As I am writing this, today marks the 12thday that I have been practicing social distancing. I’ve only left my apartment to go grocery shopping and to go downstairs to the lobby of my apartment building. As an introvert, staying inside away from people is something I do quite regularly, but now that it’s become the norm it does feel like I am beginning to lose it slightly. Many of us are struggling not being able to see our friends and families and having to give up our routines such as working out or going out to eat. These times are truly unprecedented and the news is constantly changing and unfortunately not for the better. Here are some ways that I am trying to maintain my sanity during social distancing:
- Spring Cleaning: I am fortunate that I have a job where I can work from home. So in between working, I have been cleaning my apartment. Going through my closet and seeing what clothes I haven’t worn in 6 months to a year and donating them. I’ve been able to organize some areas of my apartment that have been needed to be organized for years. Having unlimited time at home allows you to see what you really need in your space.
- Creative Outlets: I’ve noted that I have an adult coloring book and I’ve been trying to color one page a night before bed. It’s been very helpful for any anxiety that I’ve been experiencing. I’ve also been trying to write more posts and work on my book. I’ve been given the gift of time. I have no excuses now.
- Keeping my routines: I meal prep on Sundays, and because I am having a virtual morning meeting every day for work I still wake up and get ready for the day, make my bed, and have my lemon water while I start working. Keeping these routines help to ground me for the day and helps the days from rolling into each other.
- Maintaining social contact: For me, this has proved to be both a life-saver and also stressful. Last week was the first week where everyone at my job was working from home. I love it. But many of my coworkers were experiencing anxiety and there was a lot of togetherness via video chat. For me, that made me feel more anxious. Being around other people who are experiencing a lot of anxiety does not make you feel less anxious. This week I have slowed down from attending so many virtual events and tried to protect my own mental sanity.
- Turn the news off: It’s so easy to sit and watch the news all day or scroll through countless articles about the coronavirus. And while it’s important to be informed to protect yourself and your family, it can also make matters worse. I have only been watching the news 1-2 times a day and trying to limit how much I read about it. I used to read the news every morning and have now stopped. It was only making me more stressed.
- Netflix to the rescue: I have been watching a lot of Netflix and Hulu. My goal during this time is to try and go through my list as best as I can. It’s a great distraction to get lost in another world for a while. The shows I’ve been watching have been Self-Made, Peaky Blinders, and The Letter for the King.
These are just a few of the ways that I am maintaining some sort of sanity through everything that’s going on. It’s not easy, but we will get through this. Social distancing is not just important to protect yourself but also to protect those who are most vulnerable and also to help stabilize our healthcare system. This won’t last forever.