During this unprecedented pandemic, creating structure at times, while forgiving a lack of structure at other times, will help us strike a balance and keep our sanity intact.
Pandemic, virus, social distancing, quarantine, flatten the curve. Not the 2020 that any of us expected, right?
I am scared and still learning how to adjust to this new and unnerving reality. But I am also a mother, and, just like most of you, motherhood gifted me with the powers of regeneration, resilience, and responsibility. I am scared, I may cry, and I am likely to be exhausted every hour of the day, but I still want to make my days count for my family and me, inside this bubble of ours, called home.
In case you feel afraid (as I do), here are seven strategies I have been practicing, to keep my sanity during this quarantine mode of living:
- Allow flexibility.
Although routines are necessary for the stability of the family, we are all still adjusting to this new reality, and it’s alright to snooze the alarm one day, skip laundry another or reschedule that online meeting when we feel the burnout coming. We will still have tomorrow and the day after and maybe the following months. Let’s not be too strict with ourselves.
- Focus on gains.
We are losing a lot, indeed, but we are also gaining. We are adding so many positive actions to our daily living. In essence, we are rediscovering old games, gathering the (at home) family around the table for lunch, and enjoying our balconies/terraces/windows like never before. We are writing, crafting, calling old friends, and checking up on neighbors. We are creating amazing things during this time of closures. We may be separated, but we are connecting more than ever.
- Make time for “me time.”
It is vital to disconnect from the world outside, kids’ tantrums or couple arguments, even if just for half an hour. We all have something we are passionate about, and it is so important to try to keep it going on, even if it requires some adjustments to the indoor reality. Photography, working out, painting. We all have a passion and usually so little time for it, so let’s do it now and boost our good energy.
It’s time to take care of our bodies and our souls more than ever. We may be limited to our indoor space, but there are endless ways to keep our body moving. Dancing while listening to our favorite Playlists, practicing Yoga using the new trendy Apps, jump roping on the terrace, whatever makes our bodies move. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins that interact with our brain and trigger positive feelings, and we do need that!
- Set a limit on “News”.
The pandemic spreads through droplets, but the anxiety is spread by the media. Nevertheless,we need to keep in the loop with what is going on; it is important to balance the amount of diffcult information we get every day. Detox from stress, watch a comedy and mute the notifications on your phone for some time during the day.
- Be truthful to your feelings.
We do not need to act like heroes ALL the time. This is hard and real, and it is ok to be vulnerable and to cry. It is actually good to cry, it releases so much stress from our hearts. Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to your loved ones, text your best friend, call your therapist, but don’t let the negative feelings overwhelm you. Face them, cry, and then let them go.
- Last, but not least, wash your hands and stay home.
Follow the instructions of the World Health Organization, no matter where in the world you are, what your religion is, or what diet you follow. This is a global issue, and we all take part in the solution.
This has been my strategy and it has been helping me get through this unprecedented pandemic, so I hope somehow it may help some of you structure yours. Let’s stand up for each other, let’s support mother nature, healing from all the damage done before, and let’s make the most we can out of this forever remembered experience. We are all in this together. We will all get through this together.