Weeks have turned into months for COVID-19 in the USA and the social distancing/stay-at-home instructions. Unashamedly, many of us are struggling to keep it together. From dealing with isolation to coping with grief, we're all feeling a bit heavier this spring. It doesn't matter if you live alone, are caring for loved ones, are working on the front lines, or are experience sickness yourself. Mental wellness practices can help all of us. Here are a few we're practicing daily this spring:
Use Breathing Apps
Breathing apps help us to remember to, well, breathe. It may sound silly or simple, but a lot of us go throughout the day, taking shallow breaths. Apps and timers on our devices can remind us to pause and breathe deeply. Breathe is useful to induce a sense of calm and to bring us back to the present moment.
Take Long Walks
While not all of us are sheltering at home (thank you to healthcare workers, delivery drivers, grocery store staff, and everyone else on the frontlines), many of us are stuck inside for most of the day. Now more than ever, it's crucial to get fresh air and exercise. Even if you're not up for running or biking, taking long walks around your block is medicine for mental health. Of course, practice social distancing and obey your city's orders. But get outside. Stroll your sidewalks. Use these moments to clear your head and breathe.
Limit News Intake
There is no doubt that the news is important, and we need to stay informed about what's happening in the world. But there comes a moment when information turns into repetitive chatter. This is when we should turn the TV off. We don't need to fill our heads with all the negative stories and the what-ifs. Inform yourself, then switch the channel. Watch a documentary or a feel-good movie instead.
Talk to Loved Ones
Here's something ironic: many of us are sheltered-at-home with our loved ones but are rarely engaging in meaningful conversation with them. During times of panic, we can easily fall into patterns of only talking about the news or the economy or toilet paper. But we still need meaningful conversations. We need to talk about things that don't center around COVID. And if you live alone, reach out to friends and family to have intentional conversations. Better yet, if you don't live alone, reach out to the people who do.