It is hard to picture what life used to be like only a month ago, when terms like coronavirus, pandemic, shelter-in-place, COVID-19, social distancing, self-quarantine, lockdown, and isolation were not in our daily vocabulary. Yet here we are in the thick of it doing our best to deal with feelings of anxiety, stress, fear, or loneliness.
That is why it is more important than ever for us to find ways to cope with what is going and to make the best of our current situation. So, our team at #Gr8Blogs have put together a series of articles as a part of our Coping in Coronaville Blog Hop.
So, if you are currently feeling coronavirus fatigue, here are 7 ways that can help you cope.
1. STAY CONNECTED
One of the hardest parts about social distancing and self-quarantines is the fact that we are denied the one thing we all need the most, socialization. Many of us are currently separated from our family and friends in a time when we need their support more then ever.
However, it is important to remember that we live in an age of hyper-connectivity. Go ahead and use technology to your advantage and connect with others via FaceTime or Zoom and see each other face to face. We were built to socialize, and it is important that we utilize the technologies we have at hand to make that social connection that we need.
The ultimate stress reliever? Exercise. Sure, we may not be able to go to the gym, but there are plenty of ways we can get in our exercise at home or in our neighborhoods. My first recommendation would be to go for a run outside or maybe even a bike ride. A breath of fresh air and the view of nature can add even more to the benefits of getting some exercise.
However, if you prefer to stay indoors, you could always try out a number of exercises, everything from yoga to calisthenics. Getting your heart rate up is not only good for your physical health, but it also improves your mental health as well by reducing stress hormones. That’s a win-win in my book.
3. LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Have there been times when you really wanted to learn something new but never had the time to do it? Well, here is your chance! One great way to learn new things is via online classes. Skillshare right now is offering 2 free months to their entire catalog of online classes via this link. It’s a great way to find classes that interest you without needing to worry about the cost. Here are a few classes they have that may interest you …
- Drawing for Personal Growth
- How to Paint
- Style Your Space
- Creative Writing
- Lettering for Self-Expression
- Animation for Illustration
- Write a Short Story from Personal Experience
There are also a couple really good articles from Skillshare too, like Falling In Love With Your Home, which is written by a minimalism teacher, Erin Boyle, and she talks about the connection between minimalism and creativity. Another good article they have is about Working From Home for the First Time, with tips ranging from creating routines to staying focused by making to-do lists the night before.
Anyways, here is that link again for the 2 free months to all of their classes:
2 FREE Months of Skillshare
If you’ve ever told yourself you wanted to read more, again, now is your chance. Whether it is a book that can allow you to escape the present reality for a moment or a book that educates you on a particular subject, diving into a book is a great way to reduce stress.
In fact, a 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that “reading can reduce stress by up to 68%” and can even work faster than other relaxation methods such as music or drinking tea. Here are 3 quick tips from the University of Minnesota to help you get started …
- The book you choose doesn’t have to be on any “best-seller” list. The important thing is that the subject matter has captured your interest and will provide a space for your mind to relax in every day.
- Reading only helps reduce your stress if you pick something you enjoy that won’t upset you. Reading the news may not be the best choice if it makes you feel angry or helpless. Pick a novel where you can escape into another world. Or read about an activity that you enjoy– a hobby, travel, cooking.
- Take note of how you feel after your reading break. Have you been able to let go of some of your stressors? If you still feel overwhelmed, take our Stress Assessment to explore the source of your anxieties and take charge of your wellbeing.
Here are a few books that I have really enjoyed reading lately.
- The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser
- What’s Math Got to Do With It? by Jo Boaler
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- Every Tool’s a Hammer by Adam Savage
If you’d like to see what I’ve been reading, you can check out my list of recently read book on Goodreads here.
Break out the board games and cards! Many of us may feel like we are on information overload, so take a break and have some fun. Afterall, now is a great time to get some positive endorphins flowing through our brains. Playing some games with the people you live with can really help lighten the mood and provide that little extra socialization we all need.
My friends recently introduced me to Throw Throw Burrito, which is much more fun than it has any right to be!
If you are living alone, you can still find fun ways to keep yourself busy. Perhaps you can break out those puzzles that have been sitting around gathering dust. If puzzles aren’t your thing, then maybe you can tap into your creativity. Painting, drawing, or writing are all great ways to pass the time that can help us reduce stress and anxiety.
6. GO OUTSIDE!
It is easy to forget that we can still go outdoors. Even if you are under shelter-in-place orders like we are here in California, you can still go outdoors. Even though it may feel like it sometimes, our doors are not locked from the outside.
Keep in mind that if you do decide to go outside, you still need to practice social distancing. However, it’ll be well worth it! Just taking a walk around the neighborhood can make a world of difference in our outlook for the day.
Also, open up curtains and let in as much natural light as possible into your home, and if weather permits it, open up the windows and let some fresh are blow through your home. Again, we were not meant to be cooped up inside for days on end, so make sure you can allow as much nature into your everyday life as possible.
7. GIVE MINIMALISM A TRY
The last thing we want is for our homes to be a source of additional stress. Minimalism can really help with having a home that brings us peace rather than anxiety. If you feel like there is just too much stuff laying around the house or that there is too much clutter, now is the perfect time to declutter and clean house.
Minimalism doesn’t necessarily mean you only have a single fork and spoon in the drawer of your kitchen, its more about the principle of simplicity to allow more time and energy to be focused on people, places, and experiences that enhance our lives.
If you’d like to familiarize yourself with the concept of minimalism a little more, the book The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker is a great read.
Those are 7 ways that I’ve found to help reduce the stress and anxiety that has come with living in Coronaville the past few weeks. What about you? What has helped you cope with our new normal?
For more uplifting articles that can help bring a little positivity into your life, be sure to check out some of these other great posts from our #Gr8Blogs team below.
Rebecca Lyndsey: Coping in Coronaville
Rosie Russell: Ideas on How to Cope in a Coronavirus World
Julie Gorges: 10 Things Baby Boomers Can Do If Self-quarantined
Carmela Dutra: How to Stay Positive in a Coronavirus World
James Milson: It’s Here – Coping With The Coronavirus Challenge Now