Without a doubt, the COVID-19 crisis is an exceptionally difficult time for us all. We’re doing our best to take care of ourselves. We hope you and your family stay healthy and safe.
After all, social distancing helps to prevent this disease from spreading. It lowers the curve, saves lives, and safeguards our hospital systems from being overwhelmed.
Social distancing is not only a matter of public health, but personal wellbeing too — it protects families. But it’s important to take care of ourselves, especially during this crisis. Maintain distance; shelter at home. But be well. Happiness and fitness are pillars to a healthy body and soul.
This is naturally a stressful time, but self-care has never been more important. Here are 5 ways you and your family can maintain happiness and wellbeing while social distancing.
1. Give Yourself Time to Pause and Rest.
During this time, you may feel the impulse to keep charging ahead like things are normal. But these are not ordinary times. This crisis is universally traumatic. And like any other trauma, you’ll naturally process grief. You may even find yourself going through the 7 stages of grief — though the exact order and journey of that progression varies for everyone.
Give yourself time to process this grief. It’s natural you’re up at 3 a.m. with worry. (That’s actually a healthy sign of sanity.) Don’t beat yourself up over that overdue deadline. If you’re homeschooling children, there will be days you don’t complete every lesson plan. And that’s okay. Allow yourself time to step back when you need to and process stress. In the long run, you and your family will be happier and healthier.
2. Practice Mindfulness.
While you are processing the grief and stress of our modern times, take some time to practice mindfulness. That’s a thousand dollar word for sitting and being peaceful, focused on the simplicity of being in the moment.
Be mindful in the little moments — sitting and drinking your coffee, in the shower, those beautiful spare minutes when the kids are distracted and you have time for yourself. Mindfulness helps to heal and release stress. Don’t expect much — the simplicity is its own reward.
3. Take Care of Your Physical and Dental Health.
When our lives are off schedule, it’s easy to let health fall by the wayside. Too much TV, late nights, and slothing around the house can easily snowball, especially as we process the trauma of this moment.
But remember to take care of yourself physically. Getting out for a jog or even a walk will alleviate cabin fever. (Just remember — stay 6 feet apart!) Try to exercise every day, even if it’s just a 30 minute light walk. You don’t have to run a triathlon — a little activity will do.
Likewise, keep up on your dental health. When we’re home all day, it’s easy to forget those evening rituals of flossing and brushing our teeth. Schedule time in the morning to take care of your teeth. Make sure the whole family follows through.
By maintaining a proper health regimen, you’ll feel happier and healthier. Exercise and oral care can be crucial for wellbeing.
4. Reconnect with Friends and Family
When practicing social distancing, you need to maintain physical distance, not virtual. Technology makes it easy to connect and support each other. Plan virtual dinner get-togethers, happy hours, even playdates for the kids using technology. Facebook video calls, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype are all free and easy to use. All it takes is a phone, tablet, or computer with a camera. It may seem awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it. Soon, you’ll forget the screen altogether.
5. Be Patient. Go Easy on Yourself.
These are trying times. You and your family are doing the best you can. If you are working from home, accept that things won’t be as fluid as the office. If you are homeschooling, recognize your patience has limits. Couples will bicker. Children will act out. (Let’s face it — so will adults!) Be as kind as you can with each other. But most importantly, be patient with yourself. Understand you won’t be perfect.
We’ll get through this, one day at a time. Life continues, and eventually it will get back to normal. Until then, take care of yourselves. See you soon!