If you’re somewhere in America as of now, your local or state government has likely ordered you to “shelter-in-place” sometime for the foreseeable future to curb the spread of COVID-19. For most of us, this means in varying degrees staying inside our homes unless leaving for essential purposes such as getting food, picking up medicine, or going to see a doctor. It also means adjusting daily family life for many because home has now become the workplace and the classroom.
For us here in the Bay Area, we’ve been sheltered in place for multiple weeks and while the idea of having some extra time at home seemed initially appealing, stir craziness has set in much sooner than later especially for myself. The silver lining though is now having the opportunity to use the extra time not commuting to and from work to focus on things such as family, health and personal reflection as the effects of social distancing and sheltering at home have set in. While many of us have been affected by the new environment we find ourselves in, here are a few ways I’ve found that have helped me dominate this current era.
1. Be Socially CLOSE. Connect with others.
Yes you read that correctly. Practicing social distancing DOES NOT mean that you should be socially distant. After all, we are social creatures by nature! Make every effort possible to connect with others and avoid situations that isolate you for long periods of time. This would be a perfect time to get in touch with close family and friends as well as an opportunity to re-establish relationships with old acquaintances, and distant relatives. Of course with the rapid advancements in technology, calling, texting, and even video chat over the phone and on social media platforms has never been easier! Checking in with others to trade status updates can help give and bring peace of mind to one another so keep reaching our as opportunities present themselves.
2. Go OUTSIDE and Get Some Sun!
Again, you have read this correctly. Spend a little time outside each day even if it’s only to stand outdoors. Not only will it help create a literal change in scenery, but sunlight has been said to directly affect our mood. Getting outside as you are able will likely prove invaluable if you have kids as it will give them the opportunity to burn off some extra energy. If and when you do get out for some fresh air and vitamin D, please practice social distancing guidelines and remain safe in your communities.
3. Have ME Time Through Prayer, Meditation and Reflection
While I would be remiss not to remind my fellow Christians to stay strong in prayer at this point, for fluidity’s sake we’ll define this recommendation as a specific time and space to process and clear your thoughts and feelings. Most if not all of us are living in unprecedented times that have dramatically affected and changed our lives and the lives of the ones we love. The immediate future also seems speculatory at best. Carving out a portion of your day to pray, meditate and reflect on these things will help to relieve stress, focus your emotions, and provide the opportunity to calm not only yourself, but potentially your surrounding environment. The cool thing is you can do this individually or with others. The key here is being intentional with this time.
4. Play Games… Lots of Games
Breakout the video game controllers, blow the dust off the board games, and start dealing those playing cards. The one thing we could all use right now is a WIN and what faster way to get one than playing one of your favorite games? There’s also the added benefit of creating significant interaction and bonding through game playing. Not to mention, playing games is inherently relaxing and fun. The only word of caution here: know the game and know the players. The ideal coupling of games and players should create an environment of gentle competition and collaboration where everyone regardless of skill level feels comfortable and welcome to join.
5. Create a Schedule That Works For You
Speaking solely on my own behalf, having a sense of familiarity and routine are so important that life grinds to a halt without them. This reason alone is enough for me to recommend adopting a new schedule or adjusting your existing schedule to fit your needs and help properly manage your time. This may ring especially true for parents now having to balance working from home with taking care of their children while also taking on a more active role in their child’s distance learning while schools are closed. Scheduling time will not only help you prioritize objectives and tasks, it will also help re-create a sense of normalcy during this time of upheaval which could ultimately have resounding effects on overall mood and productivity.
Give these a try and leave me a comment letting me know about your experience COVIDING and what’s worked for you. We’re all in this together. Be healthy and stay safe.
#Hardworkeasyliving – Do HWEL For Yourself