How To Keep Your Sanity During The COVID-19 Crisis
A Global Pandemic
The Struggle To Stay Calm
Throughout the past several weeks, I have seen different people cope in many different ways because of this crisis. Some people went to groceries stores and bought up supplies they thought were necessary to have in bulk during this crisis. Others locked themselves in their homes long before a mass quarantine was issued. Some refused to believe there was a crisis happening and simply went on with their day-to-day lives. Whoever you are in this scenario, and wherever you are, the important thing to know is that you are NOT alone. Many of us are experiencing these same feelings, or maybe even a combination of them, as we face that the world is rapidly changing right before our very eyes. This is TOTALLY normal. Personally, my anxiety has been at an all-time high during this experience.
I am a teacher in the United States and have just found out that we are no longer going to remain open for the rest of the school year. This was not only heartbreaking for me, but also made me concerned for the safety and well-being of many of the students that I teach, as school is not just a place of learning for many of my kids, but a place they would rather be than home on some days. Many of them rely on the schools for their meals every single day, or they are just glad to be out of the house for a bit and away from bad home environments. Some kids truly want to learn and are there to further their education as much as possible. Whatever the case may be, we are at a very difficult time in the education system. This country, other nations, the entire planet is suffering as a result of this disease.
As I am writing this, it is almost 2 o clock in the morning. I've been restless. So I decided what better way to spend my time than to talk with my friends here on Hubpages. I love that I get to interact with all of you on a semi-monthly basis, and that you all come from different walks of life. It's refreshing to hear so many perspectives and to truly feel like I am reaching out and connecting to people from all around, so if you are still reading this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The idea that came to mind for this article was, "what are some ways that we can all get peace of mind during these troubling times?" Well, here are a few tips from me on how you can keep yourself together even during these hard times.
1. Stay Active
I can't stress this one enough, and I know for many of us this it is harder since we are in quarantine around the world, but if you can get outside, just to take a walk for a few minutes, do it. Fresh air is good for the soul. If you can't go outside, think of ways you can remain active in your home, such as doing yoga or some other type of indoor exercise.
I was very lazy the first few days of this quarantine. My mind was racing, I was constantly checking the news to see the latest headlines, and I was completely miserable, binge watching the same TV shows on Netflix. After a period of grieving, though, I was able to clear my head and finally see that just because the world is "on pause" around us, doesn't mean that I should halt my daily life completely. Routines are important right now. I was just talking to my mom the other day and she said that she has been doing her normal morning routine because having that sense of normalcy, even if she isn't going out in public or going to work, helps her cope. Do it. Stay active. You will thank yourself later because you won't be sitting around staring at a wall for hours like I did for some time, and believe me, that's not fun.
2. Pick Up A Hobby
Now more than ever, you are going to have a LOT of free time on your hands. Think about all of the things you like to do. Maybe you like to paint, or write, or maybe you just like to cook. Encourage yourself to participate in a hobby or something you love for at least 30 minutes every single day. It will not only elevate your mood, but help you manage some of your time during the day. Maybe you are dedicating 30 minutes of the day to working out in your shed on a new woodworking project. Don't be afraid to try something new, either. Now is your chance to really delve deeper into your hobbies and explore all of the amazing things you can do.
Sleep and The Immune System
3. Get A Good Night's Sleep
This is kind of hypocritical since I am sitting here at 2AM writing this, but this is very important. I'm sure we are all having trouble in the sleep department, but it is really important to make sure you get the right amount of sleep every night. Set up a routine for yourself, even if that means setting an alarm on your phone letting you know when it's time for sleep and when to wake up. If you are a light sleeper, consider taking one or two 30 minute naps during the day to help refresh yourself.
Lack of sleep can severely alter your mood and heighten any existing anxiety you may have. I know for some of us that have been having trouble sleeping lately, tossing and turning, or maybe even having nightmares, this is easier said than done. Try drinking some tea before bed to see if that will help you. Lavender or chamomile teas actually can help you to fall asleep because they have a calming effect on the body and mind.
4. Practice Good Hygiene
Even though you are staying at home, it is still important for you to take care of yourself. Just because you get to wear your PJs all day if you want, doesn't mean you shouldn't take a shower and brush your teeth. Take time every single day to take care of yourself, mentally and physically. Take a bath if you want to relax. Consider meditating or listening to soothing music to help keep your mind calm and stress-free. Good hygiene goes beyond just physically taking care of yourself, so make sure you are taking care of your mind, body, and spirit.
5. Take A Break From Your Cell Phone
It's easy to get caught up in news headlines and social media right now, and sometimes, that can be even more anxiety inducing than we even intended. It is so important to take a break from the screen for a little while every day. Understand that you don't NEED to see every single update about COVID-19 every hour of the day. Call your family members and check on them. Have a conversation with your parents or siblings to pass the time. I know that our phones are so addicting, and especially in a time like this, it is easy to get wrapped up in them. Try to limit yourself and keep on enjoying your day without having to be glued to your phone every single moment.
I hope this article is both informative and useful for you. I know that we are living in such uncertain times, and it is so easy to get caught up in all of what is going on and let anxiety, depression, and fear take over. Don't let it. Think of this as a time when we need to come together as a planet and appreciate every moment we have in this world. We need to come together as a global community to understand the complexities of the time we live in, and build a better future for the generations to come. Ultimately,it is up to you and how you take this time to do good for yourself and others.