At first, staying at home and social distancing during a global pandemic may seem like a staycation, but eventually, that staycation will start to feel like a lockdown.
Although self-isolating and social distancing are the best actions we know of, so far, to try and stem the spread of the Coronavirus, it can still be challenging and tiring to keep these practices up. As days are turning into weeks, and weeks are slowly turning into months, it’s becoming hard for many people to stay sane.
As you continue to brave this viral storm in quarantine, and adapt to new or revised routines, here are five questions to ask yourself every day.
What are my priorities?
Every day brings something new—good or bad. And it’s hard to make long-term plans when you don’t know what’s going to be safe or feasible.
Instead, it’s best to focus on the present. Write down a to-do list at the start of each day, prioritizing the points from top to bottom. Remember to include even the simplest things, such as eating meals and going to bed. Making a list will help you keep track of your priorities, which will give you a sense of accomplishment.
What am I thankful for?
During this time of extended physical and social isolation, it’s more important than ever to be grateful for the things you already have (especially at home).
Think about the family members who live with you, or the things (food, a bed, devices, etc.) that you have at hand, and be thankful for them. Practice being thankful every day through prayer, or through two minutes of self-reflection. You can even add that to your daily list!
How am I feeling?
It doesn’t hurt to do a little self-evaluation each day.
First, see how your body is feeling. It’s imperative to address any stress you might be feeling, and how it may be affecting your physical well-being. Stress can make you tired and unmotivated to do anything, but you should at least try to do some physical activity, as there’s a good chance it’ll make you feel better.
Also, pay attention to your emotions, as stress can also bring on negative feelings such as sadness and loneliness. You may want to keep a mood diary, so you can see how your emotions play out each day (and why). This can help you manage stress and ensure that you stay positive during these hard times.
How will I get outside?
In this time of fear and anxiety, we all need some sort of release to get through the day. Therefore, be sure to step outside for a moment at least every other day, if not every day.
You can take a walk around the block, ride a bike or go for a jog, as long as you adhere to the social distancing guidelines of your town or region. Or, you can just sit outside for at least 10 minutes. Even if you can’t go outside physically, or are stuck inside due to the weather, make sure you open a window for fresh air every once in a while.
Nature offers fresh air and plenty of sunshine, which are good for the nervous system. The more you can get out into the outdoors, the saner you’ll feel.
What will I create or cultivate?
Take the time to recognize the beauty that your life still holds, despite the pandemic. Discovering (or in this case, rediscovering) this beauty is essential, whenever you feel like you’re in despair. Acknowledge that life still exists, despite all this, and that it’s still worth fighting for. And why not share this beauty with everyone else?
Exercising creativity is also a form of release, in the midst of devastation. You can write, draw, sing, plant a garden, cook a fun recipe, take up sewing or knitting, or start a new hobby. Create and cultivate as much as you want to in order to help yourself pass the time.
Turn this difficult time into a learning experience
Keep in mind that no one can control what happens during this pandemic, but we can control how we respond to and interpret it. In truth, there’s no good in feeling panicked, disconnected or cooped up at home.
By asking yourself these questions (or any other positivity-provoking questions that weren’t mentioned on this list), you can turn this difficult time in history into a positive learning experience. Thus, you’ll find yourself empowered and capable, and open to positive change.
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