Back in March, I wrote a short blog post about taking a moment to breathe with some tips to get through the pandemic. Little did I know back then that not only would we still be quarantining and working from home, we’d also be witnessing and going through some historic moments!
Here in the Greater Toronto Area, we’re well into the second wave, and it seems like there’s no end in sight. I’ve been working from home since March, and honestly, although there are benefits like not having to spend hours commuting or spending money on gas, this is taking a toll on my mental health. Those of us who still have a job or some source of income, those of us that are still in good health and have not lost any loved ones, and those of us who are able to quarantine safely, should be extremely grateful! Many are not so lucky. But I think we can all agree that regardless of the situation we’re in, this is an experience we never want to go through again.
So how do you stay sane when it seems like the entire world is going up in flames, both literally and metaphorically?
Below is an updated list of some things that are helping me get through. Most likely, not everything is going to work for you. Depending on your personality, preferences, health, etc., I encourage you to alter some of these suggestions to fit your life better. But I hope that you are able to find some value in at least one of these tips.
- Do nothing. Seriously.
Some days I’ve found that I needed to literally do nothing. This could be in the form of taking a nap, lying in bed staring at the ceiling, mindlessly scrolling through social media, or just sitting quietly in a quiet spot. This doesn’t sound very productive, or even healthy for that matter, but I’ve needed moments where my brain was just shut off, not thinking anything, not doing anything. And in a weird way, it has helped me.
- Fresh air.
Taking some time to just go for a walk, or sit outside on my front porch or backyard, has helped me deal with stress and anxiety. Fresh air is good for you, and luckily, all we have to do is step outside!
- Be creative.
This has helped me the most. When I’m busy doing something I love or learning something new, it makes me forget about everything else for awhile and I get to have fun and feel good.
- Eat well.
Over the summer, I went through a period where I soothed my anxiety with junk food. Needless to say, it probably just made things worse. The last few weeks I spent some time focusing on what I’m eating and why. Everytime I had a craving for something unhealthy, I took a moment to think about why I’m actually craving it. Is it an emotional response? I also started finding healthier alternatives to satisfy my cravings. This has helped with managing my anxiety so much! When you eat good, you feel good.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself.
If you feel like you need to just let out your emotions and have a good cry session, do it! Now is not the time to be judging ourselves. Waste time. Sleep in. Take your vacation days if you can. Put yourself first in whatever way that you can.