I am sending everyone healing and warm thoughts while we adjust to the "new normal". Unfortunately, our "new normal" is being in lock-down. Below are some tips for keeping yourself safe mentally and physically while we're adjusting so that we don't just survive, but thrive!
1. Remain calm – whatever you do…DON’T PANIC! Be sure to surround yourself (metaphorically) with a good support system. If you’re really having trouble coping, I suggest looking up therapist who can see you virtually.
2. Stay inside – I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but staying inside and remaining calm are tied for the #1 way to keep yourself safe during this time – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Get the hell off social media – the media is causing mass hysteria – stop checking your Instagram/ Facebook/Twitter feed, you’re driving yourself mad and don’t even realize how much a trigger social media really is to the average person.
4. Take advantage of video calls – video your family and friends (especially if they’re in different states) and check in on them. If your family members/friends aren’t tech savvy, pick up the phone and call them!
5. Plan how you’re going to spend your time indoors – or else you might lose your mind. We have no idea how long this is going to last (California is already on lockdown) and you don’t want to go stir-crazy within 3 days of being home. Plans could include reading books, practicing yoga, finally starting the book you’ve always wanted to write. I am going to practice handstands every day and work on my yoga practice. I also plan to read a lot of books!
6. Practice deep breathing and meditation – this will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Every time you start to feel overwhelmed, take a minute (I like to close my eyes) and take a few deep breathes. Be sure not to go too fast. There are thousands of videos on YouTube for deep breathing and meditation practices.
7. Tidy up & DISINFECT – start with disinfecting everything. After it’s all disinfected, you can start on the tidying up. Why not clean out those closets you’ve been meaning to organize the past 5 years? Watch/read Marie Kondo! There are also thousands of tips and tricks online, for example YouTube and Pinterest, that will give you enough ideas to last a lifetime.
8. Start tasks you’ve been putting off – cleaning is the first thing that comes to mind, but there can be other tasks too. For example, going through your bills you’ve been ignoring, launching the website you’ve been thinking about, connecting with old friends that you were “too busy” to reach out to in the past.
9. WASH YOUR HANDS! – Be very mindful of what you’re touching, especially if you go out in public. Be careful to not touch your face.
10. Document your experience – now is a great time to start a journal or a video blog. Document your mental health throughout this time, it will be interesting to look at later and can be a very insightful exercise.
11. Don’t abuse drugs and alcohol – it’s easy to abuse drugs and alcohol, especially when you have less responsibility and/or are just sitting around all day. Be mindful what you’re putting into your body during this time – what you put into your body DOES affect your mental health.
There are probably way more ideas that could be included in this list – but these 11 are a great place to start. Remember, remaining calm and staying indoors is the first step to keeping yourself safe. I hope everyone is safe and healthy!