By Jackie White
We never thought we would be here. Social distancing wasn’t a word we had even heard of and the concept can be painful for all of us. There have been days where we wished the world would just leave us alone for a minute and now that that day has come, we never expected it to be like this.
Many of us are feeling stressed, distressed and disconnected. How can we relieve ourselves from those emotions and use this time in a positive way? Here are some ways we can choose to use this time productively and ground ourselves to what is really important in our lives.
Begin with Heart:
If you peel back all the layers of the everyday grind, underneath it all is a foundation of heart. When you look at what is important in your heart, you may see family and friends as the foundation. This could be a great time to call up an old friend and catch up. What about sending a note in the mail? According to WHO, mail has a very small chance of carrying the coronavirus, so this could be an option as well.
Connect with Those Under Your Roof:
This is a great time to connect with those under your roof. It may sound strange, but we can get so busy living the life of busy, that we really don’t take the time to connect with our closest family members. Talking, telling stories, playing games (especially those that don’t need a board or cards) is an excellent way to connect. Remember to play this safe and if someone isn’t feeling well or is of a compromised population, take extra care to keep them distanced even if under the same roof.
This is an excellent time to quiet your mind. If you take only a few minutes a day to purposefully calm and quiet your mind, you can find significant relief from all that is going on. If you believe in a higher power, prayer and faith can help build your inner strength.
Spend time focusing on those goals you have been meaning to get to. Write out your plan and start by making small, focused daily habits to get the momentum going!
Journaling is a great way to sort through feelings. Take the time to get your emotions and thoughts out on paper. The exercise of doing this can bring relief. After meditating is a great time to journal. Things seem to be in a better place once your mind is focused and this can help you to positively process all that is going on.
An add-on to the journaling idea is to start a gratitude journal. Each day identify 3-5 things you are grateful for and why. When you begin to feel the gratitude of all that is in and around your life, you will feel better. Gratitude is the secret weapon we can use to battle any negative feeling or emotion.
Exercise and/or Getting Outside:
Moving your body everyday will release your endorphins and you will find your mood lightening. If you can get outside to walk, this will have an extra healing effect for you. Fresh air and sunshine are always a great remedy.
This might not be a favorite choice, but you may have projects you have been meaning to get to and now you have the time. Cleaning out the closet, decluttering, spring cleaning, change the batteries in your fire detector, read that book you have been meaning to read or do yard work projects can be knocked out right now. Being productive during this time can focus your mind elsewhere and you can be productive at the same time!
To all of you artsy-fartsy friends, pull out those projects you have been meaning to get to. For those of you needing inspiration, comb pinterest for ideas to see if there is a creative project you can engage in. Creativity doesn’t have to mean doing an art project, it can be writing, playing music or developing a computer game. Find something to dive into and get your creative juices flowing.
A favorite creative project that we suggest is to work on a vision board. Focus on the future in a hopeful and positive way by creating your plan in a vision board.
There are so many online courses, videos and audio books that are available for free! Tap into this wealth of education and use this time to learn about a topic you have been interested in. Check out: You Tube, Khan Academy, Ted Talks and several universities offer free courses.
Get off Negative Social Media:
If your feed is filled with negativity or apocalyptic rhetoric, get off it. You do not need any further distressing information to amp your own uncertainties up. Instead find uplifting and positive stories to follow. Choose to be informed by reliable sources like the CDC or WHO, not by your brother’s neighbors aunt who is doom and gloom.
Choose to Lift Yourself Up:
We know it is not easy to navigate the waters of today, but choosing to accept the situation, being aware of the cautions and directives and keeping a positive outlook will help things move forward more smoothly. The choice to lift yourself up will not only help yourself, but will help others around you. Look to the positive, use your time wisely and spread love (not germs) to those you love.
Stay strong and stay positive and Shine On!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.