April 9, 2020

Learn to live better under quarantine

With the coronavirus crisis now stretching into weeks, homeowners across the country are adjusting to being at home around the clock – only venturing out for a little exercise or for essential trips to the store.

One of the biggest changes has been learning to work at home, but perhaps the most impactful is spending so much time indoors, with family, and with a lot more time on our hands. It’s perfectly natural to feel a bit stressed out.

People weren’t designed to spend endless hours wondering what to do with themselves. Too much time cooped up, even with the ones we love, can be oppressive.

It can help to look at this new reality as time for yourself – to grow, to learn and to relax. And you don’t have to do it all at once. Here’s a few more ideas that can help.

Play with the kids: Remember what it was like for you way back in the day before you could drive or go to the bar? You used to play – using only your imagination. This is probably tougher for your modern kids, too. Video distractions get boring. Maybe you can teach them a thing or two.

Sing and dance: Singing improves people’s mood and sense of belonging. Even just listening to music can help you in the face of stress. A study of cancer patients found music reduced anxiety and pain.

Color your world: Studies show that the simple act of coloring within lines, especially of geometric patterns, can lead to a meditative state. Consider breaking out your adult coloring books or drawing your own pattern.

Walk it off: Even the most strenuous “stay-at-home” mandates allow for getting outside for some exercise, as long as you maintain appropriate social distancing. Take a walk, climb a tree or go for a run.

Sleep helps: Stress can affect your sleep-wake cycle. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep, to help your body fight infectious diseases. However, extra sleep is not recommended.

Stay connected: Call, text, email or video chat with your friends and family. This is where we truly see the benefits of living in an electronically-connected world. Social media can never replace physical, in-person contact. But in times like these, you have to compromise.

Keep health in mind: Simple meditation exercises may help - try steady breathing or concentrating on a positive word or image that makes you happy.

If that’s not your scene, try some other relaxing methods:

  • Take a bath

  • Read a book

  • Rearrange your furniture

  • Learn a new skill

  • Deep clean and de-clutter

  • Try out a new healthful recipe

  • Eat meals slowly…savor each bite.

Above all, give yourself a break:

With the constant onslaught of information available it’s tempting to keep checking news sites or social media. Take long breaks from your computer or devices.

No matter what, do your best to follow the basics. Wash your hands often and remember to avoid touching your face – especially your mouth, nose and eyes. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Remember this is temporary. Let’s all focus on the things we’re looking forward to, and why we’re all doing this: Not just to protect ourselves, but to protect our more vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbors.