Shaina Stays [Inside]: Coping with COVID-19

Hi friends,

How are you? Hanging in there? Same…

It’s been a weird week and a half-ish, so I wanted to check in with you all, but also, share some of the things that have been keeping me sane in this unreal time in our lives. I’d love to hear what you are all doing as well, so please please drop a comment – if not for my sake, for everyone else reading this too!

  1. Sleep. Sleep is so essential for mental and physical health. A full nights’ sleep helps keep those of us who are lucky enough to work from home well-rested and not-wanting-to-take-that-midday-nap. Sufficient sleep can also help with managing anxiety, so get to it! Zzzzzzzz….
  2. Routine. Admittedly, I didn’t do a great job of this last week (my first, full WFH + quarantine week), BUT it’s going to be my #1 focus heading into week two. I’ll be focusing on things like waking up / going to bed at a set time, working out first thing in the morning, and showering / getting ready / putting on not-pajamas before beginning my “workday”. As humans, we are creatures of habit, and in this ~super weird~ time, I think it’s important to hold onto the things that we can control.
  3. Exercise. Also haven’t done a stellar job at this in my 11 days, but working on #2 this week should help with that. Exercise, much like sleep, is great for mental health, physical health, and managing anxiety. If you can get outside for a bit and grab some vitamin D, even better! It was a brisk 33 degrees when I went out for a walk / run this morning, but it sure did help. We’re lucky enough to have a spin bike at home, but there are LOTS of resources available, especially right now. Businesses (like Beachbody) are offering free / extended trials, there are TONS of workouts online, etc. Especially if you don’t have a single piece of workout equipment at home, there are many many body-weight workouts you can do with not much more than some exercise clothes and space to workout in.
  4. Self. Care. In this [again] weeiiirrrrdddd time, self care is increasingly important. What self care looks like to you, however, is totally individual. For myself, self care looks like things like:
    • Listening to My Favorite Murder on repeat
    • Watching The Office on repeat
    • Baths. All the baths.
    • Probably some (lots of?) wine, too
    • Sleep (see #1)
    • Coffee, not because I’m tired, but because I just love coffee
    • Doing my hair and / or makeup
    • Whatever else I want that isn’t self-destructive
    • Oh, also, candles
  5. Medication. Take. Your. Meds. This one kind of piggybacks on many of the above categories, but, continuing to take my SSRI medication is critical to my day-to-day life. Make sure that this isn’t something that falls by the wayside because it could not be more important.
  6. Minimizing [social] media exposure. As someone with anxiety, I can only handle so much information at a time, especially when it’s future-focused (i.e.: This thing is gonna last for x# of weeks). Be mindful of the places where you consume information on the COVID-19 situation, and also mindful of how “full” your personal capacity is to intake this information. Don’t get me wrong, being informed is critical, but there’s a line in the sand between being informed and being overwhelmed. Being informed is helpful for preparedness, but once you’re as reasonably prepared as you can be, in my opinion, the rest can be damaging to your mental health. So, once you reach that level (and again, everyone’s different), do what you need to do. In addition, please ensure that the information you are intaking, comes from reputable sources (not Facebook!).
  7. As much social/non-social contact as you can. While we’re still under quarantine, don’t forget to connect with people! Relationships are so so critical, and commiserating with friends during this time can be very helpful. To be clear, I am not recommending throwing a house party, but rather connecting on Facetime, reaching out to a friend via text, sending a greeting card, whatever works for you. Just because we can’t see people in person right now, doesn’t mean we can’t still feel the warmth that close relationships brings.

One last thing to underscore: Do whatever you need to do to get through this time. I think a lot of us are consumed with trying to turn this time around into something productive (read a book, write a book, reorganize my entire house, etc.), but this is your official reminder that if all we do is survive this, THAT’S OKAY. You have every right to do what feels good and comfortable to you (as long as it’s not destructive).

I hope that this was helpful to at least one person. Please please reach out for support if you need it, and remember to drop a comment with your own tips!


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