The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has changed the way we live and work in a short period of time. Many of you are dealing with anxiety and stress while you work from home, shelter in place, and take care of children and family members who are confined in your home with you. Here are some tips for staying calm while confined to your home and help you manage your daily life.
Photo: Social Squares
GET YOUR INFORMATION FROM TRUSTED SOURCES
Make sure you are visiting the websites for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and from medical professionals. Avoid getting your information from opinion pieces, friends and neighbors, and social media posts that aren’t validated as having come from reliable and informed sources.
photo by Annie Bauer
The Wanaka Tree, Wanaka, New Zealand
MAKE A BRAINSTORM LIST OF FUN ACTIVITIES
My kids and I actually used to do this every year when they were young so that we could make sure we were doing things that were on our “bucket list”. Involve every family member–even the kids–to put their ideas on the list. Board games, online activities and games, card games, cooking activities, or gardening are all ideas.
Start a new hobby, learn a language, learn how to play that instrument that’s been sitting in the corner, or write that memoir for your family. Engaging in fun activities that aren’t passive (like mindless TV watching) or that require connecting and interacting with each other help to control stress, distract your mind, and stimulate positive feelings and brain chemicals.
MAKE YOUR HOME A PLACE OF COMFORT
You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel if your surroundings are clean, bright, fresh, and organized! There’s a huge psychological link between how we feel and our environment.
Do your walls need a fresh coat of paint? Try ordering your paint online or over the phone and then requesting to pick it up on the sidewalk outside the paint store or have it delivered. A popular store, Sherwin-Williams, has turned to curbside pick-up to keep you safe.
Photo: Social Squares
Do the closets, shelves, and drawers need to be organized and de-cluttered? Now is the perfect time. Get the kids involved and have them sort items into piles and boxes. When things ramp back up and you go back to work, you will also feel so wonderful coming back home to a space that’s a welcoming refuge.
Here’s another great idea! How often do you wish you had the entire family together for a group photo? Now is the time to snap a photo, order a frame online, and get those much-wanted photos of your loved ones up on the wall. You’ll then be able to look back on this time and remember that although it was a time of stress, it was also a time that your family banded together and made the best of it.
Make sure that everyone gets in the photo and that Mom or someone important doesn’t get stuck behind the camera lens. Use a self-timer or selfie stick. You might also consider getting a neighbor or a professional photographer to help out. Have them stand in your yard at a safe distance and then come out onto your front porch for the photo. They can send you the digital photos so that no close contact is involved.
Photo: Social Squares
If you don’t want photos for the wall, document your lives together with multiple photos and then organize your pics into an album through fun sites like Chatbooks, Snapfish, or Shutterfly. Treasured family photos and albums around your home will make your home warm and joy-filled and serve as constant visual reminders of all the things for which to be thankful. You can involve the entire family in this fun activity including kids who might want to dress up, do funny faces, and come up with fun ideas for your content.
Above all, focus on what this time can give you . . . and not what it’s taking away or what you might be missing out on. Now is the time to hug your family (a lot), call friends, and do those things around your home that you have been wishing you had the time to accomplish. Make the very best of these moments. One day we will all go back to work and school. And we just might find that we miss our homes and our loved ones more than ever.
For more ideas on staying positive, keeping the right mindset, and connecting, join us in The Smart Better Life Community.