Welcome to the Hunger Games, a.k.a 2020! This year I was prepared to take life by the reins. I had set my intentions, made travel plans, had the time of my life on a cruise back in January, and was ready to live the last year of my 20’s to the fullest! The wellness podcast my co-host and I launched back in March and was off to a great start and we were getting things rolling with great momentum, while getting amazing feedback. Well, plot twist! Thanks to Covid-19, we are all stuck inside, watching the weather get nicer and nicer as we long for days past of outdoor dining, day parties, and cookouts with family and friends. Now, life consists of Amazon shopping, virtual musician battles on Instagram, and suffocating ourselves with masks just for a trip to Target and the grocery store. While we try to stay safe and wait this out, how are we to entertain ourselves, take care of our physical, mental and emotional health and stay connected to our loved ones? Being the introverted, homebody that I am, I must say I am not struggling too badly, although there are a plethora of activities I would love to partake in right now. For our more extroverted, social butterflies, I empathize. It is not easy to isolate when you thrive off of social interaction. Social media is pressuring us to compete in some sort of Productivity Olympics, adding more pressure to what is already a draining predicament we find ourselves in. So, here are a few ways you can stay grounded while simultaneously feeding your brain and spirit.
Tackle That Goal You’ve Been Putting Off
Here’s a fun fact about me: I have been studying for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) for the past 6 weeks. Yes, I have decided at my big age to go to Law School. I bought a study book about five years ago, (smh) and woke up one day with the desire to dig it out. Well, I did, and my nose has been stuck in it ever since. I read and did every exercise in the entire 594 pages, and have now moved on to another book. I am literally sitting at home each day with nothing but time on my hands, so instead of feeling like I am on house arrest, I am taking this opportunity the Universe has afforded me to learn something new at my leisure, that will inevitably brighten my future. I also bought a keyboard several months ago because I planned on resuming the piano lessons I took as a child. Well, piano lessons are not possible right now, so I intend on purchasing my own books and using YouTube as my teacher. This is not my way of encouraging anyone to enroll in school or learn music, but I am sure we all have something we have wanted to learn, hone, or practice. My sister has been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and taking our dog Luna on long walks for both their benefit, and using YouTube to get in shape. Others have been enhancing their makeup skills (something I plan to do also), learning to cook, and just simply bonding with their families. These things can be done on your time, with no pressure or deadlines. If you’ve been feeling burnt out and need to catch up on rest, do that. Sure, you may not be able to go to LA Fitness or find a Groupon for a cooking class, but appreciate what you have at your disposal and take full advantage!
Cozy Up Your Nest
While we are on nature’s version of house arrest, why not make your house as comfortable as possible? You don’t have to be Joanna Gaines to have a clean, cozy home that reflects your personal style and vision. Now is the perfect time to do some Spring Cleaning. Declutter, make room for new things and add some pieces to make home feel more like home. My mom is an extreme neat freak, and every time I call her she’s cleaning something, rearranging furniture, or redecorating a room. Your home is your sanctuary, and you will feel better mentally and emotionally if you reside in a neat and orderly space. If your nest is a completely cluttered and dusty mess, create a to do list and do one area of your home per day. Our physical space is a reflection of our mental state, so make the effort to keep your living areas as clean and neat as possible while you are maintaining your mental health. Swap out your winter clothes for your spring/summer threads, gather items you intend to toss or donate, clean out your refrigerator and if your space allows, move your furniture around. Perspective is everything! Shifting things will give you the feeling of being in a totally new room, which may prove beneficial when you are tired of sitting on the couch, losing track of the days. Open your windows and allow in some fresh air, light your favorite candle and purchase a plant, or three. If horticulture is not your thing, try ferns or succulents. A quick Google search will link you to plants that will thrive in your environment and are easy to care for. If you have the additional space, now would be the perfect time to setup a relaxation zone where you can meditate or simply just sit in silence or read, listen to music, paint, or whatever it is that tickles your fancy.
Soothe Your Spirit
Last but not least, now more than ever it is imperative that you feel connected to others and while you may be physically distant from your tribe, you do not have to be socially distant. Luckily, we are living in the age of technology and we are able to see our family and friends via FaceTime, Zoom, and other avenues of communication. If you are blessed to live with someone you care about, great! If you are a solo dweller, I hope you and your peoples are making an effort to stay connected. Communication is always vital, but many of us are lacking access to the outlets we thrive in outside of the home; my best friend loves dance and yoga and spent a lot of time in classes, which was therapeutic for her. Now that she is unable to attend, she is taking advantage of the virtual classes being offered, along with virtual wellness retreats to feed and nourish her soul. Sure, it is not the same as attending in person, but it is a great alternative. Things may not be normal for quite some time, so do yourself a favor and get creative with your new normal. Other things you can do to feed your spirit can easily be created in your home. We are spending a lot of time lounging, so buy yourself new lounge clothes/pajamas and give the old concert t-shirts and college sweats a break. Treat yourself to a bubble bath with your relaxing playlist as your soundtrack. Cook yourself healthy meals so you can support your physical health. Bake yourself treats just for kicks (I know I have been doing quite a lot of baking). Now would be a great time to take advantage of a sale and buy a new TV or a new bed, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a new pet! You will have all the time in the world to devote to a new puppy. These are difficult times for many of us, but everything we need to remain or to become more fulfilled inside is already inside of us. I pray you are all financially, mentally and emotionally sound! If you have stories of how you are staying grounded during the stay at home order (no pun intended), or other tips, drop a comment! Also, if your state is opening back up, please stay safe and take care of yourself. We all can do our part to slow and stop the spread!