Tips to maintain mental health when you are locked in your home because of coronavirus
There is very little chance that I ever thought that I would literally be so sick and tired of staying inside my apartment in Nashville, as I am today and yesterday and probably tomorrow. I am bored. And the models show COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations won’t even peak until April 15th nationally, and April 27th in Tennessee.
I am very very very very very very bored.
And I am not alone. In fact I have discovered that every part of one’s home life including our relationships can be questioned. Social distancing and being stuck at home has made a record number of couples file for a divorce in China.
And honestly, I have seen inspiring stories of ordinary people doing amazing things like making masks for healthcare workers and I have seen the celebrity videos singing in their sweat pants. Actually, I have seen more hashtags and trends and stories and instagram posts and Facebook rants and online BFs (bitch fits) than I think I could ever manage to consume… and for what?
But it made me really start to wonder if there is a better way, or something that I am missing in this time of being separated from the rest of Nashville, from the rest of Tennessee, from the rest of the country, and from the rest of the world. What in the world would seemingly make the world just stop…?
Stop… for a while.
As I really began to reflect on the separation, I really started to see how, for once, we are all–literally all of us everywhere–doing the same exact thing. We are all wanting this pandemic to be over. We all want the sickness to be eliminated. We all want our friends and family back in our lives and we all really want to return to the way that life used to be. But for this moment, for this day, for this hour, for this minute… we wait.
So how do I survive social separation? How do I take this moment of self-care (and caring for others by not continuing the spread of COVID-19 in my community) and learn from it, move past it, and be better because of it?
Here are some tips that I have found works for me:
First, if you want to donate your time and materials to make face masks, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is all about it. Here’s how to make to donate home made face masks to VUMC.
Next, if you are like me and live with your partner–it can be the making of World War III over something stupid–like phone usage or what to watch on television or even sleeping too much. The experts recommend that it is so important to communicate and actively listen with your partner. And to remember the importance of personal space. So, if friction happens with your significant other, pull out the headphones and go meditate in a closet or a corner for as long as you need. Take those important moments within your home to have time by yourself.
Next, I understand that everyone is pretty much doing the same thing that I am doing at home all day. So, for me, now is the best time to try and build better relationships with my family members that do not get as much attention as I would normally be able to do. So, texting or FaceTiming with my mom more often than usual, checking on my sister, or calling my dad back helps ironically make me feel less separated during this time we are actually separated more.
And finally, check out this thread on Twitter with some great tips on how to not waste this time while you are locked up at home.
I love you all! Hang in there. We can make it through this together!
Don’t forget to take your meds and stay healthy and reach out if you need help of any kind.