Thriving While Social Distancing

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It’s a crazy, upside-down world right night now. So many of us are hunkered down at home trying to protect ourselves from an illness we can’t see and don’t quite understand. Some of us can at least go outside, but quite a few, can’t.

How do we keep thriving through the uncertainty?

It’s hard to keep the fear at bay, the anxiety down, and positivity flowing.

But it’s possible.

This whole concept of “self -imposed isolation” can be scary. People are social beings and the thought of being alone can really be traumatizing. It’s really important to find ways to stay connected when you need it. I’m an introvert, but I still need to regularly meet with my loved ones, friends, and neighbors, to keep my balance intact.

When I face uncertainty, or I’m just plain scared, taking some kind of action, helps. It reminds me that I still have choices, even when they are limited. I’m the one who controls how I react and how I find my joy.

Here are some ideas, maybe they’ll inspire you.

Clean out your inbox. Social media is great, but can easily overwhelm you with too much information, wrong information, sales ads, bad opinion, junk, and the like. Claim back your email, your Facebook, twitter and the rest.

Listen to your heart. Courtney Carver @ bemorewithless.com has a really great suggestion on how to regain direction when you are feeling lost. It’s a simple process of actively listening to your heart. It’s had a powerful impact on me: Go somewhere quiet and get comfortable. You can lay down or sit, or whatever helps you focus. Stay quiet for a few minutes. Then put one hand over your heart and cover it with the other hand. Ask yourself your burning questions. And just listen for the response. If you don’t know what to ask, then start with “How do I feel today?” It’s amazing how this simple technique opens up a whole box of answers.

Declutter your home. It’s spring, and you’re home.  It’s a good time to declutter and then deep clean your home. When we’re working it’s hard to fit this kind of major cleaning into a busy schedule.

Clean out your car. Do a really thorough cleaning. Toss all of the candy wrappers, food boxes, bags, and take everything out. Get really  detailed and deep clean. Put back only what you really need to keep and give them a home in your vehicle. If the weather is decent, open all the windows, and let the spring air blow through.

Have a really good chat with a loved one. Take the time to talk about the important stuff. What are your hopes and dreams? What are their hopes and dreams? What do you want to be doing in a year, or five years? It’s amazing how a good chat can create more laughter and less arguing.

Play a board game or a game of cards. Notice that I didn’t say electronic games. A board game or deck of cards slows you down. It’s more intentional thus more personal. You have time to think and consider your moves and choices. You interact. You laugh. You get to the basics of life.

Call rather than text. When you’re lonely, hearing a familiar voice on the phone does way more to nurture your soul than a text. Texts can be misconstrued and time consuming to get your message across. A simple 5-minute phone call instantly reconnects you.

Clean out your pantry and try a new recipe. recipeland.com/recipes/byingredient is a cool site to try. Enter what food items you have, and it populates some recipe ideas.

Get outside. If you are not being told to stay indoors, you can go outside. The sun is nature’s disinfectant. Spend 5 minutes outside breathing some fresh air, and your mood will brighten, and your head will clear.

If you can’t go outside, open a window. It will reconnect you with the world. Listening to the birds sing or the dogs barking will help to bring you back in touch with life.

Don’t make any big decisions but consider your choices. You can’t help but think about how your life is going when you are severely forced to change your routine. So, go ahead and consider your life choices: what’s working and what isn’t. Do you love where you are, or do you want to do something else? Do the heart exercise I mentioned earlier and gather some insight. But wait until your life goes back to your regular flow before you decide to make a life change.

If you find yourself really struggling, most companies have access to the EAP (Employees Assistance Program) which can offer informational assistance on a lot of different areas, including helping with anxiety. If you don’t have access to EAP, check around locally with your county and state to see what they offer.

Remember that tough times will pass. Think about all that you have gone through in your life. Not all of it was easy, probably some was pretty traumatic, but you are still here. You got through it. Thinking about how got through hard times before, will help you deal with the now.

Hang in there. We can do this.

 

 

 

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