I’m sure you all are aware that we are in unprecedented times. And, I know for certain I am not the only person going through a roller coaster of emotions. From feeling anxious when the news comes on, to feeling lonely as a result of quarantine, and even feeling unproductive during a time when the world seems like it’s frozen in time, these are just a few of the sensations that people around the world are coping with daily. To say the least, the world is currently wallowing in cancellations of spring break plans and the uncertain future. Certainly emotions play a part in the quarantine process, because most of the world has never lived a life quite like this; people are becoming restless, sick of spending hours a day on zoom, and just want to watch Netflix while eating the dozens of cookies they baked out of boredom.
However, the wallowing can not last forever. There is certainly work to be done and ways to take advantage of the times to care for yourself. Though it is an anxious time, as a population we have to strive to find purpose and hope for the future. For our mental health, it is vital to recognize the positives and have an optimistic outlook on our new reality. So, let’s attempt to switch our outlook on the coronavirus for the purpose of this article; let’s recognize the positive changes in our lives because the world is never stagnant, but always improving and adapting.
First, the most obvious positive of the coronavirus is the ample free time in our lives; however, what we do with this free time directly affects our well being. So, instead of staring at screens all day, here are a few tips to improving your self care. Try starting a gratitude journal, where you simply write something you are grateful for, or something that happened that day- no matter how monumental or insignificant it may seem. Next, spending time outside is so therapeutic; simply read a book, listen to the birds chirping, or take your dogs on a walk with family. After spending time outside, maybe take a relaxing bath with the bath bomb that has been sitting in your closet for months, or apply a moisturizing face mask. If you are feeling restless, try an online workout class (my favorites on youtube is yoga by Adrienne or Sarahs Day pilates).
My next tip is to organize- though I may sound like Marie Kondo, decluttering your space will clear your mind. Start by clearing out your desk that has surely been cluttered after the hours of zoom in your room. Then, sort through your closet and donate those clothes that still have tags on them, even though you have been saying you will wear them for years. Once your room is organized, refresh your space by opening up your window, cleaning your sheets, and adding some plants. A refreshed space equals a refreshed mind.
To pass some time inside, here are some new hobbies to take your mind off of the countless hours in your house. You could try starting a garden with your family; my favorite flower to plant is daffodils, because their vibrant yellow color brightens up the yard. Another option would be to impress your family by improving your cooking and baking skills; try cooking our healthy kale, quinoa, and chicken lunch for your family, or baking our delicious brownies for some sweetness. This is the perfect time to be creative! Try making a photo wall, draw what you see outside your window, invent a tik tok dance (yes, I said it), or write a poem or story.
Seeing cancellation after cancellation is disappointing, but your community and your family is supporting you. Though you may not have been able to see grandparents or cousins for Easter, they are just a facetime call away. If you were supposed to go to a concert, watch artists home concerts on Instagram for some entertainment. Though quarantine is the result of tragedy, it is beautiful seeing the world unite by staying home to respect one another’s well being. So, take advantage of this time to stay grateful, creative, and optimistic because, though we don’t know exactly when this will be over, it will be over eventually.