Millions of people are now being forced to stay home and self-quarantine because of the Coronavirus. You are not used to spending days on end staying at home. American life is often busy. You are used to going to work, going out for meals, going shopping, and spending the weekend with friends and family. All the activities of your normal life are now on hold as most people are asked to stay home to stop the spread of the novel-Coronavirus. This is a new experience for most. How will you survive the extended time spent at home? Here are some suggestions to help lighten your load as you spend this time in self-quarantine.
Set Goals for Your Day
Every once in a while you may enjoy a lazy day when you do nothing but sit on the couch and watch television. Doing that for a long period can get boring fast. If you spend your time of self-quarantine doing little, you will develop cabin fever in a short amount of time. You need to set goals for your day to keep yourself on track and to prevent spending too much time lying around.
Although you may be out of work and have nowhere to go, you still have tasks that need to be accomplished. Perhaps you need to file for a forbearance on a student loan, make arrangements with your creditors, or file for unemployment. When you wake up each morning set goals for what you would like to do that day. This will help you to stay on task. At the same time you should not get overwhelmed by the big picture. This is going to be a difficult period for most people. Don't spend too much time concentrating on all the negative news and the laundry list of tasks you need to achieve. Focus, rather, on what you can get done each day.
At the end of the day you should celebrate what you have achieved and not focus on the tasks still on your to-do list. By doing so you will be able to sleep better knowing that you have made progress.
Make Time For Activities You Enjoy
On top of the necessary chores you need to achieve to keep going every day, you also need to do activities that bring you joy. You need a reason to get up each morning, and thinking about all the unpaid bills is not going to help. If you are thinking of spending time playing games with your friends online, or with your family in the house, it will give you more motivation to do the necessary tasks. Build time in to your schedule for play to help bring some joy into the stress of these difficult circumstances. Along with playing games, you should also do activities that help you stay healthy whether it be bicycling, going on a walk, or exercising. It will be easier to get through this lengthy period of self-quarantine if you stay healthy.
Stay in Contact With People You Care About
The hardest part of social distancing is being separated from the people you care about. It will be awhile before you are able to go out to dinner and the movies with your friends or to go visit your grandmother on a Sunday afternoon. Do everything you can to build time for people you care about into your schedule. You could make time in your week to Skype a friend. You could set up a time for a group of people to get on a call with Google hangouts.
For the seniors in your life you could call them on the phone. It's important to call people who may live in nursing facilities. To prevent the spread of the virus among the elderly, who are vulnerable, a lot of nursing facilities have closed their doors to visitors. In some cases residents are being confined to their rooms. While senior citizens are at higher risk for loneliness, the current circumstances make the problem so much worse. The effects of loneliness on the elderly are significant and can include faster mental decline, high blood pressure, and an increased risk for heart disease. It would not be cliche to say that calling your grandmother will not only brighten her day, but could also prolong her life.
For more information on the effects of loneliness on the elderly check out this article.
Perhaps you have heard that you need to stop once in a while and smell the roses. American life is often chaotic and people seldom take the time to enjoy little moments in their day to day life. This is where mindfulness fits in. Mindfulness is the art of being fully present in a moment or to an experience. Mindfulness focuses your attention on something specific and allows you to put aside your worries and distress for a moment. One of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness is to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You could also practice mindfulness by focusing on a beautiful scene in nature or savoring the aroma and flavor of your coffee. Mindfulness helps you to slow down and focus on the little pieces of life that we often take for granted every day.
For more information on mindfulness check out this link.
Savor Your Food
Most Americans eat between other activities. A lot of people go through the drive-thru while shuttling their kids from band, to soccer, scouts, or whatever extracurricular activity they are involved in. Americans are used to eating on the run. A lot of people eat so fast they seldom spend any time enjoying what they are eating. During this time of self-quarantine your life is not as busy as it used to be. Now you have time to sit down and enjoy a meal with your family. It would be a good time to try out that recipe you have been wanting to try, but never felt like you had the time for. Now is a good time to eat a little slower and to savor your food. Enjoy all the flavors of the spices. This is another form of mindfulness.
Check out this article for more ideas on how to slow down and savor your food.
Add Comedy into Your Day
This time is stressful. Following the numbers of people who have been infected and those who have died is depressing. You can't spend all your time following the news or you will feel like doing nothing but hiding under the covers. Make some time in your schedule to watch some comedy, whether you stream a funny movie, television show, or watch a stand-up routine. Watching comedy can help relieve stress. Research shows that comedy can even boost your immune system. Who wouldn't want to boost their immune system in a global pandemic?
Check out this article for more on the power of laughter.
Write A Book
Do you have a bucket list of accomplishments you want to achieve? This time is a wonderful time to work on those goals. Have you dreamed about writing a book? Have you thought that you would never find the time to sit down and get started in the midst of your busy life? Now a lot of people have that time they never thought they would have. Now is a good time to get started on that book you always wanted to write. If you can set aside some time each day dedicated to writing, and you commit to a range of 1,300-2,000 words a day by the end of a thirty day self-Quarantine you will have a full length novel written.
For some more ideas for writing a book check out this link.
Make Personal Protective Equipment
One of the hardest parts of going through a national crisis is feeling helpless. It's hard to follow the news and not feel like you wish you could do something to help. Americans have heard about healthcare workers lacking necessary personal protective equipment, and are stepping up to help fill the gap. You can help too. You can make personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in your community. By doing this you are taking part in the fight against the Coronavirus. Helping other people is a great way to fight off feelings of depression. When you take an active role in the fight against Coronavirus you are no longer a casual observer of the news, but an active participant in saving the lives of your neighbors. Everyone needs to feel needed and nothing is needed more right now than personal protective equipment.
Getting through this time of self-quarantine will be difficult. Most people want life to return to normal as fast as possible. Life may not be as you would like it to be for a while. These suggestions will help you get through this time. They will not take away all the pain and frustration that you are experiencing right now, but they will make this time a little more bearable. If you follow these suggestions you may emerge from this crisis more resilient, and perhaps with a new book to publish.