2020 sure has been a year! Meghan and Harry are no longer senior royals, wine was pouring from faucets in Italy, and Chick-Fil-A started selling their special sauce in stores are just a few highlights of this topsy-turvy year. The biggest news story though, of course, is Covid-19. We are deep into the pandemic and have been social distancing for over a month now. I think we are all beginning to feel the effects of that, which means that it is very important that we remember the importance of self-care. Usually life gets in the way and we don’t always have time to focus on ourselves, so what better time to get back into the swing of it than when we have little else to do. Here are a few suggestions if you need a kickstart this “new normal”:
Remember the things you can control, and work on letting go of things you can’t. This one is key in order to keep our sanity during these stressful times. Sometimes it is hard to sit and think, so it may be easier to do it old school and take out a piece of paper and a pencil and jot some things we can control down. Our mindset – trying to stay positive, our wellness – eating well and staying active, asking for help and setting boundaries, when to watch the news and go on social media…these are just a few examples of things within our control. Keep the list going! Comment on this post with some ideas of what is within your control, and maybe you can help someone else.
Have everyone in the house take daily alone time. No matter how much you love someone, after being with them 24/7 for weeks they will get on your nerves. Has my husband always annoyingly hummed the theme song during Final Jeopardy? Has my sister always brushed her hair for that long every morning? Little things that didn’t faze us before are now front and center and could lead to major disruption in the house. If everyone takes at least 30 minutes two or three times a day to separate and have alone time, we may be able to come back together with peace and harmony.
Pick up a new hobby (or re-ignite a passion for an old hobby.) When the social distancing started, I did something I haven’t done in about two years – I picked up some yarn and a crochet hook, and I made a scarf. And now I can’t stop! Websites like Pinterest have been life savers for people looking for something to do. What have you always wanted to do? What did you used to love but haven’t had the time for lately? Always wanted to write a book – what a great starting plot the Universe has already given! Maybe getting out that mixer and baking is the ticket. If you’re like me, there is a pile of books that you’ve bought over the years that has more dust than read pages. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination – have some fun!
Think of the good in the world. Sure, there are people fighting over toilet paper and a decent amount of finger pointing. Instead of focusing on those things though, why not think about the good things going on – New Yorkers clapping for first responders and medical staff every night, neighbors checking on each other, strangers making face masks for others…there are many more examples of the good than of the bad. And if you are having trouble thinking of the positive, it may be an ideal opportunity to be the good you hope to see.
Keep in touch with loved ones. Who else has become very versed in video chatting recently? Just because you can’t physically be with the ones you love doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with them – why not have a Zoom meeting to discuss ways you’ve been keeping sane while enjoying some laughs, or download the Houseparty app and get your game on with some friends?
Get outside. Many people feel that being in social isolation means you have to stay inside – this is just not true! Going outside has been shown to help your concentration and memory, lessen stress, and boost your energy and creativity. Remember the six foot rule if going to public places, but you can get the same benefits just sitting in your back yard or taking the dog for a walk around the block.
Continue your therapy appointments. While we may not be in our offices at the moment, we are still here to provide support, skills, and even a few giggles, and we have been exploring fun ways to bring creativity into sessions while being online as well. Our schedules are more open now that we are working from home, and we would be happy to meet with you, whether you are a current client, a past one, or someone we’ve never had the pleasure of meeting before.
Be safe, be creative, and be kind to yourselves.