Apart but not alone. Together, separately. Find creative ways to connect and to disconnect.
Each of us navigates change differently, as our life is affected in various ways. What may be essential to you, may not be another’s essential. What may be a concern in one home, may not be your concern, but you have this other concern. Change happens all the time, and we adapt. Why does this season feel different? Our current world pandemic and attempts to stop the spread, have shattered parts of our daily life and routines. Still, we can thrive. Not only can you help the cause, adhere to federal and local orders, stay well, and care for yourself and your household, but with some creativity and the resources below, you can thrive. This season (and virus) will come and go, and we’ll look back and see how we resilient we really are, no matter what we face. Choose your favorite resources and focuses and create something new for yourself today.
Connection: Social Distancing = more time to CONNECT
· Use technology to connect with your people via video or audio. Zoom Conferencing is one app that allows you to host virtual extended family dinners, virtual education, virtual office spaces, book clubs, virtual happy hours, and more. Who can you connect with? Start with the necessary and then work into the fun. For more casual connections, we like the apps: WhatsApp, Voxter, Facebook Messenger, and FaceTime. You can even start private groups on Facebook to check-in with your circle of influence and share inspiring words, photos and information. Creativity is essential to move at the pace of change. (One Facebook suggestion: Turn off your notifications for now, so you’re not tempted to scroll social media and view messaging that doesn’t serve you. Fear tactics run rampant on social media during times like these.)
· Enrich face-to-face activities during this unique time where most of us are at home more of the time. Write down numerous creative activities like coloring, painting, organizing, writing, music (select others that work in your family) on a sheet of paper then cut each out as an individual piece. Put all of these activities in a bowl, and have your household choose a new activity to focus on when needed. This will help transition time from school work, or any stressful feeling, or to diffuse a family argument. Flip the switch by doing activities you don’t usually get to do. Make it fun!
Family/Kid-Focused Activity: Be Creative & Make it Fun
(if you don’t have children, consider sharing with someone you know who does)
· Use this opportunity to interact with your child’s education, and age-appropriate activities. House chores? Turn on some fun music, or a sing-a-long as you work. They need to eat? Try new recipes or play “Cupboard Creation” (create a snack or meal from only what’s already in the house—no shopping for ingredients.) Excessive energy or restlessness? Kid Yoga or kid-specific workouts are on YouTube. Again, turn on some good music! The Alphabet Game—works great for cleaning items starting with each letter, or sit in a circle and take turns thinking of animals, activities, or people you know with each letter of the alphabet. Homemade Name that Tune—use your music apps and play part of the song then mute. See who can guess or sing the rest of the song.
· The animals need love, too. Walk your pets, and if you don’t have pets, maybe find other animals to support—donate food to a shelter, help transport for a rescue, send a food gift card to your vet, etc.
· Go on a Bear Hunt! Tell your neighbors to place a stuffed bear or other stuffed animal in their front windows to give passersby by a smile. Make it a fun group event with your social group, then take a family drive to go visit the stuffed animals.
Self-Care: Your home became a gym & spa
· Use this time to do your own manicure and pedicures. This can be a fun activity with kids or virtually with friends. You can snap a photo of the finished nails to share online to bring a smile to another person. And family game nights at home, using extra time for new creative activities (painting, coloring, building stuff), and writing letters as a family to seniors at a nursing home, try new recipes, create a workout bingo that you play as a fam/couple/friend group, etc... doing mani/pedis together. Doing your nails not your thing? Face masks, deep condition your hair, make homemade sugar and salt scrubs. If you’re feeling a challenge, you can find recipes for homemade spa treatments online. Nourish yourself!
· Hot & Cold Game. Take a cold shower for instant energy and practice your deep breathing while you’re in the shower. Check out the Wim Hof Method for new breathing techniques. Body aches, soak in warmth or make a homemade heating pad with dish towels. Quick de-stress technique, find a wall and sit up against it with your feet above your heart. This helps your nervous and circulatory systems reset and calm down.
· We know you love your gym and workout studio, and you can use this time to step it up. Check out YouTube for workouts to do from home. You can use this time to improve your fitness level, so when you return to the gym, in-person, you’re performing stronger than ever. There is something for everyone. Just search what sounds fun to you, and have a family member join in for added fun and quality time.
· Take it outside! Nature is healing, and if you’re not sick, use this time to enjoy the great outdoors. Work outside, set up a patio conference call, and do your workout in the fresh air. Weather permitting, of course, although dancing in the rain brings an instant smile. Create your own workouts—you know your body and what you need.
Mindfulness & Mental Wellness: Keep Nourishing Your Soul
· Mindfulness is more important than ever, and carve out 10-30 minutes to meditate, journal, or listen to an inspiring message online. Need a guide for meditation? YouTube is an excellent resource. If wi-fi is an issue, or unavailable, default to a mantra or nature meditation. Even a minute or two focusing on “I AM” statements or gazing at nature can help reset your mind and spirit.
· Be picky with podcasts, but find one that resonates with your current needs. If you’re in acute mental pain, consider a virtual counselor. Providers like Faithful Counseling or BetterHelp provide a professional counselor whenever you need to talk something out. Even during a Shelter-in-Place order, you are never alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s confidential.
· Spiritual support is just a book or website away, as most churches have taken their services online. Research one that works for you and your needs. Order a new book or e-book that you find online or that’s been recommended. Learning something new during this time will enrich your life in a timeless way.
Use these resources and others you may find to flip the switch from FEAR to FULFILLING. How will you use this unique time and space to change the narrative for yourself and for your family. Yes, we are surrounded by new challenges, but we also have opportunity. Look toward the opportunity and find solutions that work for you.