As the country increases social restrictions, shuts down events, and limits our normal activities, what do we do with ourselves??
With no sports to watch, no dinner outings to enjoy, no concerts to attend, or travel to be had, we are forced to spend a lot more time with..... ourselves. dun dun dunnnnn.
Anxiety can be used subconsciously as a defense mechanism for keeping our mind focused on something that's within our control, keeping us 'safe' from where our mind may wander if it weren't preoccupied. This may prevent us from thinking about all of the stuff that we've buried deep down, however, the trade off is being consumed with stressful thoughts. Staying current with the latest news about COVID-19 is a breeding ground for our anxiety to spread. Good thing is that we already have a cure for that part. Staying informed is very important but then do something else, find balance in all of this- think, read, and talk about something else. This reminds me of one of my other blogs that conveys the message, 'Feel. Breathe. Do Something Else. Repeat.' which could be adapted to this situation as
Read about the latest COVID-19. Feel the Feelings. Breathe. Do Something Else. Repeat.
The 'Do Something Else' part is where I'm headed in this article. This could be a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and be open minded. For example, I played Gin Rummy the other day, something I haven't played in maybe 10+ years and never thought about but, darn it, it was fun. Also, I used to be resistant to board games, I never really liked competition, until I met my husband and learned about all of these styles of games that I never knew existed and definitely never thought I'd enjoy, now it's one of our favorite things to do together (personally, we love Qwirkle, Splendor, Azul, Bandu, Settlers of Catan, ImagineIF, Telestrations, Dominos, Dominion, Pandemic (ironically enough), and Code Names). My point is, you may be certain that you don't like games or yoga or crafts or journaling or cooking but I challenge you to be curious to trying out something new and perhaps you may stumble upon an undiscovered part of yourself that you never knew was there.
Here are some ideas of things to be open to trying during your social distancing time:
Organize things you've been meaning to organize (Watch 'Tidying Up with Marie Kondo' on Netflix for some inspiration and guidance)
Crafts (browse Pinterest and I'm sure you can find something there). Creating something can feel really good.
Check out the features on your camera/camera phone and take some interesting photos
Learn to play the guitar, learn a card trick, how to crochet, how to juggle, _______
Play charades/Pictionary (it's more fun than you may remember)
Read and/or read aloud to your family
Journal- Google some journal prompts to give you some ideas where to start
Begin a routine of identifying things that you appreciate. Involve your family, maybe do this at dinnertime together. (you can pick a topic for each day such as Things I'm grateful for about... nature, my body, my family, my friends, technology, science, etc.)
Print some things to color (it can be pretty soothing, it's not just for kids)
Write a poem
Go on a walk, even if it's just to the mailbox and back. Fresh air and sunlight can do wonders
Catch up on some of my other blogs
Cook a new recipe
Paint something - either around the house or on paper, go ahead just try it, dabble around, it's just for you
Begin (or finish) a DIY project around the house
Watch some Ted Talks
Discover some new Podcasts
Do a puzzle
Learn more about something you're interested in- Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public
Listen to some guided relaxations/ explorations/ mediations online
Yoga at home
What other things am I missing on here? What do you do that others may find fun?? Post them in the comments to share!