Hello Dear Readers. Wow, what a difference a few weeks can make! I hope you are all well and sane during this unprecedented time in our lives. For today’s installment, I will share some tools that can be used to create your very own Stay-at-Home Survival Kit. I know that a lot of you have been at home for several weeks now and have developed some routines. I’m hoping you can find some fresh inspiration from this article to assist you as we move into the next chapter of the new normal.
As an extrovert, I struggle with the whole concept of staying home in the first place, let alone due to a health crisis. I am fortunate that I have access to a lot of tools but even I get stuck and have bad days. That’s right, I want you to know that even a life coach with tons of tricks and hacks can stumble and fall during this pandemic. As a matter of fact, I have been feeling a lot of pressure and dealing with high expectations I have for myself during this crisis. I have battled thoughts that I “should” be doing a lot more with my time, be keeping in shape, and be tackling all of those things on my to-do list. I have felt some guilt about wanting time away from my family, and I’ve been feeling blue. I’m sure some of you can relate!
As a result of my trial-and-error experience over the last few weeks, I have designed a “Survival Kit” for coping with the stressors in my daily life during the stay-at-home order. Read on to see a few of my hacks, Dear Reader, and get some inspiration for your own!
Tools for a Stay-At-Home Survival Kit
Meditate, meditate, meditate: Did I mention you should meditate? Now is the time for you to try meditation if ever there was one. There are many excellent guided meditations available on YouTube and beyond. If you have 5 minutes (and let’s admit it, we have LOTS of time right now) you can sit in a chair, on the grass, lie in bed, or even stand up and follow your breathing. Take three deep breaths then allow your body to find a comfortable breathing rhythm. Feel each breath. Feel the temperature of the air as it enters your nose. Feel your backside on the chair. Count your breaths. It’s that easy. Meditation is a simple tool that has been scientifically proven to relieve stress, boost your immune system, and calm you down. All things that are very useful right now!
Ditch the “to-do” list: It’s tempting when we have extra time to want to find ways to be productive. It’s a distraction from our thoughts and worries and helps us feel a sense of control. Those aren’t necessarily bad things but when you are feeling stressed and out-of-sorts it can be an added weight to place those expectations on yourself. In times like these, a better choice can be to develop small daily goals. These should be things that feel do-able and are not necessarily on your “someday” list. Some things that I’m doing right now are: walking every day for 20-minutes, drinking a healthy shake for breakfast, going for a drive if I get too cooped up, and slowly organizing my clothes closet (for ten minutes per day). If you are able to get just a little bit done each day you will feel a sense of accomplishment without overwhelming yourself.
Allow yourself to grieve: We have lost a lot in the last few weeks. It is normal to feel a wide range of emotions as a result. Give yourself permission to process grief for all that we have lost. When I’m feeling bad, I set a 15-minute timer on my phone for “feeling”. Perhaps I punch a pillow if I’m angry or cry if I’m sad. Whatever the case, when the timer goes off, I pick myself up and get on with my day. Having a time limit creates a container and I can allow myself to let go because I know I’ll be done when the bell rings. Most of the time, I feel a sense of release and an unburdened heart, which helps me feel better and leaves me more energy for constructive pursuits.
Take the space you need: Many of us live with other people. Right now we are seeing them 24/7 and that can get tricky. Alone time is an important tool for good mental health. Can you find a corner in your house to call your own? Do you have headphones that you could use to listen to some soothing music for a few minutes? Perhaps you can take a “nap” and sit quietly in your room with a good book? Go out for a walk around the neighborhood? Sit in the backyard and listen to the birds? Carving out even a few minutes of alone time each day can be very rejuvenating and wanting some time to yourself is normal (don’t worry, I know you still love your family!)
Well, Dear Reader, there you have it: a few hacks for creating a Stay-at-Home Survival Kit. I hope this is helpful to you during these difficult times and I’m wishing you all good mental and physical health in the coming weeks. If you need some support or want to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do, I’m accepting new clients (virtually) and I’d love to help you write your next chapter!