exact same way about stay-at-home orders, “social distancing,” supply shortages and wide-scale unemployment. Just know that you are not alone – calls to US helpline jumped 891% in March of 2020 compared to the same month a year ago.
So I wanted to take this opportunity and to talk today about mental health during Coronavirus and some ways that I personally find helpful in managing our stress and anxiety during these times.
1. Build daily schedules and stick to a routine.
Even Scott Kelly who’ve spent a year in space recommends having one. Sticking to a schedule can help you feel more prodcutive and stop the impostor syndrome. I typically write out tasks that I want to accomplish during the day – no matter how small or big and as I go along the day, I cross them off the list. At the end of the day when I ask myself “What did I even do today?” – I look through the list and feel a lot more accomplished!
2. Enjoy your newfound time.
I know people’s commutes in New York can take close to an hour each way during rush hours. Take these 2 newfound “commute hours” and enjoy them – read a book, listen to a podcast and cook a full breakfast in the morning. Spend an hour on your favorite hobby in the evening.
3. Stay connected with people around you.
Remember this doesn’t need to be “social distancing” but rather “physical distancing”. Video chat and play games with your family and friends. But also reach out and check-up on your neighbors across the hall, gym workout buddies, your colleagues, people in your industry – something as simple as saying “hello” can make someone’s day.
4. Do your skincare.
And look flawless when all of this is over!
5. Find time to exercise.
Daily exercise can lead to a number of benefits like improved sleep, stress relief, improvement in mood, increased energy and stamina and so much more. And the best part is that even moderate exercise like brisk walking or moving for 30 minutes a day is what most of us need to start feeling these positive benefits. So no need to be intimidated by gym heads especially since all of the gyms are closed anyways 🙂
6. Time to learn cooking or pick up any other hobby.
You’ve seen those bread baking videos on Youtube. I’ve seen them too. What better way to try and bake your own bread than now? This applies to any other hobbies you might’ve wanted to try over the years but never had time to. I’m personally learning video editing (Final Cut Pro extended it’s free trial to 90 days) and will start on sewing next. Maxim is learning touch typing with many free resources available online like Lynda and Coursera. Just pick something that floats your boat and that makes YOU happy.
7. Take more baths.
If you are lucky enough to have a bathtub, now is the time to put it to good use! Fill it up with hot water, add epsom salt, bubble bath or any other type of soak and let the weariness of the day melt away. I bought this $3 drain stopper for my bath and it makes the water level much higher and the whole experience more luxurious. Also pro tip if you’re not getting enough bubbles, try using a simple kitchen whisk to whisk up those bubbles to a frothy bath that deserves it’s own Pinterest post.
8. Find things that you are grateful for and write them down.
I know it might seem like there’s not much to be grateful for during these times but take a moment and write down all of the things that come to your mind. It might surprise you how many things you could actually come up with. Once on paper, keep this sheet handy and glance over it when you are feeling down. My personal list of things that I am grateful for would include my Mom, my sisters, Maxim and Pluto, a roof over my head, all of the technology to keep me informed and entertained, bath time, a good skincare routine, having more time in a day to do the things I genuinely enjoy doing, home cooking, my health, podcasts, and my bicycle to name a few.
Hope you are staying safe, Gems, and find some of these tips helpful as you navigate these uncertain times!