If you are like me, you are just about done with this whole “staying at home” way of living. If you have settled in and are actually enjoying the isolation, more power to you! Please tell us your secret!
I read an article recently called 27 Things to Do and Feel During the Coronavirus-Induced Slowdown and I thought I’d change it up a bit for parents. The article was written by Carly Anderson, MCC. Her website is https://carlyanderson.com/. She has given permission to share her suggestions. I found them helpful and wanted to pass them on, adding in a few of my own, so here goes:
20 Things to Do to Survive the Coronavirus “Stay at Home” Order
- Take Charge of Your Mind. You have a lot of power to affect your own health and well-being, and the well-being of those you are in contact with, physically and virtually. Please do some serious filtering of what you allow to be broadcast or read in your home. I had to quit scrolling through Facebook because of all the negative and dire posts. I decided, “enough”! I cut back to going to one website to get headlines and not even reading all the articles. Just enough to keep informed. Then I went back to thinking and reading and listening to other things–things that lift me up.
- Eat Nutritiously. This is a time to eat to strengthen your body. Too much of the wrong food weakens your body. Eat for health. Drink in moderation. Be conscious of what and how much you eat and drink. Be vigilant to emotional eating.
- Connect Virtually. Except for my family, this is the only way I’m connecting these days. I use the platform Zoom, or facetime. I would encourage you to use this not just for business, but for friends. You connecting with your adult friends and your kids connecting with their friends.
- Manage Your Emotions.
One of the ways we lower our immune strength is through fearful thoughts. Fear is useful when you are in real physical danger, as the adrenaline energy is meant to get you out of danger. In relation to this virus, the majority of people are not in real danger, but live in the fear of being in danger.
Mostly though, we create unnecessary fear in our mind, which weakens our immune system. Yes, our feelings toward ourselves and others can weaken our body.
Check your fearful thoughts. Question yourself as to what you are afraid of. Do what you can to be safe physically. The rest emotionally speaking, is up to you to work with.
- Live This Moment Mindfully.
Fear can be real in this moment, if we are physically or emotionally threatened. However, we tend to create fear through catastrophizing about the future. We think of the worst-case scenario happening to us or to others.
It’s up to us to talk back to this self-created fear. Or for those who fear they aren’t good enough; speak back with a counter voice that is kind and loving.
The unkind, fearful voice in all of us, IS NOT REAL. It’s made up by us. Mostly we engage in fearful thinking because we feel out of control of life in some way. Remember, fearful thoughts can weaken our immune system. Talk to yourself; the fear isn’t real in this moment. Stay present in this moment.
Denying fearful thoughts has them fester inside us. Externalizing fearful thoughts can be harmful to others. Be in this moment, and examine; are you safe now? In this moment, is the fear real? Most often, the answer is no. Keep that habit of present-moment thinking and feeling, instead of reverting to fearful thinking and feeling.
- Support Others in Need.
Take care of yourself first. Then consider who might need emotional support and reach out to them. Meet each person emotionally, where they are. Listen to their fears. Gently ask them what they need to do to alleviate the fear.
There are people who can’t get to the grocery store. Consider donating to your local field bank or Meals on Wheels. Start a neighborhood group on NextDoor or something similar.
- Walk and Exercise. If weather allows, go for walks. The length, or pace of the walk doesn’t matter. Just get your body moving as that moves energy and emotion. Some people like to walk in the heat, others in the snow. Whatever the weather, find ways to get outdoors and simply walk.
My husband and I belong to a crossfit that is offering online classes on Zoom. There are a lot of coaches and gyms doing that in this season. Take advantage of it!
- Meditate. Pray. Be Grateful. Whatever your spiritual practice, engage in it from a place of love, caring and nurturing your spirit. No fearful, vengeful-God thoughts; that isn’t going to support you, your immune system, or others.
- No Excuse for Boredom. There is absolutely no excuse to be bored while at home. Boredom is a lack of creativity on your behalf. It’s not a real ‘thing.’ Check your self-talk, your mindset, your attitude, and your habitual way of thinking and feeling. What is it that you can do, but haven’t done because you don’t have the motivation to do it? Now is the time to talk to yourself in a kind way; choose what you are going to put your attention on, and do it.
- Go For a Drive. Just to get out of the house, go for a leisurely drive. Explore areas of your city or town where you’ve never been. I like to drive around neighborhoods where I’ve never been and explore streets I’ve never driven on. You may learn things about your community that you never knew!
- Clean and Declutter Your Home. Now might be the time to give your home a deep clean! Clean the floors, the doors, the walls, the windows. What’s in your closet that you don’t need, don’t wear, or don’t like anymore? Go room by room. I actually started doing this–one bag a day for Lent–I’ve been by the Goodwill dropoff a couple of times already. What repairs can you do inside your home? Now is the time to do what you can. What is in your garage? What about your garden or yard?
- Clean Out Your Computer or Tablet. Perhaps now is the time to declutter your computer, or other tech files. This may be the time to get virtual tech help to check the ‘health’ of your computer/tech.
- Get Finances in Order.
In the United States, this is the time of year to get your taxes in order, and filed. Or perhaps it’s time to put some financial systems in place for yourself and your household.
Finances could be a challenge for many during this time. Consider getting very clear on what you can do to be financially responsible. What money can you save? What don’t you need to buy, or subscribe to? Know how much money you have in reserve.
If you don’t have cash reserves in place, then get your mindset in the right place to start that now. One dollar at a time is better than no dollars. Eventually you will have 6 – 9 months of cash reserve.
- Create Something. Serena Williams posted on Instagram that she is going to create a makeup tutorial while she stays at home. What about you? Even if it doesn’t make you money, it may give you great satisfaction (and increase good immune system response) by creating it. What is that one thing that you’ve said you always wanted to create but didn’t have the time?
- Write a book. Many people dream of writing a book. Even if never published, the act of putting your thoughts and feelings on ‘paper’ can be very rewarding.
What do you want to write about? Forget if anyone approves of what you write about; this is for you, your satisfaction. If you ever share with anyone else, that is a different thought. Just enjoy the process of writing, or creating something from your thoughts.
- Feed Your Mind. Search the internet for your area of interest and passion. What can you learn from the comfort of your home? Or simply be inspired by?
- Laugh. Genuine belly laughter is one of the most healing, immune system boosting activities we can engage in. Have you seen some of the memes about toilet paper? Working from home during this time? Search the internet for memes such as these and laugh away! Let loose and be silly with your kids by dancing, singing, playing silly games.
- Keep a Family Journal. Have a notebook left out where everyone can find it. Encourage each person to write their thoughts in it daily or as often as they’d like during the Coronavirus quarantine.
- Give Each Other Space. This forced family time can have wonderful rewards, but it can also get tiring. Designate an “alone time” mandate if you feel your kids need the encouragement to do so, or simply let them go off on their own in the house or yard when they feel the need to “get away.” Let yourself do that too.
- Ask for Help or Support. If you are struggling emotionally with processing the current situation, then please find a supportive voice to listen to you. Being heard is so important; when we feel heard without judgment, we can usually then begin to consider a different way to think, feel or act.
If you don’t have a great listener you can reach out to, then consider what community services are offered. Search online in your local community for support services.
In this season, I am offering free parent coaching. If you’d like the support, please schedule a call here.
As hard as this season is for all of us–full of fear, uncertainty–hope is the most important thing for you to hang onto. Hope that it will end, and hope that something good will come out of it. Hang in there!