Being stuck at home, sitting around not doing a whole lot is really hard on the body and mind. While we’re all dealing with stay-at-home orders it can be really tough to navigate how to stay active while cooped up for who knows how long. I have been going through the motions myself, phases of slumps and then random bursts of energy, sleeping in too long, staying up too late, sitting at the computer too much. The list can go on, but you get the point and I am sure you are feeling it as well. It’s too easy right now to just fall into the rutt of wallowing in your isolation. So what can we do about it? Here are some things that have been helping me get unstuck.
You may not be able to (or even have to) be on your normal routine right now but I have realized that this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be on some kind of a routine. I spent a couple of weeks with literally no routine and eventually found myself feeling stressed out, exhausted and just all around terrible. So, I decided to find a sweet spot where I am not stressing over a routine, but I am still staying active, tackling each day with purpose and some consistency.
Before the stay-at-home order I had an early rise and early to bed routine. I don't need to be up or lay down as early right now, but I shifted my schedule only slightly. This allows me to have some quiet hours in my morning, and then plenty of time for winding down at night. I make a point of getting dressed when I get up, have a steady morning routine, daily activities that help prevent me from spending too long on the computer, scheduled meal times, and a bedtime routine to help me get in sleep-mode. Having this stability helps me not dwell on how different life feels right now, or get absorbed into mindlessness or restlessness.
Yes, I said it. Exercise. The thing so many of us procrastinate doing. I was just getting into a workout routine before the stay-at-home orders, and it all fell apart again when the shut-downs came. I've started slowly working in daily yoga after I've had my morning coffee, and then again before dinner. This helps me step away from the pc and get moving. It also helps me sleep better at night, and feel more stable and relaxed during the day. Let’s face it. Sitting around is not healthy. We should all be doing things to help keep our bodies healthy right now, even more so than usual, so yes. Exercise daily.
I know a lot of people are not readers, but here’s my point. Most of us are probably spending hours reading the various news networks right now. All that does is heighten the negativity, anger, frustrations, anxieties, panic and stress - all the things we need to be combating, not feeding ourselves more of. Find something you enjoy reading whether it be comic books, magazines, novels, and especially the Bible.
Pick up a Bible reading plan on the Bible App. Find free and inexpensive book deals on BookBub. Check out eLibrary books on Libby by OverDrive to read on your phone, tablet or eReader. Find some fun audio books. There are all kinds of ways to find great content to feed your mind that don't always require money.
Reading is a great stress reliever. For me, it takes my mind away from the stress of the world around me and throws me into a new world or adventure. You may not think you’re a reader, but hey - now is a great time to put that to the test and dive in to give your mind a needed break.
Whether it be learning a new language, taking classes online, a yarn or sewing project, painting, writing, drawing etc. it is a great time to jump in. I’ve been taking this time to get into my adult coloring books, yarn projects, and I will also be sewing medical masks. My family and I are learning some fun origami and playing board games, and we have started doing movie marathons at dinner time (note we reserve this for a specific time of day rather than sitting in front of the TV all day long). Soon I plan to also get into a little baking, and I have started doing some Spring Cleaning in my closets and drawers. The options are limitless! You have much less reason to put these things off, so why not just go for it?
We live in a time that is so incredibly easy to be isolated and not worry about social interactions. Hiding in our homes away from the world probably sounds really nice to many of us, but honestly this is something we really need to be careful with. We were not designed to be alone. We were designed for community, for relationship. Right now it is vital that we stay, or get, connected to others.
I am finding it all too easy to just worry about me and me alone while I am having to stay home, but I urge you to reach out to your friends, connect with loved ones, share what you’re up to with others and talk to people about how you’re feeling and coping. Don’t shut the world out right now. Remember that we need to let the light in so we don’t get consumed by the darkness penetrating our world right now. Be a part of something more than yourself and get connected with people.
Life is tough as it is, but even more so right now. Don’t forget that we’re all going through this together. Stay connected, create a sense of routine for your days, get into your favorite hobbies, and grab a good book. We can all get through this, but it helps when we do it together.