Like so many of you, we’ve been staying home for the past few weeks. And gradually, we’re regaining our footing: from confusion and disbelief, we quickly moved on to (over)educating ourselves, to finding out what we had to do and how we could help, to finally deciding to stop letting the news bring so much unnecessary anxiety. It’s a change, to be sure, but what a gift to be able to meditate, clear our minds, and reconnect.
We’ve become deeply grateful. For the folks who are on the front lines working to contain this virus to the restaurant workers to the supermarket employees, to the thousands of people working at utilities and sanitation and all the other services that make our cities work. And during this time, we’re also seeing lots of resiliency and optimism and learning from so many others who are dealing with their crises, and yet still go full speed ahead focused on finding solutions.
For us, here are a few ideas that have helped us remain grounded:
1. Don’t Over-News
There’s a lot of sensationalism out there today, trying to claim your eyeballs and sell advertising. Unfortunately, it’s confusing and depressing. So I’ve made it a goal to only read what I absolutely need to know, and then disconnect.
2. Connect with People
Instead of watching the news, I’ve tried to connect with the real people I know. Sometimes it’s just a text to ask how they’re doing, and sometimes I’ve video called and spoken with people I haven’t seen in a while. I was glad to have been able to make them feel better and also happy to know they cared about me too.
3. Order a Meal for a Loved One
Since I can’t go see the people I normally do, I’ve been ordering them meals through doordash or ubereats instead. It makes me feel good to be doing something for them and it helps out a local restaurant.
4. Exercise and Meditate Remotely
Even if you can’t go to your favorite gym or yoga studio, keeping up your exercise routine will give you positive energy and make you feel better. Check if your gym or instructor is doing the same. If so, join in remotely and stay healthy and in touch.
5. Watch Something Soothing
Put something soothing on your screen. Watch and relax. Find an album with old pictures and show them to your kids. Remember that the world is still a beautiful place.
6. Maintain Calm in Your Home
When everybody is together at home more than expected, set some rules for TV, noises, and just general calm. Children can learn to be respectful. So can adults. Now is a good time for us to all do so.
7. A Word about Online Shopping
Believe me, we appreciate your business and support, and so do the artisans and factories who depend on online retailers to keep their businesses open and employees paid. But if you’re worried about your job or income, don’t shop online to relieve stress, even if you see a sale or notice your neighbors stocking up. Our goal is to help make your home a soothing and calming place so you can ride out storms like this one, and there are plenty of ways to help without your buying something you don’t need.
That being said, home and travel have always been what centered us. So if you’re like us, take some time to look around your own home and see what you can do to make it better. Move things around, and rediscover a piece of art you already had. Layer in some scent. Light candles at night. Bring out a new set of sheets. Take a long bath, or curl up with a good book. We promise you will come out ahead.