Fifty years from now, the first few months of 2020 will most likely be in children’s history books as one of the strangest periods the world has ever seen. We are in the middle of an unprecedented time in history with the COVID-19 Pandemic sweeping across the world.
The streets are empty, businesses are closed and most cities in the United States are under some kind of lockdown order from the government not to leave the house. Whether you are a business professional or a stay at home mom in your normal life, there is absolutely nothing normal about this strange new way of life. Navigating a new normal with all of these restrictions can be extremely challenging, for some more than others. All of us at Mile High Psychiatry want to show our support and love for all of you during this time, so we curated five ways for you to stay healthy and thriving during Quarantine.
1. Find ways to stay active
This one can be challenging at first, because all gyms are closed, leaving most of us with nothing but bodyweight to get exercise. But, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping and your blood moving with nothing but your body. The internet is a wonderful place with so many tools we can take advantage of. YouTube especially has a wealth of resources for at-home workouts, Zumba, Yoga, HIIT and so many more. There are also a lot of fitness apps on the phone offering free trials during this Quarantine. Exercise is the quickest and easiest way to get endorphins pumping, and endorphins make you happy! Elle Woods from “Legally Blond,” even said so.
2. Pick a daily task
If you are working from home, this one should be pretty easy to fulfill, because you have responsibilities from your job that need to get done. If you aren’t able to work from home, it can feel like the day is an endless stretch of useless time in front of you. Find a daily task to complete that will give you a sense of fulfillment! This can be anything from rearranging the kitchen pantry to creating a scrapbook of memories to cherish for years to come. Keeping our mind and body occupied with a task helps us feel a sense of purpose, even when our days are spent in one single place.
3. Get outside if you can
Vitamin D from the sun is one of the best natural pick-me-ups Mother Nature has to offer. Plus, being stuck inside all day can start to feel claustrophobic and confining, and getting outside for even 20 minutes of fresh air can be so uplifting. If you can’t get outside for some reason, try cracking a window and sitting in the sunlight through the glass. Research about COVID-19 has even speculated that Vitamin D kills the virus, so a little bit of sunlight can do you a world of good in more ways than one. To be clear, this isn’t a scientific fact, but some sun on your skin (with sunscreen of course) certainly can’t hurt.
4. Phone a friend
One of the hardest parts about required social distancing is feeling lonely and isolated. When we are used to seeing many people as a part of our daily routine, it feels alien to have only ourselves and our family members for the company. FaceTime and phone chats can be instrumental in not only keeping relationships happy and thriving but also to keep us from feeling completely marooned on the island of our own home. Especially for those of us spending our days with small children, it can be crucial to squeeze in a bit of time to talk to another adult and have a mature conversation. Try calling a different friend every day of the week, or having a scheduled call with someone at a certain time each day. Take a walk while you talk, and you will complete three of the five items off the list in one go.
5. Utilize the tools available to you
Personally, I find podcasts extremely helpful when not practicing social distancing, but especially during this quarantine. There is such a wealth of information and entertainment available to us for free, so you can increase your knowledge with a podcast like Hardcore History, get motivated to make the most of the day with someone like Ed Mylett, or find yourself holding your breath to find out what happens next in a podcast like Crime Junkie. There are also amazing resources temporarily available to everyone for this time. For example, you can take advantage of a free course from Yale University online called The Science of Wellbeing, which is all about how to make yourself happier! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like exactly what I need right now. Also, especially for those with kids, a lot of museums and zoos are offering free virtual tours. Journey to the Louvre in France, explore the surface of Mars or get a closeup view of the pyramids of Egypt. In a time when our literal life is confined to our homes, the world is at our fingertips through the computer. Here at Mile High Psychiatry, we want to do our part to help you through this difficult time, so we are currently offering free tele-group therapy sessions through May 31. Reach out to our amazing therapist, Laine@milehighpsychiatry.com to schedule your time with us.
Even though this feels like the most isolated we have ever been, there is something amazing about all of us being united in isolation. We are all in this together, worldwide, so we are less alone now than we have ever been. We can work to change our perspective and hopefully implementing some of the suggestions above will make this a time of growth and beauty within ourselves and the world at large.