As social distancing becomes our normality, by the time you’re reading this we will probably all be at home for a while, until the risks of contracting and spreading the Corona virus are past. During this difficult and uncertain time fear and anxiety about what’s going on can feel overwhelming.
Also being stuck at home can bring additional challenges such as creating a suitable environment and boundaries for home schooling and working at home plus testing the strength of relationships to the max!
These are my top tips for staying as calm and positive as we can. Whilst we are restricted from going out there are many things we can do at home to make ourselves feel better and raise our spirits.
1)Daily Structure- Whilst the current situation is anything but normal for us, try to create a bit of normality by sticking to a routine during the day (at least for Monday- Friday). Set your alarm, get up at your normal time, make your bed and whilst the temptation may be to stay in your PJ’s, get dressed. If you are working from home here are some ideas to make it easier;
- If possible have a dedicated separate workspace, if you have a home office this is ideal, but if you’re working in the same room as members of your family or housemates, create your own work area, the best that you can.
- Make sure to have regular breaks, stop for lunch (and actually move away from your work area or desk to eat!)
- Set your boundaries for work and leisure time, step away from your computer and finish work at the time you normally stop.
Human beings need structure and a bit of balance too, keeping to a daily routine and sticking to some boundaries helps us to feel calm and in control.
2) Movement- Whilst you’re creating a daily routine be sure to include exercise, which is so important for our mental & physical wellbeing. Try to do 30 minutes of exercise every day. Obviously if you normally go to the gym or a yoga or dance class, you’ll have to adapt, but there are loads of online resources available to follow at home.
There are a plethora of sites with workouts to follow from your computer, some of them offer free 30 day trials which could get you started; www.gymmondo.com & www.dailyburn.com are two highly recommended. You tube also has loads of fitness videos for you to use free of charge.
If you have kids at home there is a free workout suitable for them at 9 am every weekday. Check out P.E. With Joe on Joe Wicks – The Body Coach’s you tube channel; https://www.youtube.com/thebodycoachtv
3) Human Connection- What I’ve noticed for myself since this crisis began is that I’m reaching out more. I’m calling friends and family a lot more often than before. In all of this madness this feels like a positive and I will continue to be in contact with loved-ones much more. We can all reassure, support and even entertain each other, make each other laugh and connect remotely and I feel blessed that we have the technology to be able to Facetime, Skype & call. Here are some other ways to keep connected to others:
- Take your meetings and dates online, if you’re used to meeting up with friends for coffee or have a date for a glass of wine planned, fix a time as you would normally and log on. You can use Facetime, Skype of if there are more than two of you houseparty.com is supposed to work well.
- If you are cooped up inside with your housemates, partner or family make an effort to connect with them too, sit together at meal times, turn off the TV, social media, phones and talk. Share your thoughts and feelings and listen to theirs, this is an opportunity to get closer and support each other.
- I find that keeping the radio on in the background makes me feel connected to others and the outside world. I love BBC Radio London, the presenters are all great- as well as keeping the listeners informed on the latest news they spread the positivity and kindness that’s going on too.
4) The Gift of Time- Make the most of your time, clear up those jobs around the home that are long overdue, do that spring clean, sort out your cupboards and drawers, read the books that have been sitting on your shelf forever, take an online course and study something you’re interested in, give time to any hobbies you have that, you can still take part in at home.
5) Lift Your Mood- The next few weeks will be full of ups and downs. We can veer from feeling ok and hopeful to fear and panic about what’s going on. Whilst there’s no doubt about now being an uncertain time, there are so many ways that we can influence our mindset and feel better. Here are a few ideas;
- Listen to your favourite uplifting music
- Have a dance
- Watch a comedy or an inspiring film or Ted Talk
- Practice gratitude (write five things that you’re grateful for each day).
- Exercise or connect with a friend or loved one via phone or video chat (as above)
- Breathing exercise- The breath is such a powerful tool that we often underutilize. Try this brilliant technique the Alternate Nostril Breathing Tool to calm and balance mind and body. Instructions and a video demonstration on my website here; https://www.healthy-habits.me/single-post/2020/03/23/Breathing-Technique-for-Stress-or-Anxiety
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping reduces stress hormones, restores energy and heals emotions. Try this free simple and effective tapping technique that my friend and holistic therapist Anja has posted on her website here; https://www.eastdulwichreiki.com/
6) Be Kind- We can and will get through this together, be kind to others that may be more in need of support or help than you. If there are people in your community who are vulnerable, let them know you are thinking of them. Drop a note through your neighbours’ doors with your contact information so they can call you if there is anything they need.
I hope these tips will help you and you will find some of them useful. Stay safe and healthy.