5 Ways to Stay Sane While Staying Home
by Jamie Spannhake
April 05, 2020
My first video blog/vlog:
As we are all stuck at home on this roller coaster with COVID-19 of happiness and depression and our daily routines being completely uprooted (and sometimes that happiness and depression is directly related to whether it’s sunny outside or not), I was thinking, what are some of the things I’m doing to keep my emotional level more positive than negative, and keep my sanity while I’m stuck at home. I thought of five things I wanted to share with you.
1. Make a list of things you want or like to do. Try to make this list when you are in a positive mood. Write it down and keep it somewhere where it is handy or visible so that in those moments when you feel really down, you can look to the list. Some of the things I have on my list, for example, are:
- Reading books: I’ve written down specific books that I want to read
- Spending time with my daughter, doing something fun or creative
- Exercise, like going for a walk
- Dance classes
- Lifting weights and ab exercises
- Learning Spanish and practicing French
- Home School
- Art and music
- Dog walks
- Social media posts
- Organizational goals, like I’ve wanted to clean out my closet, for example
The things like this on our lists can help us utilize our time in a way that helps us feel positive.
2. Embrace and enjoy downtime. If you are like me, you really love to be productive, so when you’re not really doing anything that feels important or productive, it can be challenging. I’m one of those people. I think it’s really important to remember that this is a good time to have downtime and we don’t need to feel guilty about that. If you have a day where you really just want to veg out or lounge around, or maybe just watch movies all day, or stare at the wall (?), whatever it is that is downtime for you, that gives your brain a break, and your body as well, make sure you do that. Don’t feel bad about it.
3. Manage your fear. So much of life is not in our control, and that is made very apparent right now with the corona virus. When we embrace that, and instead focus on the things that we can control, which sometimes can feel like very little (and oftentimes that is actually true, not just right now, but in life in general), we can better manage our fear. Focus on the things that you can control, which is things like what your daily schedule is like, what you do with your time, what kind of exercise you are doing, what kind of food you are eating, or the state of your house (to a certain extent). Your state of mind is one of the big ones that is within your control.
4. Limit your access to news and social media. (This helps manage your fear as well.) We need to be informed and we need the facts, but we don’t necessarily need 24/7 news coverage, especially news coverage that is projecting out all the “what-ifs,” that is speculative, about what could happen, what might happen. When we stick with what is present and true right now, we are better able to manage our fear and have more control over our emotions.
5. Create a daily routine, whether it’s a full daily routine or just a morning routine of some kind. For example, I try to have a morning routine each day where I get up, do a meditation, have a cup of coffee, and decide what our plan for the day is going to be. Sometimes we stick to that plan, and sometimes the plan is completely thrown out the window and we do something different. We just have to embrace that too. That is also letting go of some of the control that we wish we had in our lives. Another aspect of our daily routine during the week days while everybody is schooling at home with distance learning and online learning, is a school routine. We try to keep a morning routine of school from 9 to 12, then have lunch and some activities. The afternoon is more free, for whatever we want to make up as we go along. Just having that basic outline of a plan for the day makes it easier to get up and get going in the morning. Once you are up and going, it’s easier.
Remember, we are all in this together. Even though we are physically separated, we want to try to stay emotionally connected. In each of these areas that you are utilizing to help yourself stay emotionally positive, remember to incorporate connection with people, whether that’s via Zoom, or phone calls, or even writing letters; whatever it is that helps you feel connected.
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Be Well.