The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used and maybe over used but the Coronavirus is undeniably affecting all of us in significant ways. Social distancing has drastically affected our daily lives. This pandemic has had a toll not only on our physical and social life but on our mental health as well. You are probably familiar with statistics such as number of people infected, recovery rate, or countries impacted. Here are some other statistics to consider: in one study of Wang et al, 2020 they found that in China, 53.8% of the respondents to a survey rated their psychological impact as moderate-to-severe and 28.8% had moderate to severe anxiety, 16.5% had moderate to severe depressive symptoms, 8.1% had moderate to severe stress levels.
Know that you are not alone, my associates and I are here to help you. We are meeting with clients using video portals and phones and are finding these tools to be very affective. Please feel free to reach out for help. In the meantime here are some ways you can stay healthy and happy.
Be creative in connecting with friends and family
Physical distancing doesn’t have to be synonymous with social distancing. On the contrary, we have amazing tools at our disposal to connect with people. Here are example of three ways to stay connected.
- Google just announced that they are giving away premium feature of Hangout Meet for free. This allows you to connect with up to 250 people. Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook etc. are all great ways to connect one on one or with a group.
- Netflix has a cool feature where you can still watch a movie together and have a group chat with the Chrome extension Netflix Party. It enables you to remotely watch, synchronize the movie and chat.
- Consider throwing a remote dinner party by planning a menu together and deciding on a time. Plant your laptop on the counter and start a video conference while prepping your meal. Bon Appetite!
Self-Care to manage anxiety and depression
If you have been procrastinating focusing on your health and wellness than this is your moment. Mental health, immune system and physical health will benefit with increased attention to self care. This is a great opportunity to create healthy habits.
- Group fitness classes are great not just for the workout but because they give us a sense of community. Your gym or studio maybe closed but you can replace that with some wonderful free at home options and digital classes streaming right into your home. Staying active can help alleviate stress as well as distract you in a positive way. Here are some options:
- Meditation is something all of us want to do but can’t seem to find the time to do it. Well now there are no excuses. There are tons of guided meditation videos and apps out there. Find a quiet place to sit for even 10 minutes and just focus on your breath. Be kind with invasive thoughts. Watch them float away as you refocus on your breath.
- Eat healthy at home. Restaurants and coffee shops might be closed but a healthy meal is at your fingertips. Recent research has proven that we can help manage our mood with a healthy diet. Foods such as salmon, yogurt and dark chocolate have brain boosting properties that alleviate some symptoms. Replacing coffee with green tea or chamomile tea is also a good way to add calmness to your morning.
Maintain a similar routine or establish a new one if one didn’t exist
Being flexible and accepting change is crucial during this unprecedented time. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. If you have to make adjustments because of social distancing at least keep doing it in the same order or time. For example even though you don’t have a commute, still wake up at the same time and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. If you are used to meeting up with friends after work, consider calling them while taking a walk outside.
If a routine was never your thing, consider creating a loose one such as consistent sleep schedule, work out, prepare a meal, virtually visit with a friend….
Reduce social media consumption of coronavirus
This is a big one! Reading about what is happening around the world is healthy to a point. There is a fine line with obsessing over pandemic as opposed to staying informed. Social media also allows us a peek into other people’s lives and we can’t help but to compare them to us. Recently parents have been posting schedules for homeschooling their children. The images are so cute and organized and colorful. But what if you are struggling with figuring it all out or are just not that excited about homeschooling, this can leave you feeling disappointed and a bit sad. Be cautious with how much time you spend on media in general. Subscribe to happy or good news channels as well.
Focus on what you can do vs what you cannot
You will now probably have more time on your hands and common sources of entertainment will not be available. There are so many options still at your disposal, just think outside the box. All of us have some home projects that we say we will get too but can’t find the time to actually complete. Or was your New Year resolution to write a book, read more, or spend time outdoors. Spending time outside is a great way to elevate your mood, feel a sense of freedom, and get some steps in.
Show up as your best self by channeling
We are all in this together, maintaining an optimistic outlook and focusing on what is possible will help you to be resilient and creative. Feel free to reach out by visiting www.marinaedelman.com or calling 818.851.1293