With all of the media and news coverage surrounding the recent coronavirus, COVID-19, it is too easy to lean into the mayhem and negativity. Pair that with not being able to leave the house, and we are all in a position where the news can drive us into a major panic. Don’t get us wrong — absolutely stay informed. It is more important than ever that we reduce physical contact with friends, wash our hands, disinfect our areas, and keep a positive mind. Not only for our own safety, but for those around us as well.
Since we will all be spending more time at home, Listen.One has come up with some awesome ways to keep you occupied while we wait out the illness. We all only need to get through the daytime hours in our homes each day without going stir crazy. Easy, right? *Nervous chuckle*
The first thing you can do each day is check in with your worry. What are you worried about? Who are you worried about? What can you do about this? Let’s go through some scenarios.
I’m afraid of getting sick.
Fear = valid. This is a time to take caution. Some ways you can work on this daily is to use Lysol wipes to clean your doorknobs, phone, faucets, and light switches daily. Implement it into your routine. Weigh out the worst-case scenarios. Practice proper handwashing. Take a shower at night if you’ve been out for the day. And the big one — don’t touch your face!
I’m afraid that someone I love, who is immuno-compromised, will get sick.
Again, fear = valid. A lot of the things mentioned above can help with this one. If you don’t live with the person who you are worried about, schedule some virtual coffee dates with them. Call them a little more than usual, and see if they need anything. If you feel safe, you can do a quick grocery run for them. Do whatever you can to make them feel loved a little extra.
I’m afraid of how this will affect my mental health.
On a personal note, I think this is my (me, the person writing this blog) biggest concern. I am lucky to work remotely as a default, but this means I really rely on my outside time to keep me feeling less lonely. This means made-up errands, working from various coffee shops, regular grocery runs on the daily, visiting friends, action-packed weekends, and more. Without these things, I can become so isolated that I actually fear going out of my little circle of home. My daily conversations with strangers and the barista downtown keep me sane. Now, these things are not playing a role in my day to day. So, what am I doing?
One word. Distractions.
This is a time for Netflix and chill to the maximum. There are some awesome shows out there just waiting to be binged. Use that “My List” feature. You can even enhance this experience by having watch parties via Skype. Heck, make a Facebook event and invite 100 people! There is no wrong way to do this right now.
Do you have a gaming console? Thank goodness for online gaming! Watch recommendations on YouTube if you’re having trouble deciding what to digitally download. Actually join the chat party with strangers. The young-ins may brighten your day with their bizarre humor.
Ever wanted to try a craft but didn’t have the time? Now is your chance! If you’re with your family, do some family crafts. Draw detailed pictures of each other and laugh about. Paint a picture of the beach or the mountains, and write a story about what you’d do if you were there. Put on a play that reenacts your favorite cartoon (To be Spongebob, all you need is a yellow shirt, brown pants, and spatula!) There are endless ways to be creative with your kids or roommates. If you live alone, write letters to your loved ones and send them out when you get the chance.
And consider this one. Exercise = FREE ENDORPHINS. You heard me. Find some workouts on YouTube and challenge yourself. If you can’t do intense physical activity for any reason, you can find awesome yogis to guide you through their practice regardless of your ability to exercise.
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy” – Elle Woods. Spoiler alert: we’re not saying you’ll be happy persay, but you’ll be calmer.
I’m afraid of losing hope. This one is personal and a universal feeling we can all understand. For this, we recommend prayer. Pray that God will keep you safe and continue to help those in need. Pray for your family to find peace during this difficult time. Pray for those who are missing work due to this and will struggle to pay their bills. The options are endless, and connecting with God will make you feel hopeful.
If you are not religious, look up some scientific data about past pandemics. We had one 11 years ago, remember? You might not, because the media wasn’t so keen on focusing on the negative parts of every moment. We also had different governmental structures in place. But it ended, and you lived. We are taking greater precautions because of what we learned from H1N1, and it’s a good thing. You know what else happened in 2009? President Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. I bet you remember that part.
I’m afraid of feeling lonely. We got you on this one. Text Listen.One at 602-786-8840. We will talk to you. We are not a 24/7 line, but we have dedicated people that will reply to your message and keep your company.
OK – now that you’ve checked on your worries. Let’s make a schedule. Here is an example of one we’ve created:
THE COVID-19 STAY AT HOME CHALLENGE
|7:00 AM||MORNING ROUTINE||Wake up, make breakfast and coffee, shower, brush teeth, wipe down surfaces|
|8:00 AM||WORK / EDUCATION||If you work from home, get started. If you don’t, watch educational videos.|
|11:30 AM||EXERCISE / FRESH AIR||Take a 15 – 20 min walk outside and call a friend.|
|12:00 PM||AFTERNOON ROUTINE||Wash your hands, make lunch, get back to work after you eat OR if you don’t, it’s chore time! Deep clean rooms of your house, wash your clothes, go through your junk to get rid of. Spring clean!|
|5:00 PM||END WORK / FREE TIME||Free time! Watch funny videos on YouTube, play a video game, read a book|
|7:00 PM||NIGHT ROUTINE||Dinner time, spend time with family, have dinner with friends via Skype|
|9:00 PM||SHOWER TIME||Wash the day off|
|10:00 PM||BED TIME||Watch TV or read your book to wind down. Say a prayer and do some deep breathing. Set your alarm for 6:45 AM.|
THE COVID-19 STAY AT HOME CHALLENGE
|7:00 AM||MORNING ROUTINE||Fill in the blank|
|12:00 PM||AFTERNOON ROUTINE||Fill in the blank|
|7:00 PM||NIGHT ROUTINE||Fill in the blank|
|10:00 PM||BED TIME||Fill in the blank|