Keeping Your Life On Track During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We all have had our lives and routines changed by these unprecedent times and we’ve learned to adhere to procedures on isolating and social distancing. Now more than ever it’s important to try to keep a sense of normalcy in our lives wherever possible.
Let’s try this …
- Maintain hygiene- shower and dress in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth, and groom. It is remarkable how our attire and personal hygiene can impact our mood; dress like a casual Friday at work.
- Maintain and stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time. Write a schedule out that is complementary to your schedule before isolation, including time for work, family, peers as well as self-care.
- It’s important to have daily goals to look forward to reduce procrastination thus building confidence. Short-term goals help you prioritize, feel positive, and accomplished when achieved. Try setting a minimum of 2 goals daily.
- Take action… how many times have you said, “I’m tired” “I don’t have time”, “I’ll get to it next week” or “I don’t feel like doing that now”; “I don’t think I really need to do that, it’s fine the way it is”? Procrastination and excuses are debilitating. Take this time to complete some of the to-do list items or the goals that you’ve put off due to “lack of time”. Make this unprecedented time productive, not debilitating. Achievement of goals will help you feel that you are finding a rainbow or a silver lining in a difficult situation. You will find true comfort in your accomplishments.
- Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes for fresh air and sunshine, with social distancing and face covering (if necessary). Sunshine is therapy.
- Find some time to move each day. Stretch, dance, exercise, walk; just move your body, it will help you feel good inside and out.
- Connect with other people to receive and provide support through FaceTime, video apps, phone calls, texting, etc. True comfort is found in support and socialization, we are all craving this now more than ever. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well, they are resilient but crave the same social needs.
- Drink plenty of water, eat clean nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new. Include others (via facetime or video apps), it can be fun and engaging for you and the family to cook “together”.
- Focus on gratitude. Every night write at least one statement of something/someone you are grateful for and re-read it every morning. Continue this daily and on the days you are looking for comfort, open your gratitude list and you will find true comfort.
- Fun brings happiness. Look around your house and find fun things to keep you and your family engaged and playful (fun brings comfort and joy). Some examples can be coloring books, cards, board games, reading, cooking, arts and crafts, or even building forts in your living room or bedroom.
- Notice the good in the world, the helpers, the essential workers. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also many stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counterbalance the heavy information with hopeful information.
- Stay mindful of your finances. Many companies are giving extensions to monthly obligations. Now more than ever, stay on top of your normal expenses to prevent financial overwhelm. Planning and maintaining your finances will aid you in feeling a sense of control and confidence.
- Routines are imperative. Create your weekly schedule and set reminders of daily obligations with professional, personal and self-care (ex: medication management should be set as a priority reminder).
- Have boundaries with social media and COVID-19 conversation, especially around children. Assure you are getting information from reliable sources. All emotions are valid, so talk about it and don’t hold it in, keep communication open.
- Know the resources that are available for you and your family as it pertains to employment, financial, medical, learning, exercise, and mental health. Always be mindful to utilize your telemedicine and tele-mental health options for your medical and emotional needs. Never hesitate to call 911 if you ever feel in danger or in need of immediate attention.
- Self-Care. When we are stressed, overwhelmed, sad, and emotional, self-care is often the first to go. Why is this? Our brains go into fight-or-flight mode and our perspective narrows. We are focused on the stressor and ignoring personal needs. Part of self-care is the selfless acts for others and the other part is the selfless acts for yourself.
When stress is high, self-care needs to be higher, that’s your therapy, that’s your calm, that’s your outlet.
~Dr. Willo Wisotsky