With nearly the whole world falling apart, most of us are struggling to find some kind of peace within all the confusion and uncertainty. If you’re struggling to stay sane with everything going on right now, here are a few things you can try.
Try to find short term goals.
You’ll drive yourself insane if you pin all your hopes on long term goals right now. Instead, try making a new to-do list that you can complete from your own home within a few weeks or even a few hours. Maybe make a goal of listening to one educational podcast a day or spending 30 minutes learning origami. Whatever it is, make sure it’s hard enough to challenge you but not so difficult that it sets you up for frustration or disappointment.
Connect with people in whatever way you can.
Maintaining relationships is hard enough in normal times, but when seeing people in person is literally illegal, staying connected can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. But Zoom and group chats aren’t the only way to keep in touch with people. If you’re finding these methods of communication to be a hassle, try writing some old fashioned letters instead.
Avoid “accomplishment” burnout.
There’s a ton of pressure right now to “make the most” of your time, as if government-mandated quarantines meant that everyone suddenly became useless and lazy. Just because a lot of us aren’t able to follow our usual routines doesn’t mean we’re not using our time meaningfully. Some people have kids, some people are working from home, and some of us are simply too overwhelmed with the crisis to “better ourselves.” We’re all coping as well as we can, and there is no right or wrong way to use your time.
Don’t read the news too much.
It’s so hard to ignore the onslaught of news lately, but making the effort to limit your engagement with it will benefit you enormously. Stay up to date on the things you need to know, but don’t get sucked into refreshing your newsfeed every 30 seconds. The only way you’re going to maintain a healthy mentality through all of this is by shutting out all the noise and listening to your own needs.
Nature is one of the best ways to clear your mind and stay active. If you’re not an outdoorsy kind of person, try going for a walk in a new neighborhood or buying some houseplants. Any interaction with the natural world counts and can help break up the monotony of your day.
Take a virtual dance class.
There are all kinds of exercise classes that you can find for free online now, but not all of us have the motivation to jump straight into a HIIT workout or bust out some push-ups. Dancing is a great way to move your body without feeling like you’re actually exercising. It releases endorphins, helps you focus, and lets you release some of the nervous energy you’ve been building up over the past few weeks.
Have a schedule.
It may seem silly and unnecessary given the current circumstances, but trust me, sticking to a schedule will make your lockdown experience feel like much less of an upheaval or more like ordinary life. Have a set wake up time that you stick to during working days, and if you’re working from home, maintain your weekends so you don’t burn out. The more consistency and structure you have in your daily life, the more stable you’ll feel mentally.
Create at-home events to look forward to.
Not being able to go out or visit friends or plan a vacation feels like torture right now, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find little ways to spice up your day-to-day while in lockdown. Whether you dress up and have an at-home date night with your significant other, camp out in your living room, or have a dance party over Zoom with your friends, there are all kinds of ways you can create special occasions from home.
Pick up some classic comforts.
We’re more dependent on technology right now than ever, but there are benefits to putting your phone down and engaging in an activity that can’t be interrupted by the latest anxiety-inducing deluge of notifications. Reading a novel, taking a bath, and cooking are just a few ways you can disconnect from the outside world and get lost in something pleasurable on your own.
Take things one day at a time.
Before the pandemic, hearing people talk about “being present in the moment” and “focusing on the now” was one of the most annoying pieces of advice you could be burdened with, but these days, those people really have a point. With the future more uncertain than ever, thinking too far ahead is enough to make even the most mentally chill people crumble. The best thing you can do for yourself is focus your dreams and worries and energy into each day as it comes and not worry too much beyond the next 24 hours.
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