Staying Sane in Trying Times
We’ve been staying safe at home for well over a month now, and it seems likely it will be a while longer before we can begin to safely gather again. Suffice it to say that the novelty has worn off. There’s only so much Netflix you can binge-watch, only so many hours you can spend surfing social media.
We crave connection. Humans are hard-wired for it. So how do we stay connected and keep anxiety at bay while we weather this situation together?
Here are some tips I’ve gathered from professionals:
1. Every Day: Set goals, find joy and call a friend. “For people who may be feeling down or afraid, psychologists Julia Hitch and Andrew Fleming recommend a three-prong, daily approach for coping. The first, “mastery,” requires setting a reachable goal for the day, whether it’s practicing the piano for 20 minutes, trying a new recipe or exercising. A second daily essential is finding an element of pleasure: eating a delicious snack or taking a bath, for instance. Then comes “connection,” which in the age of Covid-19 means calling or video chatting with a friend or relative to take ourselves outside of isolation and into a circle of fellowship.” (New York Times)
2. Avoid Stress. Stress increases ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme 2) expression, which, as it turns out is THE receptor for Covid-19. “Stress dampens general immunity, and makes your time hanging out and relaxing impossible and miserable. Accept what is, and know that you are doing the best you can with the tools you have.” (Mark Sisson) Limit your news exposure. You need to be informed, but a 24/7 diet of news right now is not the best idea.
3. Cultivate Calm. Now is a great time to try meditation if you don’t already practice it, and it doesn’t have to any certain thing – it can be as simple as taking a few slow, deep breaths and being totally present while you do so. Focus on what is happening at that exact moment – your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your mind clearing.
4. Stay Active. We’re rocking these Zoom classes! Corona Home Fit is, for many of us, a saving grace. If you’re not already hitting these up, pick a class and commit to it. See #1 above. You’ve created a routine, phoned a whole room full of friends, and found the joy of knowing you can get crushed by a workout in the comfort of your own home or backyard.
Remember, we’re all in this together. Lorrie and I miss you all and can’t wait to see you again soon!
2020 04 17