The current pandemic and responses to it have caused many people financial hardship, and I by no means want to minimize that, my heart goes out to them, as well as to those who have suffered from the virus.
But others that are doing ok financially are unhappy about being stuck at home. There are lots of articles out there now about dealing with the mental aspects of sheltering in place (which some people refer to as “lockdown”), here’s an example. This is my take on some recommendations from that link.
Limit your exposure to the news
I couldn’t recommend this one more. The friends I have that are coping less well with the current situation are worrying all the time about Coronavirus news, the stock market, or both. The serenity prayer is a helpful antidote to this. Do what you can to take measures to keep yourself and loved ones safe, and don’t worry about what you can’t control.
Stay connected to your friends and loved ones using technology
Karen and I recently did a video-conference call with several friends we often go out to lunch with. Not quite as nice as in person, but still fun. We plan to do this weekly.
Enjoy the sunshine!
It should be “enjoy the outdoors” because not everyone is having sunshine right now. This one is crucial for me. I spend at least an hour a day walking, hiking, or biking outdoors, rain or shine. I’d get cabin fever big time otherwise. Karen and I also go for shorter daily walks together.
Try yoga or meditation
For me this one is kind of a silver lining to having less opportunity to do things away from the home. It frees up time for this kind of activity.
It occurred to me to look at sheltering in place as an opportunity for a retreat. People pay a lot of money and travel long distances to go to retreats, for example at meditation centers. Sometimes these are silent. You get a little room to stay in and have plenty of isolation. I once went on one of these for a week, back in the days before cell phones, and we weren’t even supposed to bring books to read. It took a little getting used to at first, but by the end I was incredibly relaxed and my mind about as still as it gets (now if only I could get that to last…).
So I’ve decided this is an opportunity to do a similar thing at home. I’ve bumped up the amount of time I spend in meditation, and I’m making sure I do my yoga practice each night slowly and mindfully (no tv during that time!).
Take a shower and get dressed
This one caught my eye because I saw a neighbor walking to our communal mailboxes in bathrobe and slippers. This reminds me of being sick or in rehab for an extended period. It can be very tempting to lie around all day. As soon as I was well enough, I tried to break that habit, and found it made a big difference mentally.
Hang in their friends, we will get through this. And have plenty of stories to tell after!