What a difference a week can make. We are living in some weird times, y’all. Never would I have dreamed that I would be quarantined in my home with no end in sight. But here we are. And we have so much to be thankful for. Honestly, Matt and I are such homebodies, these next few weeks will feel like normal life to us. We’re pretty lucky because we actually love being at home, being together and we really don’t get sick of each other… Well not often at least, lol.
But wait. What about this virus? Aren’t you freaking out?
What will freaking out do for us? It will give us anxiety, indigestion and some new gray hairs. But it sure won’t keep us healthy. So, what’s the point of worrying? It is 1000% out of our control. But, you know what is within our control? Our actions. We’re wise enough to understand that we need to stay home and away from others until this virus is done. If we do that one simple thing, we will not only keep ourselves healthy and safe, but others too.
It’s so easy for any one of us to tell others to calm down. But really, if you can’t calm that anxious voice inside your head, what do you do? Here are some tools I’ve personally used the past year to cope with anxiety.
- Take your mind off of it. Whatever is consuming your thoughts needs to no longer be given center stage. Replace those thoughts with something else. For me, I like to listen to audiobooks throughout my day. Depending on my mood, sometimes I choose self help books but other times I need a mental escape and choose an interesting novel.
- Get some Vitamin D. This is so necessary and so underrated. Whether you sit in a window and allow to sun to hit your face or sit outside in the full on sunshine, make sure to daily get some Vitamin D.
- Move. It’s amazing how much better you feel after you get your heart rate up and break a sweat. Exercise is always important, but especially now to improve your immune system.
- Have a dance party. Dance around the room to your favorite tunes. Move your body. Laugh. Have some silly fun with your family.
- Get creative. I love to cook, but maybe this is a whole new thing for you. This is the perfect time to learn to love food. Watch a documentary like Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and learn about the elements that make food delicious. Spend some time on Pinterest and find recipes for the ingredients you already have. Experiment! I find so much joy in creating a good meal that my family enjoys. It’s one of my favorite pleasures in life.
- Start new habits. Since every day will look the same for the unforeseeable future, this is an optimal time to kick off some new habits that you’ve been wanting to begin. Start waking up at a certain time or starting a new bedtime. Start a daily walk or exercise routine. Whatever it is that you wanted to start or stop doing, now is the perfect time!
- Connect with each other. It’s so easy to get lost in the news coverage of this pandemic, but it’s only going to add heat to your mental fire. Turn off the news. Put down your phone. Make eye contact with each other. Play board games. Have technology free meals. Do family story time at night. Pray (out loud, scary I know!) with your spouse. We are being given an opportunity to connect with our loved ones in a different way than we ever have before. Take it! You won’t be sorry.
How awesome will it be if when this thing is over, we end up with stronger marriages, relationships and families? What if, instead of fearing the weeks ahead, we look forward to the time we get to spend in the comfort of our own homes with the ones we love most in this world? Instead of surviving this, let’s thrive through this. We can’t control what we may have already been exposed to, but we can control our mindset. This is just a season. A season where we stay home and binge Netflix in our favorite sweats.