It’s stressful right now. There’s a bucket load of uncertainty around the big hitters in life; health, work and income, all impacting us and our families as well. Have things ever been this bloody stressful?? Not in my life they haven’t and I’m no spring chicken. Simple things such as hugging, ducking out to the shops or friends or watching live music in your local pub. All have suddenly taken on significance of gargantuan proportions. At the time of writing, there’s no real end in sight. Not until we either end up with herd immunity or a vaccine – or worse. And just when you think it’s safe to go out again – whoa, here’s another spike… It’s tough coping in a global pandemic, so don’t lose your sh*t. Here’s 7 ways to cope in this global pandemic, and they don’t take a lot of effort. With the exception of #4, little to none, in fact.
What To Do?
So how do you stay informed but sane and grounded with all the negative noise that’s bombarding us from every angle?
Here are 7 suggestions that may help, and I promise, there’s nothing hard involved at all. I saw a fabulous meme recently that really resonated with me, saying “it’s a pandemic, not a productivity challenge”. I love this! None of us in living memory have experienced anything like this, apart from living legend, Sylvia Goldsholl who at the ripe old age of 108 survived the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and a hit of COVID-19, thanks for coming. So, if you haven’t learned how to make a decent mayonnaise, or play flamenco guitar, IT’S OKAY. For some, getting out of bed is a big win. I think what all of us have learned though is a good healthy dose of perspective during this pandemic. Baby steps. Appreciate what you have… and so on.
Anyway, here’s a list for you to read at your leisure, and if it helps, well that’s my mission accomplished!
1. Take a Bath
Of course this is number one for me. I own a bath product company! (link to main page). I’ve written about it before, (https://bathcalm.com/bathcalm/7-reasons-why-we-should-be-taking-a-bath/ – see point 3), but I can’t extol the benefits of taking a bath enough. It’s worth mentioning again too, particularly while there’s a global pandemic going on. Hot water, beautiful fragrances, candles, music….it might seem like a bit of effort to organise, but it’s definitely worth it. And get this – studies have shown that a hot bath was more effective than exercise when it came to boosting the mood of people with mild depression. So if you can’t get out to your gym because of social distancing restrictions, take a bath! Shed your clothes and stress – and take a bath!
2. Phone a Friend
When the going gets tough, I call my bestie. She listens to me rant, cry, play devil’s advocate…whatever. But I know that no matter what, she will have me smiling and get a laugh out of me when I’m in a dark place. She keeps it real and of course I do the same for her. If you’re feeling crappy, I’m sure there is someone in your life who you can turn to, whether it’s a friend or family member. When was the last time you caught up? Give them a call, it will do you both good.
But no-one’s There!
If no-one’s around to talk to, then write out everything you’re feeling on a piece of paper, chuck it in the sink and burn it. This releases it and lets it go. Doing this has worked wonders for me in a few tough periods in my life. It really did draw a line between letting go of the past and moving forward. It’s powerful stuff and worth giving it a try. Don’t burn your home down in the process though. It’s why I recommend putting the list in a sink to burn it. In case of emergency, the water’s right there…
3. Stay in Bed
Yep, you have permission to stay in the sack. If sleep feels like the best option, then sleep! If you want to finish that book you haven’t been able to put down, DO it. Taking a mental health day to do exactly what you feel like is as good as a mini holiday – as long as the consequences of doing this won’t leave you feeling even more stressed. It’s all about finding that balance. Listen honestly to what your gut says the right thing to do is. Trust yourself.
4. Clean & De-clutter the House
The closest thing to exercise in this list! It might take a bit of effort to get in that cleaning zone, so my advice is just start. Stop procrastinating, crank the music and get into it. Cleaning and de-cluttering are both great ways to burn off a bit of energy, especially if you’re pissed off about something. The result is a home that feels fresh and clean, and that superb feeling of a job well done. What’s your reward? Not feeling as pissed off for starters!
5. Listen to Music!
Already cleaned and de-cluttered for the fifth time this week? Then simply play music. It’s a powerful medium and I think it was Jane Austin who said life would be blank without it.
6. Revert to Childhood – Do some Colouring In!
Don’t lose your sh*t – colour in! I forgot just how therapeutic this was, until I sat down with a friend’s son one day and started colouring in with him. Before I knew it, my tongue had crept to the corner of my mouth in concentration and 2 hours had passed. THAT’S being in the flow. My friend’s son was pretty chilled too, and this kid has energy PLUS. I was obviously on to something because I suddenly saw colouring in books for adults everywhere! Awesome! There’s a heap of different genres to choose from and it’s a lovely way to spend a while away from a screen. Hands up who feels burned out from zoom meetings? Yeah, me too. Go back to your childhood grass roots and give colouring in a go. You’ll thank yourself.
7. Pay It Forward
Did you ever read the book Pay it Forward? I ugly cried and snotted all over my bed sheets for ages after I finished it. It wasn’t the ending I was expecting, that’s for sure. It really did made an impact though, because now paying it forward is a thing. People get it. It makes you feel good! My partner does this beautifully in a variety of ways. My favourite, is when we’re at the McDonald’s Drive-thru and he’ll pay for the car’s order behind us. One Christmas at a local restaurant, he paid for the dinner of a young couple who was sitting near us and told the restaurant manager to tell them Santa paid for it. I love it! We never hang around to see the outcome, that’s not the point. It’s just good to know it’s happened.
Doing something good for someone else randomly is a win-win. You feel good, they feel good – and it needn’t cost anything. If your COVID restrictions allow, offer to look after kids of your single parent friend for the night so they can do – well, whatever they want for once! Clean an elderly relative’s or friend’s house for them. Take them shopping so they don’t have to drive. If you’re in full throttle lockdown, do some scrapbooking and create a photo album for a friend or family member and send it to them. Whatever it is, you’ll feel like a million bucks afterwards. More. Because what you’re doing is priceless.
Ultimately…This too Shall Pass
I know it feels like it at times, but this isn’t going to last forever. Nothing ever stays the same, good or bad. You know this…so… don’t lose your sh*t. When it comes to coping with the perverse little box of chocolates Covid gifted us, it’s up to us to do what makes us feel good and keep that in mind!