We are all going through a major challenge, the Covid-19 virus. So many things to keep up with: the masks, social distancing, handwashing, hand sanitizer and more. Then there’s the anxiety (or apathy) about getting the virus or that someone we love will get the bad version of it or any version. And that’s not counting those who lost their jobs or businesses, or God forbid homes.
This virus is the invisible monster that can be anywhere at once with no clues or signs of its presence. This is like your worst nightmare. You don’t know if you or someone you love or care about has it or will get “IT.”
So here are some ideas that may help you keep your sanity, depending on how your life has been impacted this year so far.
Keep a routine every day to promote stabilty in an otherwise unstable time. This works for a while but I don’t know how long people can keep it up. After 3 months sometimes I sit around in my pajamas until lunchtime and sometimes later. I am retired and single so I do as I please. But sometimes I just don’t want to do anything.
Making a list of chores (or frequently delayed tasks) for each day gives you goals to accomplish. Go through your closets; wash out the trash cans; even calling friends or family or people you meant to call months ago, can give you a sense of purpose and a feeling of success, as well as a feeling of connection and less isolation. Call an elderly or home bound person who may be lonesome or have no family. This can make both of you feel good.
A list works great on some days but on others I just want to be distracted!! I watch YouTube videos of interviews with TV stars, the Carol Burnette Show skits, (which are always best with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway!) There are videos on any topic you want to watch, learn from, be inspired by and exercise or meditate by. But then sometimes I get bored watching TV.
Stay in touch with your faith or religion. We all need more strength and wisdom in times like these. There are many books, videos, or speakers about how to cope with stressful times. At least once a day make time to read about or listen to videos about spiritual topics or growth. YouTube has a wide variety of topics.
Exercise is good for us any time but sometimes a walk can bring a sense of well-being when there is nature around us. Literally “Stop and smell the roses.” Exercise can be a very relaxing activity that helps blow off steam or excess energy or frutration.
From my walks near a wooded area I developed a new hobby. Since I am a tree lover I was delighted to discover phone apps to identify trees, (even plants) by uploading a photograph of a leaf to the app. I use my walks for exercise and for tree appreciation, recognition and knowledge.
Starting a new hobby is always good. One new hobby can lead to others. I throw birdseed out in front of my condo for the birds to eat. My cat, Norie, and I sit and enjoy watching them from our screened in porch. Ocassionally there are squirrels and in the early morning a rabbit or two. One perk of the birdseed is it has grass seed in it from which new grass is growing.
Then this led to three more new hobbies: I started photographing (through the screen or window) the birds, rabbits and squirrels. But the hobby that “took flight” from this was learning the names of the different birds. I never heard of a brown headed cowbird. But I saw one!
I never heard of a Towhee but now I know his call. I was also pleased to see bird identification phone apps that you can upload a bird’s picture to for identification. Other apps have a recorder built in so you can record the birds’ calls and be told which bird is calling.
How many of you have uncounted photos stored on your phone, in photo books, Google, or your computer files? I have photos in DropBox, my website, and files of photos, plus photo albums from my childhood, my first son’s childhood, and photos I took when I had a photo business for 2 years.
You can always scan and store them on your computer or on a memory stick but wouldn’t it be a good thing to topically organize them or at least thin out the not so great photos of the ones that are already stored in another site? (If you are like me this could take years; so divide it into one album at a time.) Divide and conquer is always a good guideline for any task.
Do you have clothes you have outgrown emotionally or physically? Do you have things including books in the attic or storage closet that you haven’t seen or looked at in years? How about the DVDs you bought before you subscribed to Netflix?
Why not donate some of them to a thrift store with a worthy cause; especially if they give their proceeds to research cures; help the homeless; those who lost everything in a fire or those in need. Sometimes you can count donations as a deduction on your taxes. Either way donating is a good deed, clears the clutter and can make you feel good too.
Don’t feel driven to do everything every day. These are strange, anxiety provoking times. Be kind to yourself. Watch some funny or cute animal or baby videos on YouTube. Take time to sit quietly and just take deep breaths, pray, meditate, be aware of your feelings and accept without blaming yourself or someone else..
To summarize find something new to learn, experience, feel, watch, cook, play, put together, clean out, repair, clean or throw out. You will feel better at least for the first three days. (Just kidding.) It just depends on you and how you feel you should do things that make you feel happy, content, or at peace in spite of these times.