1. Before you do anything else, take care of YOU. Gently observe your thoughts and pay attention to the things you're telling yourself about this pandemic. It may be helpful to write them down in a journal.
· Self-care - take a bath, light some candles, play some relaxing music - do whatever you need to do to create your own zen space.
· Meditate - quiet your mind and allow yourself to just be.
· Journal - your thoughts, your fears, but also your joys, and the things and people you're grateful for.
· Practice yoga.
· Connect with nature (if possible) - go for a walk, smell some flowers, walk on the grass or sand barefoot.
2. Create a new "normal".
If you're used to going into an office and you're now working from home, create some structure for yourself(and your kids/spouse) and put together a daily schedule. How do you want your day to flow? Envision your ideal day, then put pen to paper and make it official.
3. Clear the clutter. Purging old or unused items not only clears up space in your home, but also relieves stress by clearing space in your mind. And bonus, you can donate these items to your local donations center.
· Clothing items.
· Junk drawers or closets.
4. Do things that bring you joy. Ladies and gents, not everything we love has been cancelled. Think outside the box and see what you come up with.
· Dance parties in your jammies.
· Good ol' fashioned board games or their tech-y friends (HouseParty app).
· Reading books that have been sitting on your shelves waiting for you to have "enough time".
· ….(fill in the blanks - what else brings you joy?)
5. Move your body. Physical movement is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. How do you like to move?
· Take a walk around your neighborhood (6ft apart from anyone in your path - keep up the social distancing, folks!)
· Crank the music up and dance around your house.
· Dig up that old Tae Bo DVD and pop it into the player.
· Find a Richard Simmons workout videos on YouTube and laugh for an hour (hey, laughing is cardio).
· Facetime a friend and do an online or home workout together (Get Wellness, anyone? 😉)
6. Get those creative juices flowing!
· Baking - try your hand at a new recipe or two with items you've got on hand.
· Gardening - get some seeds, flowers, or herbs and get planting.
· Singing (and making up funny songs to entertain your kids and/or partner).
· Painting - with a brush, with your fingers, on your face - get silly and have some fun.
· ….(what else? The sky is the limit!)
7. Connect with others. You're not in this alone. And luckily, we're in the age of boundless technology. Get your Facetime on, plan a Zoom happy hour, pop in Live on Facebook or Instagram or watch a movie with friends around the country via Netflix Party. A plain ol' phone call works, too. The point is, we're all in this together.
8. Give yourself some grace. It's ok to feel any and all of the emotions you're feeling - frustration, worry, sadness, anxiety, fear. The key is to not live in those emotions daily. If there comes a point where you've felt caught in those feelings for too long, try one of the options above.
Remember, the only thing constant is change, and this too shall pass. Try giving some thought to how you've been living your life up until this point. Have you been satisfied, happy, joyous - or are there things you'd like to change or improve? Use this pause in "normalcy" as a time to reflect on the people you've been spending your time with, the job you've been working, the activities you've been engaging in and the way you've been showing up in life - for yourself, for your family, for your friends. You might just find that you exit this pandemic with more balance, clarity and hope for this uncharted future than you ever could have imagined.
Abby Hambell is an intuitive life coach who empowers women to become masterful creators of the life of their dreams. To receive free access to her brand new training I Decided, and Now It's Mine, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Right now, Abby is also offering free 25-min laser coaching sessions to anyone struggling with fear and anxiety during this time. If you'd like to book a session, you can reach her at www.well-being-coach.com or by text at 248-921-1885.