Now that we have been cooped up inside for a few days tensions are starting to build.
Compiled on top of the fear and panic many are experiencing is the strain that social distancing places upon relationships; with those you live with and those you don’t. Spending 24/7 with the same people can really get the best of you even in the best circumstances. With all of this added stress in the air, I have heard from many who are having challenges at home.
If your kids are driving your crazy, or your spouse is getting on your last damn nerve, or your parents are disobeying you – this article is for you.
I wanted to share a few ways you can cope with this adjustment and create some great habits that will support you through this. First though, I want to relay the message that you are 150% entitled to have your own individual feelings about all of this.
You are a human, and your feelings matter.
It’s okay to be scared, and angry, and frustrated, and lonely, those are all perfect human emotions. Our emotions are here to teach us, not consume us. Even though you may be fearful, or angry in the moment doesn’t mean you have to choose an angry or fear-based action. Take the wisdom from your emotions and give yourself what you need to move towards a happier feeling. You are valid, your feelings are valid, and it is up to you how you move through this time. You can lean into this experience taking advantage of the downtime, or you can resist and let fear drive you. It's up to you!
Here are some ways you can cope and create great habits for this time:
Keep a gratitude journal. Write down three things each morning and night that you are grateful for. If you want to get more from this practice; place hands on your heart and feel the gratitude in your body growing it with every inhalation.
Set out alone time for yourself. If you are healthy take a walk, go stand outside in your yard, lock yourself in the bathroom, go for a drive, bubble bath. With kids, I know it can be challenging to get alone time, but there must be a way for you to carve out a few minutes at least. Maybe it's right before bedtime when you can enjoy a few moments of silence. If you live only with a spouse make some boundaries for each of you, and agree on designated alone time. Most importantly schedule it, and no matter what keep the appointment with yourself!
Set aside time dedicated family time, or date night. Make an event out of it, everyone brings a refreshed version of themselves to the date and you do something special. Eat fancy cheese, play a game, watch a movie then discuss it. Create an event out of something from home, just because you can't go out doesn’t mean you can't attend an event!
Create a daily routine. Shower daily for starters, if you stink and look like crap you will feel like crap! Choose nicer lounge clothes, maybe put on some jewelry or makeup. Do things that make you feel good about yourself, just because you aren’t going to leave doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get ready for yourself. We don’t know how long we are going to be living this way, so we have to normalize it so we don’t form bad habits. Get up each morning and get ready, have a healthy breakfast, meditate maybe, then begin your day. Have a routine in the evening as well. If you are working from home set boundaries for your workday, like scheduling time to take regular breaks. At the end of the workday walk away from your computer, put it away, or close the door. You wouldn’t be able to check on work normally, just because your home doesn’t mean your boundaries no longer matter.
Video chat with people who don’t live with you. See – fresh – faces! Make a habit of doing this daily. Set up ‘coffee’ dates with friends and family over video. Just because you can’t be together in person doesn’t mean you shouldn’t socialize. You need it more than ever!
Move your body. Dance. Work out. Run. Walk. Bike. Jump. Whatever you like to do just do it 30 minutes a day. You have lost your commute time, maybe some gym routines, and your errands, which means you’re sitting on your butt more than before. Make an effort to intentionally move so you can stay healthy, sharp, and happy.
Drink a smoothie each morning. Because why not? It’s a great way to start your day and if you end up snacking on crap all day at least you know it started on the right foot. But mostly, you make better choices throughout the day when you start your day off healthy.
Divide the responsibilities of the home. One person cannot do all of this work, that is simply unacceptable. Time to get your spouse and those damn kids to work.
Respect the needs of yourself, and others. This is all impacting us in different ways. Some are freaked out while others are not taking things seriously. Share your needs with those you live with and ask for their thoughts as well. If your partner is a germaphobe just comply with their demands, it will help them feel safe thus making them happier, and it wont hurt you to keep things a little cleaner. Even if you think it’s a bit excessive, respect the needs they have that are making them feel like they have some control.
Seek peace, not victory. When you argue with your housemates come back to a basic goal for both of you. What is something that you both want to happen? Focus on getting there instead of trying to win little arguments within the bigger issue.
Check-in. Make time throughout your day to check in with your family, partner and/or your kids in a loving way to see if they’re okay. If you can help - lend your support. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hectic energy surrounding us all, we need to make time for pause. While you’re checking up on everyone else be sure to also check in with you. How are you doing? What do you need? Honour that.
Get creative. Turn off the TV and connect to your inner artist! Art is healing, and you have so much untapped creative genius within you! Time to let her out!
For those who live alone you may not have to deal with other people’s mess, but you have an added level of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. Living alone can feel scary in these times, but don’t forget that you have your community reachable through your devices. Reach out to your friends, even if you just need to connect and not speak. Put music on, get fresh air, and nourish yourself. Lean into this time by doing enjoying your alone-time, explore your emotions and work on forgotten projects. And hey! Things could be worse... At least you’re not living with your ex right now! :P
You may be wondering what our future looks like now that this virus has hit. We can choose to be fearful of a bleak future, or we can decide that it will be a more loving, community-focused future.
The call for us to awaken to a higher level of consciousness has been teasing us for some time. You are here right now because you wanted to be a part of the energy shift that is occurring right now! Humans typically need a big event to wake up and make big changes. This virus is doing just that. We have already started to see old systems beginning to crumble, and slowly over time, we are becoming more conscious as we grow. We are all evolving and we have the opportunity now to choose love and rebuild from the heart or continue operating from fear reverting to letting the ego rule. I see a divide happening already between those who practice love and those who practice hate. As we band together to support local business, grab groceries for neighbours, and our political leaders reminding us to nurture our mental health I see the love already. This is bringing us together as human beings. And that gives me hope for a better tomorrow.
As tempting as it is to be taken away on this fear wave, I encourage you to choose love instead. Take the necessary precautions, and rise above the fear and practice love daily. To your friends, to your family, even to your enemies. Instead of staying in judgment of the government, your employer or other people, send them love. Have compassion for those who aren’t following directions and those who are being hateful, send love to those who are sick, visualize a better future, and purchase from your favourite businesses if possible. We need to band together as a community now more than ever. Let’s all be on the right side of history and help each other.