It was only a few weeks ago that we woke up in the morning, went to work, kissed our children good-bye on their way to school or daycare, socialized with friends and family, walked in the park, went to the gym, ate out in restaurants, had our hair colored and blow-dried, enjoyed our occasional manicure and pedicure, went to the grocery store, attended Broadway shows and museums; all without any concern about a looming crisis that would affect our lives and the lives of others in inconceivable ways that we never dreamed of. How quickly and dramatically life has changed. Today people are concerned not only about contracting the coronavirus, but worried about paying their rent, losing their jobs and homes, and wondering if life will ever get back to normal.
The following are a few tips that I hope will help you maintain your sanity and health:
1. Find a support group(s) where you can feel comfortable to honestly express your feelings of anxiety, worry, depression, sadness and anger These feelings are NORMAL, so give yourself permission to be authentic with yourself and others.
2. Try and create a daily routine to help normalize your life. For example, I have found that getting dressed, doing my makeup and hair, eating breakfast, taking my daily vitamins and and exercising all help me to begin my work day with a more positive attitude, particularly since I now ‘see’ all of my clients on Zoom or Skype.
3. Be aware of the things that we can DO to keep ourselves relatively sane and safe including: Washing our hands multiple times a day, maintaining the six-foot social distance recommendation when we go out to grocery stores and wearing masks.
4. Keep in mind the importance of eating healthily, since we need to keep our immune systems strong. Keep a check on how much sugar and alcohol you are consuming.
5. Exercise, Exercise… you don’t need to go to a gym to keep yourself physically and mentally in shape. I love some of the online video workouts! Check them out.
5. Get sufficient sleep.
6. Be aware of current government updates. However, don’t glue yourself to the television or computer 24 hours a day. Check in for updates a few times a day.
7. Respect each other’s boundaries, since people are going to be spending a lot of time at home together. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
8. Take a walk around the block. I have found that getting outside even for a short period of time, (maintaining social distance of course) and looking at the blossoming foliage really helps to improve one’s mood.
9. Many people find meditation and breathing exercises to be very comforting. If you have never tried it, there are many online videos that can help you get started. And if meditation is not for you, that’s O.K. too.
10. Give yourself permission to reach out and ask for professional help when despite all of your best efforts, your life continues to feel out of control.