10 Healthy Activities to Take Your Mind off Coronavirus
Use this time to grow and flourish, not to panic.
As you all know we are awash with non-stop information, fear, anxiety, and dread about the coronavirus pandemic. Quite frankly, a lot of the things I read and hear scare the heck out of me. But I try to remain the eternal optimist.
This week has been very difficult for all Windarring staff and it got me thinking about some simple, positive things that we can do that are in line with the “social distancing” being encouraged right now.
These healthy activities can help take you away, physically or mentally, at least for a little while, from all the fear and worry associated with this terribly unprecedented situation. Perhaps these ideas can even bring you a few moments of calm and comfort.
- Get outside alone in nature.
Now is a great time to take a walk even if it is around the block during your lunch break or when you are at home. Autumn is a beautiful time of year and a walk on your own can help you to get away from people and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the splendour of nature, especially in our part of the world where the tress are starting to change colour.
- Catch up on your reading.
Curl up on your sofa, in bed, or in your favourite chair. Read all those escapist fiction novels, illuminating history works, fun recipe books, or whatever else you enjoy.
- Talk to your friends.
Perhaps you can’t always talk in person, but text, call, or FaceTime. Catch up with friends and family, tell jokes, reminisce about the good ol’ days, and help support each other through this.
- Re-engage with your hobbies.
Get back to crocheting, knitting, guitar or piano playing, digitizing all those old photographs, bake a cake, and write that novel. Now’s the time.
- Clean, de-clutter, and organise.
Since you may be inside a fair amount, tackle that junk drawer, cupboard, or all those boxes stacked in the garage. Use the professional organiser’s system: separate into piles of “Keep,” “Donate,” or “Throw out.”
- Spend time with your family.
While you’re not able to socialise with outside groups, create fun family events, such as game nights, favourite show binge-watches, craft projects, take on a home improvement project, or talk (yes, talk!) with one another about your goals and dreams.
- Add some wellness to your routine.
Figure out a great 20-minute home workout, go on walks, try healthy recipes, learn how to meditate, do yoga, pray, or journal. All of these can help you reduce stress and anxiety.
- Work on the bucket list.
Yes, normal life and travel will resume again at some point. Do research and scout out great spots for your next fun trip. Write down all the great future events, activities, places, and goals you want to see and experience.
De-stress through ample sleep and rest. Practice relaxation techniques. Listen to calming music and recordings of nature sounds (forest, ocean, beach). Just do nothing. Sit outside and take time to notice and appreciate all the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
- Be grateful.
Take an inventory of the many good things and blessings in your life. Write them down. Start a gratitude journal. Say thanks to those you love and care about and tell them why you appreciate them.
Yes, these are incredibly stressful and trying times, but this too shall pass. Take time for self-care and to care for others in your life. Keep things in perspective. Be reassuring to those who are fearful. We will make it.
It’s also interesting to reflect that anxiety is a normal human response to what we are all going through. Some people react like we have seen happening at shopping centres with hoarding or go the other way and ignore the COVID advice. But, to work through anxiety the key is mindfulness – that is, being present and show acts of kindness to each other. And try some of the tips above that just might help you.
I also want to remind everyone if that if you are experiencing anxiety please remember that the Employee Assistance Program is available to you. It’s a free and confidential service. We use the group called Caraniche: https://www.caraniche.com.au Phone: 03 8417 0500
With the emergence of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Caraniche is committed to continuing to provide services to you. Your safety and wellbeing are their highest priority and they are monitoring the evolving outbreak situation closely. Due to social distancing conditions they are encouraging clients to consider accessing support through their telephone or video counselling services.
Source: Dr David Susman 2020
Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of Kentucky