Postponed, Cancelled & Changed: 6 Tips For Coping In This Time Of Social Distancing
Ahhh it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was March of 2020. The longest year of our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic that pushed us all into uncharted territory. The past few weeks have been emotionally exhausting for many of us. We’re all navigating uncertain times weighed down by the fear of what may come. None of us could have anticipated so much change so quickly and globally.
Dealing with anxiety, fear, loneliness, and countless other emotional burdens brought on by global panic can be draining. But even in the midst of this chaos, we each get to CHOOSE how to respond. Most of us have been mandated to stay home and avoid crowds of any kind, socially distancing ourselves from everyone and everything we hold dear. That means travel has been put on pause, trips cancelled, no friends get togethers, date nights, concerts or movies, group workouts and yoga routines, and coffee shop meetups.
Times may be tough for the foreseeable future; but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer. Read below my 6 healthy tips for coping during this Coranavirus quarantine and social distancing.
1) This Isn't Permanent
While a definitive time frame hasn’t been determined, this, too, shall pass. There are better times ahead. Things will be normal again. Maybe a new normal, but normal nonetheless. Seek out the positive and try to focus on that.
When I watch the news it feels like the world is ending and when I head outside in my neighborhood, I know it is NOT! Remember that it is your response in times of high-stress and fear that defines your truest character. It's easy to be kind and generous when life is good, but how will you response when things are hard? You may not be in control of what's happening around you right now (or ever, really), but you always have control of your response.
2) Limit Your News Intake
The news can sometimes be disheartening and a direct detriment to your mental state. When life falls into chaos, when the future seems bleak or confusing, we become desperate to make sense of things. Put a limit on how much news you watch and/or read. You can stay informed and still limit the amount of emotional stress you take on. Anxiety often comes from what we ingest. Understanding what sends you spiraling is the first step towards protecting yourself from it.
When it all seems like too much to handle, I look for the good news: we're coming together in new ways, we're sharing in the responsibilities and actions we need to take, we're noticing what is most important and our priorities are suddenly crystal clear.
3) Look Forward To The Future
The reality is that, sometimes, life is just chaotic. Sometimes things fall into disorder and any attempt to make sure of them will leave you trapped in a maze of misplaced anger. Instead, plan for life after social distancing and COVID-19. Think about the bucket list trip you want to take after the global pandemic, and how you plan to enjoy that with you and your loved ones. Planning for the future is inherently positive. Moreover, accepting and standing firm in the fact that there is a future will help you think beyond the now.
A little well known fact that I love is that the simple act of PLANNING travel puts us in the same psychological happy-go-lucky place as BEING in a destination. Did you know that? So I encourage you to DREAM and PLAN your next trip for this summer and into 2021 because right now your mental health IS just as important!
4) Start With Gratitude
Begin each day thankful. We are all, without a doubt, imperfectly responding to the situation as it unfolds before us. The realities we are all facing-fears, finances, health, family dynamics, etc.-we are all facing them in different ways. The one thing we can ALL do is to start each morning with a positive mind frame. It can work wonders when being constantly faced with anxiety. Don’t allow your day to begin before you start by appreciating the fact that you have another day. Make it a practice to start each day speaking out loud who or what you’re grateful for. It’s a shockingly effective task.
5) Move Your Body
Friends, this is most likely our new reality for the next few months. Sure we've all had days where we sleep in late, don't change out of our pajamas, watch 10 hours of Tiger King, and open a bottle of wine at 2pm on a Monday because it really doesn't matter right now anyways, right? But, this cannot become our new normal. Every minute of every day will give you a new excuse to indulge. Instead, be sure to go outside and get some fresh air. Take a walk, go for a jog, or maybe sit on your porch or in your backyard while working remotely. Just move your body. Staying inside your home 24/7 isn’t healthy. Even if you just step outside your front door a few times a day, everything helps. Refuses to allow your excuses to become your habits. Do NOT ignore your health as your health is your greatest wealth at this time.
6) You Are Enough And You Are Doing Enough
It's so easy to feel guilty right now when it seems like other people are doing more than you. STOP. Some of you are just trying to keep the kids alive with e-learning you thought you would never be doing, while also navigating conference calls and the ten loads of laundry piling up and the dishes you haven't washed in several days. You do not need to write the next great American novel during this time or get in the best shape of your life. If you are just doing your best to keep your business afloat, make sure your kids don't pull each others hair out, sneak in a quick yoga session from the solitude of your bathroom, then GO YOU! Wherever you are at, just remember you are enough and you are doing enough.
You are not alone in your fears, financial insecurities, cancelled plans or life's uncertainties. Like many of you, I am counting down the days until we can be traveling again. I am here working tirelessly to educate myself, to stay ahead of the fluid travel changes and information, and to fight the natural tendency to fall into fear.
Although times ahead are uncertain, we can be grateful we are all in this TOGETHER.⠀
Plagues, wars, famines, and economic recessions have hit the world in the past, and yet we've pulled through and even grown through those difficult seasons. We will all experience the joy of social gatherings, eating out, traveling and overall freedom again. This too shall pass. One thing is for certain. I am here for you. If you want to chat about the future of travel, to start dreaming or planning your next getaway or just socialize, please reach out.
May we come together, support one another, and get through this, undivided.⠀Until this social distancing is lifted, let's pause, connect and make these moments matter.