We want all our members to stay positive during this period of uncertainty. Capsized travel plans, indefinite isolation, panic over scarce resources and information overload could be a recipe for unchecked anxiety and feelings of isolation. The best way to stay calm and optimistic is to take the opportunity to remove the stress from your life for the day.
Take the time to examine your life and find out where all the stressors lie and start looking into taking steps to remove them or find ways to mitigate them. Here are a few pointers that could help you survive spiralling negative thoughts about this uncertain time.
1.) Reframe “I am stuck inside” to “I can finally focus on my home and myself”
As dismal as the world may feel right now, think of the mandated work-from-home policy as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganise, or create something you’ve always wanted to. Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself.
2.) Stay close to your normal routine
Try and maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. For those individuals with children, sticking to a routine might be easier; however as you work from home, it could be tempting to fall into a more lethargic lifestyle, which could lead to negative thinking. Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of your PJ’s. Do laundry on Sundays as usual. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work. Stay positive that this isolation is only temporary – things will go back to normal eventually.
3.) Avoid obsessing over endless Coronavirus coverage
Freeing up your day from work or social obligations gives you plenty of time to obsess, and if you have a tendency to consult Google for every itch and sneeze, you may be over-researching the pandemic as well. Choosing only certain credible websites is a good start for a limited amount of time each day such as World Health Organization or Public Health Wales (perhaps two chunks of 30 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time.
4.) A chaotic home can lead to a chaotic mind
With all the uncertainty happening outside your home, keep the inside organised, predictable and clean. Setting up mental zones for daily activities can be helpful to organise your day. For example, try not to eat in bed or work on the sofa- just as before, eat at the kitchen table and work at your desk. Loosening these boundaries just muddles your routine and can make the day feel very long. Additionally, a cluttered home can cause you to become uneasy and claustrophobic of your environment- so keep it tidy.
5.) Start a new quarantine ritual
With this newfound time, why not do something special during these quarantined days? For example, perhaps you can start a daily journal to jot down thoughts and feelings to reflect on later. Start and end the day with a simple mediation, or take a walk every day at 4pm, Connect with your family members over FaceTime every morning, or start a watercolour painting which you can add to everyday. Having something special during this time will help you look forward to each new day.
Letting go of illusions of control and finding peace in the fact that you are doing your part to “flatten the curve” will certainly build mental strength to combat the stressful situation the whole globe is experiencing. Together we can get through this – just stay positive guys & keep smiling xx