It’s a weird world right now. The current pandemic has caused an enormous amount of change to our daily lives. Our communities and local businesses are experiencing an unprecedented pause that has certainly shifted our perspective on just how fragile the things we take for granted really are.
The COVID-19 situation has literally changed life for us all as we know it. A significant amount of people are ill and even losing their lives, businesses are closing, and many people are out of work. Even those who are still able to work find themselves under more stress and anxiety than ever before, especially our courageous health care workers.
Ironically, if most of us were told we’d be instructed by government officials to stay at home and avoid going to work six months ago, we’d probably be joking about how great that would be. But, several weeks into this voluntary quarantine now, a lot of people are beginning to realize the situation is anything but optimal.
As humans, we’re inherently social creatures. We function best when able to get out of our homes, mingle around the community and spend time with our friends and family. Although the current pandemic might not have caused total isolation from these people, the ability for fellowship and to enjoy each other’s company has been significantly reduced.
If isolation and boredom weren’t bad enough, the fear and tension looming over our heads about the unknown outcome of this health crisis can compound the mental and emotional problems we’re now more prone to.
When something is wrong, we usually feel better when we can do something about it. As a matter of fact, even feeling like we’re doing something to help the issue still resolves some of the mental stress.
The magnitude of the situation we now find ourselves in has caused a lot of people to feel overwhelmed and worried, asking themselves how they could even begin to make this situation better.
Even though this may not be something you want to hear, you need to consider something. As bad as these quarantine and self-isolation requirements may be, if this is the biggest problem you’re facing during the pandemic, consider yourself extremely lucky.
You can be certain that anyone who’s critically ill and dying from the virus or those watching their loved ones go through it would trade places with you in a heartbeat.
That being said, it’s still important to maintain your sanity during this lengthy period of isolation.
If you do nothing but sit around and watch the latest news reports detailing how bad things are or may eventually become, you risk becoming overwhelmed, severely stressed, potentially depressed, and certainly wasting time that could be better used for self-care, personal growth and a wealth of other much more productive activities.
The Bright Side
Optimists and positive thinkers know there’s always a bright side to everything, even in times of global crisis. Just think, you may never have a chance like this again, to be at home with a lot of time on your hands.
You can’t control that work has stopped, you can’t control that everything is closed, but you can control what you do with your time, your attitude and your outlook.
So what is the Bright Side?
Well for one, you may never have more time on your hands than now, and since time is a precious gift for most of us, this is the time to utilize it properly. Try to look past this situation and picture yourself on the other side of this crisis.
This can be a period of self-deterioration or improvement — the choice is totally up to you.
10 Habits To Stay Sane During Pandemic Times
To get you started on how you can make the most of an unfortunate situation and avoid going totally insane while spending so much time at home, here are 10 habits you can implement that will make you feel like your time isn’t going to waste.
1. Reconnect With Immediate Family
If we’re being honest, the craziness of everyday life keeps most of us from spending as much time as we’d like to with our immediate family members. This is one of the main areas in life that most of us would agree demands a lot more work on our parts.
The situation at hand is arguably the perfect time to make this happen. While you’re stuck at home together, use this time to nurture and reinforce your relationship with your significant other and/or children.
When you reach the point where it feels like these people are only driving you even crazier, celebrate that. Time with these people is invaluable and life rarely allows us to get enough of it. Don’t take this gift for granted.
2. Celebrate Meal Time
Sitting down as a family to enjoy a meal is something that, unfortunately, only applies to hallmark movies and black and white television shows. A large percentage of households rarely get to enjoy this experience, eating meals at different times and sitting in front of the television instead of having conversations with each other. During these trying times, it’s important to find as many things as possible to celebrate. Family meals together should be one of these celebrations.
3. Video Chat With Friends & Relatives
One of the hardest parts of this quarantine is the inability to spend time with loved ones that we don’t live with. While nothing can replace face-to-face interaction, technology has provided us with many ways to experience the next best thing.
Plenty of smartphones and computer apps allow video chatting, usually with a decent sized group of people. Take advantage of this by scheduling regular video chats with friends and family members you’re unable to spend time with right now.
4. Find A Way To Help Those Affected
There’s no better way to improve your own mental angst towards this pandemic than by taking action to help those that are affected. There are ways that you can actually make a difference and help those in need.
Why not check on your neighbors? Call or text them. Knock on their door if you have to. Make sure they’re doing okay. Ask if there’s anything that they need. Support those who are out there on the front lines. Help show your appreciation to even one of these people. Put a box of of goodies next to your front door with a message thanking delivery personnel and encouraging them to help themselves.
5. Catch Up On Exercise
Exercise is an activity that ranks extremely high on the list of things you know you should be doing, but never have time for. It goes without saying that this excuse is no longer valid for the time being.
We’re all aware of the physical and mental benefits available through regular exercise. A health pandemic is an opportunity to implement anything that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Not only can you emerge from this quarantine more fit and healthy, the extent of this situation is likely long enough to ingrain the habit into your daily life. Let this moment be the foundation from which you continue to make time for regular exercise moving forward.
6. Avoid Excessive News Watching
While it’s certainly important to keep yourself informed about the current pandemic, try not to become completely engulfed in the news coverage. As usual, news stations do a great job of filling you in on all the chaos and turmoil happening across the world.
If all that you consume is bad news every day while being stuck at home, you’re not doing your mental health any favors. Try to watch just enough news coverage to get the information you need and not a bit more.
7. Celebrate Short Periods Out Of The House
Although remaining at home as much as possible is the right thing to do at this point in time, there are going to be necessary trips away from your home here and there. You’re still going to have to go to the grocery store and put gas in your vehicle.
Why not make the most of these trips instead of taking them for granted as pretty much all of us did before? During times like this, the little things really begin to count. Need a loaf of bread or a few gallons of gas? Why not make the most out of these activities?
8. Quality Time With Pets
It’s safe to say that the only true winners of the current situation are our animal friends. These guys have no idea what’s going on, but they love their humans being home more than ever. Be sure to spend some quality time with your pets while you can.
Taking them on more walks than usual is a great excuse to get out of the house anyway. Remember that our pets are pretty much always victims of quarantine in our absence.
9. Enjoy An Interesting Book
One of the many great aspects of reading is that when your actual world becomes less than favorable, such as this exact moment, you can immerse yourself in another for a temporary reprieve.
We’re all aware that regular reading is a great form of personal development, but this habit is also another luxury that time constraints usually don’t allow. Find an interesting book and ride out this isolation in a literary world of your choosing.
10. Stop Assuming Everyone Else Is Thriving
As usual, social media is giving many people the impression that everyone else is having a fantastic time during this quarantine. Picture after picture of other families doing arts and crafts and your coworkers exercising at the local park may make you feel like you’re in the minority for being bored and anxious.
Rest assured that this isn’t the case. Don’t be fooled, people aren’t who they “post” to be. Everyone is adjusting to this strange situation and, if given the choice, almost everyone would prefer things to go back to normal.
Oftentimes in life, we fail to realize how much we actually enjoyed something until it’s over. This crisis is by no means a positive experience, but as a healthy individual stuck at home, you can make it as enjoyable as possible.
Take this season in life for what it is. When the world goes back to normal and every second of your time is allocated to work and the usual responsibilities, you may just reflect back to the time you had nothing but time on your hands with fond memories.