You might think you’re fine; you also might be fine. But the affects of COVID-19 could mean there’s a long road ahead and it’s important to preserve that “fine”.
It’s also okay not to be fine. Few of us are.
I have fine days and not fine days. But every day I try to practice a few things to make sure I’m taking care of myself.
These might be suggestions you’ve heard a bunch of times. I have no doubt they’re all on a meme on instagram, twitter or both… But I believe in them and that’s why I found it important to share my 5 ways to stay sane during COVID-19.
1. Stop Constantly Watching/Reading/Thinking About The News
I’m not one to watch the news on a regular basis, but I’m living with my boyfriend and he’s obsessed. If CNN isn’t blaring Trump’s voice first thing in the morning, he’s scrolling twitter for news updates or sending me instagram posts of breaking news.
I. Can’t. Do. It.
And that’s okay.
Yes, I want to know what’s going on in the world. Yes, I need to know what’s happening in Toronto and make sure I’m updated. But I can’t handle being inundated with pandemic updates. And that’s okay.
Check in once a day (or twice if you want), to stay informed. Sure, even watch government announcements. But stay mindful of how it’s affecting your mental health and adjust accordingly. It’s a lot to take in and process. You need to save space in your mind to actually deal with the information you’re taking in.
2. Get Fresh Air
Not everyone has the privilege of living in a house with a backyard or being at their cottage to self isolate. Most people don’t have a large outdoor space to take in rays of sunshine. I’m in a condo and very lucky to have a large balcony.
There are always ways to get fresh air and some vitamin D though.
- Take A Walk
Change it up if you’re bored of your route after a few days. Drive to a different neighbourhood for a change of scenery if you want. Just stay away from parks, boardwalks and especially people.
- Create A Balcony Retreat
I never used to spend a lot of time on my balcony, but I do now! I’ve done my spring cleaning early and even brought my yoga mat outside for some mid-day meditating yesterday.
- Keep The Windows Open
It can get stuffy fast; especially if you’re living with multiple people… Keep fresh air flowing through your home to break it up!
- Eat Outside
It’s still a little cold but nothing a hoodie and blanket won’t fix. Have your morning coffee outside or take a lunch break on your porch. It might seem small and insignificant, but it will make a huge difference in your emotional well-being.
3. Get Rid Of Guilt
Everyone is coping in different ways because everyone is faced with different stressors and situations.
Some are still working, or working even more. Some are essential workers scared for their lives. Others have family members or loved ones that are essential workers and they’re scared in an entirely different capacity. Some are balancing working and full time parenting or home schooling. Personally, my anxiety is heightened and I’m struggling to self motivate.
Everyone has new challenges. Everyone is adapting. Not everyone has this “time” being thrown around.
If you’re able to start a business, workout every day or write that book you’ve been dreaming about then that is honestly completely amazing. I barely have the energy to do my laundry.
What I do know, is that “me time” is integral. And I won’t feel guilty for taking it.
4. Do Something For You
Doing something for you isn’t doing something productive. Get that straight now. Doing something for you is doing something you want to do just because you want to do it. NOT because it’s productive. If it’s both, great. If it’s not, great.
Sit and stare at the wall for an hour, analyzing your wallpaper if you want. I don’t care what you do… but do it because you want to do it.
Today I (successfully) made bread.
Yes, I hopped on the bread wagon and no, I don’t have regrets!! It was SO easy! Like 4 ingredients easy…
I was inspired by Lynne and Tristan Knowlton who shared their fool proof recipe. They’ve posted and re-posted successful loaves made with love by a ton of people who’ve tried it and love it. So I HAD to try it for myself!
Honestly, the hardest part was finding yeast when it seems everyone is making isolation bread!
Trust me. This recipe is fool proof!
5. Connect With Loved Ones
Support is important always. It’s especially important during physical isolation. Your day to day is a completely new routine, but that doesn’t mean you should be isolating yourself from everyone. You still need that support and it can come in many forms.
- Have one-on-one FaceTime calls
- Schedule group Zoom chats
- Schedule games night on Zoom group chats
- Download the GamePigeon app to play games through iMessage
- Collaborate on ideas, plans or work; work together with someone
- Watch a movie using Netflix Party
Everyone is responding to this pandemic in different ways. The one constant is that we all need to preserve our mental health. That takes a different form for everyone and maintaining it is different for everyone. But whatever you do, make sure you’re listening to what your needs are right now. Make sure you make time for you.
If you have suggestions for other tips that have helped you stay sane I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Lara Stasiw • Real Estate Agent & Home Design Connoisseur
You made it to the end! THANK YOU!!
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