Shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, whatever name your state uses, the reality remains the same. A drastic shift in our lifestyle has arrived. Even as states contemplate lifting restrictions, evidence indicates lifestyle changes will persist. Places slowly reopening in phases still leaves you spending much more time at home.
Coping with the many dramatic changes proves a challenge on multiple fronts. Professionally, financially, and emotionally to name a few. Trying to tackle all these issues at once will only further the looming burden you may feel. No reason to do that!
Instead, let us stick to one aspect. Let us nix professionally, since professional challenges vary by occupation. Financially I am going to eliminate because quite frankly, I am not qualified to give advice there. Emotionally, however, I am happy to offer advice. Full disclaimer, I am no mental health professional. Rather, the following tips I am basing off what continues to work for me during the Coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, something below helps you too emotionally cope with the increased hours spent homebound.
A Simple Mantra
Personally, I am six weeks into my stay-at-home deal. Technically my state, Ohio, only issued a stay-at-home order five weeks ago. Nevertheless, my employer proactively shutdown a week before the state mandate. Kudos to the Cuyahoga County Public Library for actively looking to stop community spread!
Anyway, six weeks staying home sounds like a lot! The key allowing me to get to this point centers around my mindset. After Ohio Governor Mike DeWine extended the state’s stay home order until April 30th, the temptation existed. To groaningly ponder, “How am I going to make it another 30 days?!?!?”
Said temptation I silenced by quietly repeating to myself a mantra. “One day at a time. One day at a time.” Seems simple, but I am proof the mindset works. So, next time you hopelessly wonder “How am I going to make it?!?!,” readjust and remind yourself “One day at a time. One day at a time.”
The Sardine Effect
If you live alone, feel free to move onto the next tip. Although, you could also read this part and feel better about living by yourself. Sure, possessing company while in social isolation offers an allure. Nevertheless, lost in the allure hides a negative.
Everyone has little annoying habits. Annoyances growing extra irritating while everybody coexists consistently under the same roof. Irritation making your home, no matter how spacious, feel more packed than sardines.
Oppose to getting upset, identify what you can control. To give an example, I live with three family members. Nobody currently working. With no work schedules keeping everyone in check, my family members stay up late.
One night early in the pandemic I went to bed around 10:45pm. Gradually I started growing frustrated. Between the TV downstairs on a high volume and hearing the floors creek as others maneuvered around the house, I could not fall asleep. After that night I realized I needed to compromise and go to bed later. Certainly, beats the alternative. Repeatedly going to bed sometime between 10 and 11pm and repeatedly growing frustrated.
Answering the Door
Hear that? The knock at the door? Do not grab your face mask and go answer. I am referencing a metaphorical door. Playing off the idea opportunity knocks. I encourage you. Find the opportunity hidden amid these difficult times.
Over and over as friends checked in with me the last month-plus I echoed “I am making the best of a bad situation.” For me that means occupying my increased free time with frequent exercise to better combat my cerebral palsy. Plus writing more.
Beyond me, I read about a man diagnosed with COVID19 who used his time in recovery to start working on the non-profit he wanted to start for years. Yet prior to the pandemic he never did because he lacked the time. Perhaps you relate. Whatever your ambition, start pursuing today!
Filling the Void
Admittedly, implementing everything above should improve your happiness and keep you busy. Nonetheless, a void goes unaddressed, your lacking social interaction. Without engaging other people life begins feeling monotonous.
Disband the monotony! Grab your phone. Scroll through your contacts. I am guessing you spot at least a couple individuals you would enjoy catching up with. Call!
Remember to pace yourself. You want to separate your calls over the days and weeks. Guard against the monotony reshaping.
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Sane.
Hopefully, the tips I shared today helps you cope with staying home. Let me know in the comments below. Do tell which tips you plan to implement. Or maybe, you possess your own tip. Leave that below too. Together we can help each other stay safe and sane all while staying home.
Zachary Fenell is an author and blogger. Through writing, he seeks to make a positive difference in the cerebral palsy (CP) community. In addition to receiving great reviews for his book Off Balanced, Zachary has been recognized as one of the best CP bloggers. His blog can be found at zacharyfenell.com.