2020 has brought on what is perhaps the most unsettling time we've had to face together as a global community in modern times. COVID-19 has meant shutdowns around the world, coupled with job losses, economic uncertainty and health worries that are plaguing everyone. If you’re feeling unsettled by this, or perhaps over the last few days you can feel yourself slipping more and more into a state of heightened stress as a result of this, there are some things you can do to help yourself gently navigate back to equilibrium, or as close as possible to it. First things first: You are not alone in this. Here are a few ways that can help to ease things up, while we navigate these unchartered waters.
Reduce Your News and Social Media Consumption
With many of us spending more time at home, either working from there, on an absence from work or being asked to stay indoors depending on where in the world we are, the temptation is to curb our anxiety by reading the news. Not once a day, but ALL day. It's so tempting to wake up in the morning and check it right away. Be mindful that news is there to inform and to shock us, and that many publications will do what they can to grab your attention with a sensationalist headline. Discern!
Similarly, a lot of us are checking the coronavirus case trackers and watching anxiously as the count goes up each day. Perhaps, you’re also finding yourself scrolling endlessly on social media, looking at photos of acquaintances and celebrities. All of this is not great for our mental health, so start by setting some limits for yourself. Set up a Google alert for the virus, even one that is tailored to your country, and then you’ll receive a daily email with the news. 30 minutes a day is more than enough to stay in the loop, promise. Take as much of a break from social media during this time as you can. You’ll start to feel better in no time, I promise.
Rather than the conventional sit in form of the TV, now is also the time where we can have those family games and meals and get to do those things we haven’t had time for. Let’s make good memories from here. Let’s make good food, share our good spirits, let’s garden, let’s puzzle, let’s read, let’s paint, let’s play indoor table tennis without the table, let’s get creative, let’s stay healthy, let’s stay as happy as we can.
Check Yourself: How Much Water Are You Drinking?
Next, have a think about the last 48 hours. If you’ve been at home, like me, you may have neglected your water drinking habits somewhat without even realising it. I carry a water bottle around with me pretty much all the time, and it’s amazing how little I have to refill it while I’m at home, compared to when I’m out and about. Perhaps it’s because we have easy access to juice, coffee, tea etc. at home.
You may even be tempted to start to replace water with fizzy drinks, especially if you’re ordering groceries and looking for some comfort. In this situation, remember to “check yourself before you wreck yourself”. Get up right now and have two glasses of water if this is the case. Make a point to have a glass of water (maybe even warm water) as soon as you wake up in the morning, and a little before each of your meals during the day. You’ll feel way more nourished.
Increase Self Care with Just 10 Minutes a Day
For many of us, the opportunity to go to the gym, or do our usual morning jog is no longer viable. In places like Argentina, the police are patrolling the streets and threatening to arrest people who are out of the house for non essential reasons. This could soon be a reality in many more places around the world. So how do you keep your self care routine going should you also be in this situation? Easy. Put 10 minutes aside for it each morning when you wake up.
This can be as simple as putting the time aside to write down a list of things you’re thankful for that morning, doing a short meditation (always a winner) or just deciding to cut and paint your toenails! Self care should not be a chore and is best served when it is a regular feature in your day. I recently wrote a Daily Bliss eBook to help you get started with this as a gift to help you along, especially if it’s never been a part of your day to day. It’s never been more important for us to look after ourselves than it is now.