We may be separated, but we are all in this together. And there is always a silver living. As we navigate this brave new world, it’s crucial to stay safe, sane, active, and inspired.
Here are 10 tips for not just surviving our circumstances but also bringing some joy and meaning to them.
Adapt your routine (but keep one).
When confronted with change and chaos, take back control by restoring order with routine. Sure, working from home, homeschooling kids, not being able to do your regular workout, or socialize with your squad sucks, but by writing out a daily schedule and sticking to it, a restore of purpose, accomplishment, balance, and sanity. For inspiration, it’s worth taking a look at Oprah’s roundup of how inspiring women create and stick to a routine or check out New York magazine’s The Cut’s popular “How I Get It Done” column.
Adapting your usual workout to your environment will keep you physically and mentally fit. Go for a daily walk or run (remember to keep a safe distance) or sign up for a daily virtual yoga class, pilates or exercise class. If you’re having trouble summoning the energy to work out (especially if you have mild symptoms of COVID-19), remember you don’t have to go at your usual pace. Just 10 minutes of gentle stretching or yoga (we love YouTube’s Yoga with Adriene, for example) will spark bliss chemistry to help you power through the day.
Spark joy, bring back the fun
Make sure you inject some fun into that daily routine, as laughter is the best medicine right now. Think game nights, movie nights, watch some stand-up, schedule regular virtual happy hours with friends and family, or summon the squad for a game of Psych! (Ellen DeGeneres created the app, so naturally, it’s hilarious and addictive). And feel free to go down a rabbit hole of all the hilarious memes out there — thank goodness we’re in the era of social media.
Game on, set a challenge
In addition to indulging in a workout challenge, up your A-game by writing out some personal and professional life goals (or revisit that long-forgotten list). You could learn a new language on Duolingo, elevate your culinary skills, write that book or upskill in your career by taking a personal development or professional course on Linkedin.
Invest in your mental health
Stave off boredom and overthrow anxiety and feelings of helplessness and loneliness by nurturing your mental health. Listen to empowerment and positive affirmation meditations, flex your mental biceps with games and brain training apps, play uplifting music, and dance around your living room (it’s not like anyone is watching!). Remember mental health is also an inside job, so eat a diet rich in mood-boosting foods and take supplements like Cleo’s Save Your Sanity daily vitamins — infused with a health and wellness elevating cocktail of vitamins C, B6, B12 and minerals folate, calcium, magnesium, and zinc it helps alleviate stress and boosts your mind and energy. Talking it out also helps, sp hats off to all the mental health experts and therapists that have stepped up to offer free counseling sessions.
Declutter and reap the health benefits
If ever there was a time to unleash your Marie Kondo, it’s now. Perhaps the universe is telling us to stop procrastinating and attack that pile of paperwork, clear out that junk drawer, cull the kids’ toys and declutter, declutter, declutter. Streamlining your wardrobe and creating the perfect working-from-home (WFH) wardrobe will also help boost your confidence and self-esteem (so yes, do shower and get dressed every day). By clearing your space, you gain mental clarity, feel more vibrant, break bad habits and release energy blockages in your home and life, according to feng shui philosophy that states “free-flowing energy creates health, wealth, love, and overall abundance.”
Bond with your family/peeps
Spending 24/7 with the kids/your partner/roommates is not for the fainthearted, but there are upsides. Friendships and family bonds deepen as you eat dinner together, set up regular hangouts, and engage in a- home date nights… plus, we encourage having more sex to keep the romance alive. MojoUpgrade.com is the answer for a waning libido. It’s also important to carve out private spaces and times where you can decompress alone. And when conflict arises, instead of hurling your hairbrush, talk openly and calmly, as communication is everything.
How not to lose it with kids
As for the kids, homeschooling and preventing boredom can make you want to tear your hair out, but on the upside, parents now have the joy of observing and experiencing their kids as students (imagine how excited the teachers are about that). Being more involved in their academics is also a bonus as the DOE sets up google classroom for remote learning. In addition to their set learning, lean into all the amazing resources too. Fatherly has compiled a list of at-home activities for bored kids, check out kid-friendly podcasts, museum tours, and educational videos. And we love this daily morning positive affirmation for kids and so will they.
Knowledge is power in uncertainty, so stay informed on the latest developments. And no, that doesn’t mean listening to every news outlet, conspiracy theory, or Facebook haters out there. Choose one reputable news stream and watch a daily update (again, schedule this at a specific time). This will keep you informed but not overloaded. For up-to-the minute, data check out WHO, or Worldoneters, and Associated Press for independent news coverage. While there is no doubt the news can be scary and depressing, take comfort in the fact that there are many amazing, inspirational leaders, health experts, and medical workers on the frontlines doing all they can to contain this pandemic. You can also console yourself knowing that experts say most people who have COVID only experience mild symptoms and recover.
Inspiration is everywhere
Remember in our darkest times, inspirational people and stories emerge. The world has united to support humanity and provided much-needed supplies. The medical community has rallied as doctors and nurses to come out of retirement and students graduate early to join the fight (risking their own lives in the process). Mental health experts are volunteering free online therapy. Businesses are donating supplies and rushing to create life-saving equipment, and fashion designers have turned their attention to designing face masks and hospital gowns. And never underestimate your sacrifice — by staying home and following all protocols, we stand together to flatten the curve and lift each other’s spirits. The ultimate inspiration can be found in the videos of people singing from balconies around the world, clapping in solidarity to salute all the hard-working heroes and those sharing stories of positivity, comfort and hope.