I know things seem scary and overwhelming in the world right now, but take a deep breath in with me and say to yourself “It’s okay”. It’s okay to feel scared, it’s okay to feel confused. It’s okay to feel trusting, too. However, you are feeling about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the precautions in our current climate – it’s okay.
With schools getting closed, more work from home, and general advisement to limit contact with others, I wanted to put together a helpful guide if you’re not used to being so homebound or are looking for some inspiration to keep you from going stir crazy. There are also lots of reminders to help you take care of you during this time!
Before reading on, I must urge you to seek information from credible resources like the Centers for Disease Control. Misinformation through social media and memes is dangerous during this time, which increases fear. Try not to panic and also limit the amount of news you are consuming.
What This Experience Teaches Us
You may not feel you’re at a high risk for complications from coronavirus, but it is very important to remember there are other people who are at risk. So heeding the advice of credible sources like the CDC are so, so important. If you are able, reach out to family and those in your community who are at a higher risk – can you run an errand for them? Do they have groceries for the next fews days or week? Also, avoid buying in bulk when you can; this means fewer supplies for others.
My hope is this experience teaches us two main lessons: to look out for each other and to have compassion for those who live in a version of this reality each day.
A peak in the life…
I’ll be honest with you, reader, I am not overly panicked about the precautions for COVID-19. This is because as someone with chronic illness, I already take most of these precautions in my daily life. I will tell you, a lot of what is happening – events getting canceled, plans rescheduled, minimizing contact with others, hyper-awareness of preventing sickness, and increased time at home – gives you a taste of what it is like for someone who lives with chronic illness or disability. *To be clear, this does NOT diminish the disappointment and fear that is associated with this pandemic at all; it simply offers a (very intense/elevated view) of how other people live their day-to-day lives.*
If you are new to the blog, you can read my chronic illness journey here. You may not have heard me share about it as much over the last six months or so because of a program called the Dynamic Neural Retraining System or DNRS (check out my Instagram stories for more details on this – blog review to come soon!).
I am so thankful to DNRS for allowing me to regain control of my life, but I am always mindful of my illnesses and have made major life changes to support this level of freedom. I had to change jobs to be able to work from home, often have to say no to plans and things I really want to do/see, and have to be extremely diligent in my care practices. And none of these are guarantees – there are still days and moments where my symptoms overcome me. I share this for no other reason than to give you an honest look at the life of someone with chronic illness. But trust, even though I still have days where I feel very low about it all (obv, I’m human!), I have a lot of joy and fulfillment in my life. Which leads me to:
Focus on Gratitude
Having a gratitude practice gets me through each day! I write about what I’m grateful for each morning, take mindful moments throughout the day to pause for gratitude, and share the day’s gratitude out loud with my husband before bed. Focusing on the good in our day is vital, especially during times such as these. It helps to remember there is still good in the world. Take some time now to reflect on three things you are grateful for in this moment. I’ll do it with you: I am grateful for my home and food in my cabinets, I am grateful for laughing with my husband, I am grateful for my daily yoga practice.
Fun At-Home Activities
Alright, so you may find yourself at home more than normal in the coming weeks. That doesn’t have to be a drag – let’s make it fun! Here are some activities you can do by yourself or with your family to keep you occupied.
- Give yourself a manicure and pedicure
- Take a long bubble bath
- Make yourself a coffee or sugar scrub
- Relax with a face mask and hair conditioning mask (coconut oil is great for that!)
- Massage your hands, feet, or partner!
- Pamper your pets! Bathe them, clip nails, brush their hair
- Open windows when you can
- Take a walk around the neighborhood
- Sit on a porch or deck
- Observe nature – fully listen to the birds chirping, buds coming back on the trees, plants reawakening
- Soak up the sun (don’t forget your SPF!)
- Watch the sunrise or sunset
- Take your time with a coloring book
- Explore meditation apps you’ve been meaning to try
- Journal about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing
- Slowly sip a cup of tea or coffee
- Limit news intake
- Break out some board games – the perfect time for a full-length game of monopoly!
- Work on a puzzle
- Download a new tablet or computer games
- Plan a family scavenger hunt around the house or neighborhood
- Practice free, at-home Yoga with Adriene
- Free exercise apps or YouTube videos
- Ride a bike – stationary or outside
- Play in the yard with your pets or kids
- Run around the house with your pets or kids
- Crack open a novel
- Catch up on your shows and try some new ones
- Watch movies – try starting with previous “Best Picture” Oscar winners
- Listen to podcasts that make you smile (anyone else loving Office Ladies? ☺️)
- Start learning a new language via free apps like Duolingo!
- Learn a new recipe or create one yourself
- Practice or take up a new hobby like knitting or drawing
- Browse classes on Skillshare
I pray this all passes soon and trust if we all accept the precautions set will help decrease the spread of COVID-19. Sending you love and health as we get through this time together!