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Let’s face it, we’re in a frightening and uncertain time. While we can’t control what’s happening around the world, we can choose how we react to it. Try thinking of your time away from family (if you’re isolating alone), friends, or work as an opportunity to improve your personal experience. Reducing the stressors in your life helps your immune system stay robust and healthy.
Below are a few ways you can use your time to learn something new or rediscover something old.
Take Up a New (Or Old) Hobby
Sketch, draw, paint, sculpt, whittle….whatever you want. Creative outlets reduce stress and set a meditative environment. Been meaning to write that one-act play? Go for it.
One of my favourites is in the yoga tradition of Ayurveda known as Abhyanga or self-massage.
- Coat a semi-rough washcloth (to double as an exfoliant) with preferred oil: sesame, olive, or coconut.
- Use circular strokes on joints and long, sweeping strokes on limbs and torso. Massage toward the heart.
- Add oil as needed and continue until the entire body has been massaged, reaching where you can.
- Rinse off in the shower (no soap) and pat dry.
Encouraging our immune response is paramount during this time and exercise is a proven method. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that can elevate your mood as well. There are numerous free/paid routines you can do at home with little to no equipment. If you’re a gym rat, use the at-home time to try something new!
Now is an ideal time to clean the place up. Whether that means cleaning out the junk drawer or disinfecting the whole house, cleanliness is definitely your friend. Allot a day or time to tackle a cleaning project.
- Pick up a novel or listen to an audio-book
- Search podcasts to learn something new
- Learn a language
- Watch a documentary
- Social media can have its saving graces, use the ability to reach out to and connect with others
- Binge your fave show (current pick for me Nip/Tuck, lol)
- Document Your Experience
Whether its social media, an online journal, an audio journal, or a plain old notebook, take a few minutes out of your day to put down your thoughts, cope with your fears, record your experience, or remind yourself what’s most important.
Keep Your Sense of Humor
I’ll say this about humans, we’re resilient. While the news may be cause for worry, be sure to find some humour in your day. Remember that laughter is also an immune booster.
Take EXTRA good care of yourself now. Indulge in sleep and allow your body and brain time to recover from stress and worry. If you’re having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, try one of the ideas above to help keep depression and anxiety at bay.
Learn to Cook
Sure, comfort food is just what it sounds like, but avoid neglecting your health. Now more than ever, it makes sense to fuel your body so your cells get the nutrients they need to do their jobs. And you want them working at full potential. Search recipes for items you already have on hand or learn to make a new dish.
Change Your Mindset
There is always something to worry about, even when it isn’t a global experience. The truth is, we never know how long we have on this earth, so it makes sense to make the best of our circumstances, because why not? We will be faced with downturns during the next few months and we’ll need our coping mechanisms and tools for when we do. Meanwhile, if you’re healthy but feeling frustrated by isolation, find the opportunities around you.
Remember that some are fighting off or recovering from COVID-19 and that some are more vulnerable than others. We have a unique opportunity to do something significant for our fellow humans and for humanity as a whole: stay home.
Stay safe. Stay smart. Stay well.
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