There is a lot of information floating around in terms of COVID-19. If you have access to a television or a cell phone, you are hit with so many different views of #Coronavirus. Understand first, this is not the platform where I give you any more information in terms of this virus. Instead, I am concerned about your mental, emotional health and what you can do to protect that. With an abundance of information flying around from the news, social media, friends and family – you may need to avoid the outside world for a little to allow your brain some processing time.
Before I get into some things you can do to maintain your peace in this difficult time, I want you to know that how you are feeling right now is completely valid. You can be happy, afraid, excited, frustrated, overwhelmed, underwhelmed and any other emotion. There are a bunch of factors that are influencing everyone at any given time, and you can fall anywhere on the “emotion spectrum”. Feelings are specific to the person that is feeling them, so no one can tell you that you are reacting incorrectly. What you can do, is attempt to understand why you are feeling that way. For me, I believe the only way you can successfully navigate through a world that is chaotic, is by finding some peace. There is a quote that reads, “boats don’t sink because of the water around it, they sink because of the water that gets into it”. Right now, you must pay close attention to the “water” around your boat, with potential of getting in it. Here are a few tips I have found successful.
- TURN OFF THE TELEVISION.
Older people use to call televisions “The Idiot Box”. It does not matter what you like to watch. Shut off the television for some time throughout the day. By turning off the television, you are giving your brain time to reset. Even fictional information can eventually interfere with what you are attempting to accomplish, so turn it off. You will not die…I promise.
- OPEN A WINDOW.
Let some fresh air flow through your space so your brain can breathe, and your air does not become stale. Fresh air makes you feel better, and when you feel better you do better.
- TURN ON SOME MUSIC.
I am not one that needs to listen to music to get things done. I sometimes drive in silence so that I can get my thoughts in order; I understand that I am a minority in this area. So, if you like music, listen to some tunes that will put your mind at ease. I have been listening to some new R&B and it has been calming my nerves. Turn on your favorite streaming site or turn on the radio and let the music flow through your home like the old folks use to do on Saturday mornings.
- FIND SOME MOTIVATION.
Some people are working from home right now, other people are not. Either way, giving yourself some tasks just to cross off your “To Do List” like brushing your teeth, mopping the floor, making up your bed – even if that is the only thing you do all day, it will make you feel like you have accomplished something because you have. You DO NOT have to learn new skills, read new books, learn new languages or whatever else your friends or social media is telling you to do. Give yourself a little something to do and leave it at that.
- PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN.
Some people use their phone for work…that is completely fine. I urge you to filter your personal social media use throughout the day. It hinders productivity and can be a huge distraction. If you do not have to use your phone for work, I suggest you to put time caps on your social media usage. I have muted some people because of the abundance of sharing that is going on. I must protect my mental space and honestly, you are not missing anything. You do not need to be “in the know” all day. Just think about this, how much important information did you gather on social media today? Did you learn anything or are you there because you do not have anything else to do? Also, if you have to, unsubscribe from those emails, un-follow some of those people. Listen, that phone is like a petri dish of bad vibes sometimes, so put it down and give yourself time to process some things.
- EVALUATE YOUR MENTAL STATE DAILY.
I have always been big on understanding what I am feeling and why. I do not care what anyone says, one’s emotions are the driving factors in how they move throughout the world. How you feel about something determines how you respond to it, and the more you understand it, the more you can rationalize it (that goes for all of the “men are more rational beings” because that is simply not true). Yes, feelings can be rationalized depending on how deep you are willing to dive into understanding the root of the feelings. I believe that the more you know about yourself, the better you deal with the outside world. The only way you get to know who you are, is by taking that time for yourself. Find things that make you feel happy and calm that do not include anything or anyone else but yourself.
Also, I get that the extrovert part of you wants to be a part of the world, enjoying the fruits of your labor. However, your home should be a fruit of your labor as well. Your home should be your sanctuary. If your home is not a sanctuary because you have not taken the time to do that for yourself, take this time to create that. Rearrange your space, throw out some old papers and make time for your mental health. It will benefit you in the long run. If it is not a sanctuary because you are in danger, please, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for professional counsel and assistance.
I do hope these tips are helpful to you and your well being!