How to Stay Positive Amid a Pandemic
For many of us, the coming months are going to require some major adjustments. Self-isolation, working from home and periods of quarantine will become the new normal. If you’re wondering how you’re going to get through it, you’re not alone. We’ve put together some tips to help you cope with being couped up at home with the family, what to do when you’re overwhelmed, how to use exercise to ease tension, and how to eat well to feel well.
Forced Time with the Family
We’ve all thought about spending more time with the family, and now we’ve got the chance. If you’re working from home, you’ll need to set some boundaries, but you’ll also be able to soak up some family time while under the same roof. Introduce the kids to some new music and learn the dance, find a movie you loved when you were young, get crafty and create your own board game,or stage a photo shoot in some vintage threads. There are plenty of free kids’audio books and podcasts that can help limit screen time while keeping them entertained.
Allocate some time for a device-free dinner, which is good place to start an honest chat with the family about why they can’t do the things they normally would. Being transparent without scaring the pants off the kids can help ease their mind, and in turn, yours.
If you’re continuing schoolwork at home, this might get tricky if you’re also working from the dining table. Plan out a typical school day to keep the kids occupied and focused, allowing you to get on with things. Once you’ve worked your normal hours,clock off. Shut down the computer and walk away like you would any other day workday.
There might be more arguments about who touched who and who breathed where, and who ate the last whatever, so think about setting out zones for the kids to occupy and encourage them to make that space their own.
Sweat Out the Stress and Anxiety
With the change of schedule and your lounge room possibly being taken over, you may be thinking it’s too hard to stick to your program. Think about how good you felt after you last exercised. Please try and keep your routine up or make a new time to work out to fit in with the family.
Exercise has a huge impact on stress and anxiety.Benefits of getting physical include fighting disease – which we’re all mindful of right now. Plus, staying active helps to maintain mental fitness, reduce stress, fight fatigue, improve mental stimulation and concentration.
When we’re stressed, the whole body can feel the strain. Exercise produces endorphins – those amazing chemicals in the brain that act like painkillers and produce happiness – which helps to improve our overall mood. So stick to your fitness goals, even if it’s just a lunge around the lounge room.
Overwhelmed? Try These Simple Tricks
If you’re struggling to get on top of things emotionally, it might be time to hit the reset button.
Make a plan: When the house is chaotic, it’s easy to let it all get on top of you. Tackle one task at a time and reward yourself once complete. Decluttering your living spaces will help to declutter your mind.
Stick to routine: Get up, make the bed, shower and get dressed. Even if you don’t leave the house, those small tasks can make you feel more organised and energised rather than spending all day in your PJs.
Press pause: Take time out from the 24-hour news cycle and social media. Give your brain a break from information. On Facebook, everyone’s an expert and shares opinions of what they’re doing amid the Coronavirus crisis. These ideas might not be the healthiest info to digest right now, so put the phone down, and stop scrolling through the news feed.
Get active: Exercise! Walk around, put the bins out, take the stairs – anything that gets the blood pumping.
Phone a friend: If contestants on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire can call in a favour to score some cash, you can do it to score some mental stimulation. Do the rounds with your mates for a mental health check-in – they will appreciate the phone call just as much.
Deep breaths: Stop, drop and breathe. A handy technique is called Box Breathing. Breathe in for three, out for three, in for three and out for three again, while imagining each count to three draws a line to form a box.You won’t think of anything other than that for at least 12 seconds!
Eat Well to Stay Well
A healthy diet won’t stop you from getting a sick, but the right foods and supplements can help reduce the severity of symptoms and help your immune system to kick a virus quickly. Was nan right all along? Does chicken soup cure a cold? It can certainly help.
If you’re bulk cooking and meal prepping, throw in as many veggies as a dish can handle. Stock up on your leafy greens like spinach, kale and bok choy– they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, iron and antioxidants. Every bite helps!