College of DuPage Nursing Student Sydney Black researched that the onset of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc worldwide and put a halt on nearly all normal activities of daily living. Within weeks, our country has faced many physical, emotional and financial conflicts. There are very few of us who have experienced a pandemic of this severity. Outside of the history found in a textbook, we are all having to endure the chaos created from this virus. According to the most current recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2020), the practice of social distancing is one of the more favorable ways to stay healthy during this challenging time. Although this proposal may seem simple, an optimal outcome requires both an individualized and collective effort. There is no step-by-step guide on how to survive the confinement blues, but there are plenty of ways to pass time that is beneficial to both you and those around you.
Formulate a New Routine
The journey downhill is much quicker than the journey going up. The change accompanying this outbreak was quick and disruptive, leaving us with little time to adjust to a new routine. Considering there is an immense amount of suggestions on what we should and should not do during this time, the one thing you have total control over is yourself and your routine. A simple way to go about adopting a new routine is by finding a way to mimic your old routine. Distinguish the things you would like to complete throughout your week, making a plan, then maintaining consistency and tracking your progress will help with successfully formulating a new routine.
Enjoy the Fresh Air
The practice of social distancing does not mean you have to stay inside. Rather than spending all of your free time propped in front of a screen, getting outside and staying active in the fresh air is recommended for health. It is still possible to enjoy your time outdoors while keeping an appropriate distance between yourself and others. Go for a walk, grab a coffee at a local business, or simply relax and enjoy the sun. Regardless of what you may choose to do, these essential steps will help you stay away from the screens and center yourself within the slower pace of the nature surrounding you.
Partake in Spring Cleaning
With summer being right around the corner, it is officially the time of year dedicated to spring cleaning. Clearing up your living space not only will help to get you moving, but it may be important for mental health and wellness. While many of us are currently working from home or are temporarily unemployed, an often priceless activity to pass the time is readily available for you at any moment of the day; that of spring cleaning. According to professional organizer Regina Leeds, “[you] can accomplish more, quicker and with ease, if your environment literally nurtures and supports you” (Ravitz & LaMotte, 2020). Individuals who consider their living spaces restful and restorative are in better mental states than those who do not ‘tidy up’ regularly.
Feeling ‘imprisoned’ in your own home is not fun, but it is likely to be significantly less enjoyable with excess clutter.
Get to Know Yourself
The fact that we are living through a global pandemic is an unpleasant topic to accept. This is especially true for those of us who have been affected in such ways that will permanently change lives once the feeling of chaos subsides. Taking time each day for reflection may be essential for coping as humans. The need to care for others often results in less care for ourselves, especially when feeling obligated to do so. Taking time to set personal goals is one way to promote a consistent daily routine and establish a plan or time frame for those long, sought after accomplishments. This time may become an opportunity to pursue new interests, develop a new hobby, or partake in activities you never had time for in the past. Rather than viewing self-quarantine as a sort of “dystopian nightmare,” positive thinking might be just the thing for an attitude of optimism towards tasks you choose to take on alongside the privilege of life that has granted an opportunity to begin these tasks.
Know That There Is No Right Way
There is no correct way to go about normal living during a medical emergency of this severity. At this time, some of us may have experienced a significant loss. Whether or not this provided an opportunity for a proper goodbye, one’s state of independence or sense of purpose may have been impacted. It is important to keep in mind, however, that as humans, we are likely doing the best we can under the circumstances. Feelings of doubt may exist with respect to the ability to balance work deadlines while at the same time, be a school teacher at home. Similarly, worrisome thoughts about sanitary practices at the store where groceries were purchased or the struggle in caring for a high-risk individual may exist. Or, the need to work in a high-risk setting as an essential worker may be threatening. It is okay to not ‘feel okay.’ The practice of social distancing and other strategies to prevent the spread of coronavirus will contribute to the health and wellness of the community as well as protect you and your family. Ultimately, choosing to partake in these measures will benefit others, achieve a greater good and in some measure, you will become a hero!
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