I received an email from a college friend this week who highlighted how the mental aspect of being in isolation can be the hardest thing to deal with during this Stay at Home Order. I want to share some of the ideas which were passed along from Dr. Juliana Breines (author of the blog: In Love and War). Here are 10 things she suggests…. and 1 that I suggest:
- Schedule a regular call/video call dedicated to social interaction. If you have regular in person meetings with friends and family, keep those scheduled using video interaction.
- Stay warm. Warmth simulates physical interaction. Dress warm, wrap yourself in a blanket, take a hot shower, etc. It will make you feel connected with others.
- Get away from real world stress – enter the fictional world. Read or watch nonfiction – get away from the noise of the daily news cycle.
- Practice random acts of kindness – even remotely. Help someone else – it makes you feel great and, more importantly, helps someone in need. This can be someone you know, done through a local or national foodbank or other deserving charity. Think outside the box (use Amazon to deliver a surprise to someone).
- Get outside. This can be hard with social distancing – but get outside for some fresh air. Mom’s old adage of ‘get out and play’ still holds true. Fresh air (even if it is only in your backyard or on a balcony) is great for you. If all else fails – open your windows.
- Look at and reorganize (or in my case: organize) old photos. Looking back at old memories has been shown to help people stay positive. I promise – you will laugh, cry and smile. My wife, Keri, just finished doing this and it was very enjoyable…shared a bunch of laughs with the kids.
- Find an activity which will engage you. Everything from puzzles to games to crosswords (or my favorite Sudoku). These all keep the brain active and sharp.
- Take a class online. This could be exercise, cooking, language, etc. Learn something new. (Even IVY league universities are offering free online classes) Another idea is taking a class via Masterclass.
- Listen to music and sing. There have been multiple live benefits this week (my favorite was Jersey 4 Jersey) and there will be more. Singing is great for you and it is most likely there is no one around to hear you. MPR is playing Bill Withers’ Lean on Me on all channels at 5:53 today and encouraging all Minnesotans to sing along!
- Pray or meditate. Regardless of religious belief – spend time focusing on compassion and healing.
And my own add on to the list:
- Contact someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Reach out to old friends/family that you may not have connected to. It will help you but also will help them. And, laugh about an old story that takes you back to a special time in your lives.
Stay healthy and stay positive,