Handling COVID-19 and Quarantine
Amidst chaos, loss, anxiety, injustice, and frustration, how can you possibly stay positive today?
As COVID-19 begins small steps of dissipating, life is reopening slowly and to be honest… some of us are kind of a mess. Being quarantined for 3 months and adjusting our entire way of life was a tough pill to swallow. Of course, there are some people who called it a hoax, and there are some people who were directly impacted, whether by the virus itself or working longer hours, less hours or losing a job. Whichever way the coronavirus impacted you, its safe to assume that the social injustices and atrocities in our cities didn’t make it any better. Although, some justice has been served and some reform is under way, many people who were already shut down due to the virus lost their businesses entirely adding to the economic crisis we were already experiencing. On top of that, millions of Americans who have been stuck in their homes for months glued to the media got peer-pressured into click bait for corrupt journalists adding more fuel to the fire due to the upcoming election.
If that paragraph alone didn’t stress you out, then maybe I am my own in this battle, but if you’ve felt rattled in the past 3 months because of your job, the news, an illness, lack of income, events cancelling, death, racism or the ever elusive murder hornets then hopefully this will help you to chill out.
I’m a list person, are you? It’s okay if you’re not, just take from this what you need.
5 EASY Ways to Stay Positive RIGHT NOW:
- Read a book.
I know that sounds so cliché, right? Some people haven’t read an actual book since college. Hear me out. I’m not a great reader either, but since quarantine started, I’ve trained myself to dedicate an hour of my night at minimum to not mindlessly sinking into Netflix and Instagram. Not only do you become a better speaker and writer, but you force yourself to TUNE OUT THE WHITE NOISE. I tend to have days where I catch myself on my phone deep in social media feeds WAY too long. By choosing to immerse myself in a good read, I remove myself from the madness and let my brain do its own thinking instead of indulging in other people’s radical opinions (there’s a reason your entire friends list on Facebook aren’t published writers.)
In addition to reading being a great escape, it’s also NECESSARY right now more than ever. While Karen from high school rants about defunding the police based off inaccurate statistics, Uncle Bob is ranting about All Lives Matter based off equally inaccurate statistics. So who’s bandwagon is the best to jump on? The answer is NEITHER. Form your own beliefs and own opinions based off your research, education and understanding. The world does not need more keyboard prophets who regurgitate fake media posts. It needs more thoughtful individuals who have taken the time to see all perspectives and form a valid conclusion from their own heart and their own mind.
- Get outdoors.
The beginning half of quarantine was kind of a bummer, honestly. Amongst other mor important reasons, the cold weather had us down even further. Once May hit, the heavens opened up and gave us the 75 and sunny weather we were praying for. I’m not going to be the gym rat advocate who guilt trips anyone into getting super physically active and making a life change, but I will say simply spending some more time just out in the fresh air, alone and at peace with yourself and your own thoughts, will do you SO good. I have been walking my dogs at the park around the corner almost every single day. It’s to the point now where my dogs are sitting next to my desk staring a hole through my brain at 4pm every single day like clockwork. We’ve started a healthy pattern! It doesn’t include me running or lifting weights (although that is my end goal), but I have learned to block out the time, make a commitment to move and now other beings depend on me for it. The fresh air and accomplishment of doing something will surely lift your spirits, and if you happen to catch a glimpse of me walking two large dogs on retractable leashes and trying to clean up one of their poops at the same time, then you will without a doubt smile.
- Spring Cleaning.
If you haven’t already felt the freeing power of purging your closet, cleaning out your garage, making some extra cash off your “basement things you haven’t used in years but like to keep them just incase” collection, then no WONDER you might feel a little down! There is a clean, stress free world of possibilities buried underneath those boxes waiting for you to unearth and experience the invigorating feeling of organization.
Okay maybe it isn’t that euphoric, but honestly for me it is. We, as humans, are usually on the go no stop, every day, all year with little to no time to recuperate and organize our lives at home. This often leads to anxiety, anger, lashing out, migraines and other stress induced illnesses. It’s a crazy cycle we allow ourselves to stay in, but the good news is you can take steps to prevent it! Here is a list (within a list) of a few things to consider starting with and chipping away at that I promise will make you slowly start to feel weightless:
- Clean out your medicine cabinet.
- Declutter your make-up/cosmetic drawer or containers.
- Re-organize your kitchen cabinets & donate excess canned goods.
- Clean out and organize your fridge.
- Go through your closet/drawers and donate things you have not worn in the last year.
- Go through your garage and sell items your family no longer uses.
- Clean out your glove compartment, center console and trunk.
- Organize your nightstand or any other side table “junk” drawers.
- Pick up an old hobby.
The reason I say old hobby is because starting a brand new one can be stressful for some people. It takes time and money often to invest in what you need to get started, education, training etc. Although, with the extra time available, there might not ever be a better time to start something new, so if you are okay with everything that comes along with it, go for it! However, many of us have hobbies we used to do that brought us joy and we back-burnered it because we got too busy. Think about what makes you feel alive, what makes you smile, what stimulates you, what makes you feel happy – GO. DO. THAT! And don’t feel embarrassed if you don’t have your interests pin-pointed yet. Life pulls us all in different directions and you might have had your dreams squashed somewhere along the lines to the point where you told yourself to move on. Maybe kids came along, and their hobbies became your hobbies, or so you thought.
Take some time to sit in peace, alone, and think about what lights you up. Is it the feeling of seeing something through that takes a long time like puzzles? Do you enjoy being able to gift somebody something that you crafted? Do you have thoughts swirling in your head that you’d do well to dump on a piece of paper? Whatever it is, now is the time to reclaim your interests and prioritize the happiness they bring you.
- Self care.
This one might have mixed reviews. I for one have been loving the low maintenance approach to being a female the past 3 months and I know the men in my life are enjoying their ball short and t-shirt aesthetic; however, I know there are some people who don’t feel themselves without their hair, nails, eyebrows and makeup done each day with an outfit to match. Whether you are the former or the ladder, self-care benefits all of us mentally, especially women.
For those who are like myself and are appreciative of rolling out of bed and not having to put on makeup or think about an appropriate outfit, we can all admit that we sometimes feel a little bit self-conscious having not seen the photo ready version of ourselves in a while. Although, I have a new-found appreciation for my natural beauty, it’s honestly just fun and therapeutic sometimes to clean yourself up! Consider doing an at-home weekly date night where you get put together, or now with outdoor dining available, go on a REAL date or family night out – remember those? *visions of someone making your food and bringing it to your table and then cleaning it all up – sigh*
For those who feel less when you aren’t getting yourself ready with a purpose each day, make YOU the purpose. If getting dressed and done up makes you feel good, then there is no reason why not having to go into an office every day should stop you! You don’t do it for your co-workers, you put on your outfit and style your hair every day for YOU, so don’t let this new schedule change that.
Hopefully, these five tips resonate and can help you to block out the negativity in the world and fight for your inner peace. The world might feel flipped on its side, but you don’t have to. Prevent anxiety and other mental aggravators by continuously growing yourself, breathing fresh air, doing something that makes you happy, and cleaning your space and yourself! Above all else, the secret ingredient to all five tips: STEP AWAY FROM THE MEDIA. Ironic coming from your digital media specialist, right? Even I have to admit, it can be severely toxic if you don’t draw some boundaries. Use these tips to snap back to reality and enjoy the rest of your quarantine. Build good habits that matter now so you can carry them with you when “normal” resumes.