Looking for ways to help you cope at home during Coronavirus?
This COVID-19 crisis has radically changed our lives. Just a few months ago, we had no idea our ‘whole world’ would become our homes!
In the past, the thought of being in isolation was a gift to me. I’m an introvert. I really saviour time alone and without human contact which helps me to be a balanced, Life Balance Coach.
It’s so nourishing and recharging for me. I like nothing better than to sit in stillness, but after a month, I’m starting to go a bit crazy. I’m talking to the trees or anyone I pass in the street on the way to the supermarket. Oh and my dog is exhausted from multiple daily walks.
This crisis is a powerful reminder of how important freedom is – and how much we need human connection!
Remember you are not alone. We are all currently impacted by this crisis. We are all going through this together in Sydney and around the world.
This is our challenge. Each of us must rise to stay mentally, as well as, physically well. And if we’re going to be stuck at home, we might as well make the most of it.
Whilst a lot has been written about having a healthy daily routine, how to eat well, exercise and continue to stay in contact with loved ones, I’ve added ways to bring more peace, joy and laughter into our hearts and the hearts of others.
Here are 8 ways to help you cope at home during Coronavirus.
1) Laugh out Loud
When I read that the WA Premier Mark McGowan had issued his most important Coronavirus message yet to the kids of WA that the Easter Bunny will be “eggsempt” from border restrictions, I roared with laughter.
Distracting ourselves from our fears is a valid technique for feeling better to cope with this crisis.
Laughter releases helpful chemicals in our bloodstream – Endorphins (our natural “happy” drug) and Dopamine (part of our bodily “reward” system).
- Name some of your favourite comedy shows?
- Is there a comedian you like?
- Netflix and similar have so many watching options, so find something that makes you laugh!
IMPORTANT: Laughter as a distraction technique but it shouldn’t be used for ongoing and persistent fears in regular life. But for a situation like this, where this isn’t much that any of us can do other than sit and wait – distraction can be a great coping mechanism.
2) Start a Journal!
If you’ve always wanted to journal, now is a good time to start. More than just keeping a record of your day, a journal can help you explore and sift through your feelings and experiences and learn from them. It’s a great way to get to know you. I encourage all my life coaching clients to keep a diary of their thoughts and feelings because I know that there are some surprising benefits from keeping a journaling.
You might like to CLICK HERE to read an article on this topic by Huffington Post Australia.
To inspire you to write, choose a beautiful notebook. You might like to check out gorgeous journals from thejournalshop.com.au but what’s most important is to just start.
If writing doesn’t come easily to you, don’t worry, I’ve added here some prompts:
- Today I am feeling _________. I think this is because __________.
- One big thing I have learned during this crisis is _________.
- One thing that’s surprised me recently is _________.
- What matters most to me in life is _________.
“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” Christina Baldwin.
Still feeling stuck? You may find this How to Journal article from the IAJW (International Association for Journal Writing) helpful to get you started.
3) Be kind to each other!
Kindness and compassion are one of the most powerful tools any of us have in our toolbox to help you cope at home. Many of us are largely housebound, never mind the fear that you or a loved on might actually catch the Coronavirus! So, of course we’re going to feel unpleasant and weird.
- Use kindness to comfort yourself when afraid or feeling anxious or fidgety. Be gentle. Imagine you’re soothing a friend, small child or animal who is afraid – what would you say to them? Then say that to yourself!
- Use kindness to give yourself – and others – the benefit or the doubt. Instead of getting upset when you see other people behaving badly, remember that we all do silly things when we’re scared.
- Imagine you have a kind, wise self, that’s sitting on your shoulder. A part of you that is unflappable, intelligent and unconditionally loves ALL of you. Now, when you need it, imagine that kind, wise self is with you, supporting you, maybe giving you a hug – and saying exactly what you need to hear (not just the sugary stuff, but also the tough love and common sense).
4) Help Others
Coronavirus encourages us to not only care for ourselves but for others. Helping others is empowering and makes us feel better. Here are a few ways you could help others.
- Check in on a neighbour or friend and see if they need anything. You can do this by phone, or in person, remembering to maintain social distancing.
- Help someone less technically savvy learn how to use Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp or whatever they need to get online.
- Host a virtual get-together with your regular friends.
5) Live Your Values
When we know our values, we understand what motivates and drives us. When we build our lives around our values, we create a life that is full of meaning. And when we align our actions with our values – we’re being truly authentic. It’s a very satisfying and fulfilling way to live.
And living your values could be the single most important thing any of us can do right now.
Here’s an exercise you can do:
- List your values on a piece of paper or in your journal. For ease I’d suggest words and not sentences.
- Give each value a score ___ / 10 as to how well you are living that value in your life now (where 0 is not at all and 10 is full-out).
- For the scores that are 8 or more – great!
- For the scores that are 7 or less out of 10, ask yourself, “How could I express this value more in my life right now?” “What could I do differently or approach differently, so that I feel good about how I live this value in my life?”
For example: You have a value of creativity, but you’re only managing to ‘go through the motions’ right now and your score is 4/10. Ask yourself how you could be more creative during this time – whether it’s cooking, gardening, art or writing or helping your kids do something creative, or even watching a documentary about someone creative you admire…
If you’re struggling to identify your values, let’s have a have a chat or email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you a free worksheet on finding your values.
I bet you have some organisational things on your to-do list (like going through Summer clothes, sorting out toys to donate or tidying the laundry closet, garage or shed) that have been on there for a while. Use this isolation period to get them done!
Getting organised and de-cluttering allows us to exert some control over our lives – and therefore feel less helpless! Plus it’ll feel amazing just to have it done.
Marie Kondo would give you a high five! Check out her series on Netflix to help you get started.
Organise your closets, your garage, your books, your photos, office, kitchen equipment. Whatever needs organising. My garment rule is if I haven’t worn it again within 5 years, I never will and it goes in the charity bin.
Another simple 3 Step Method to go through your stuff:
- If you’re keeping it, be sure to DECIDE where it will “live” from now on.
- If you’re not keeping it, create two piles:
- Things to DUMP
- Things to DONATE (and if relevant to pass on to specific people).
- When you’re done, put each pile into bags or boxes, and then once this crisis is over you can get rid of what you no longer need.
7) Flower Power – Grow Something
There is nothing quite like growing something – whether it’s flowers, fruits or vegetables that makes us feel good! Prettying up your place with plants makes you feel good. Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow fresh herbs on your windowsill or balcony to cook with!
- Get some seeds, (a pot and some soil if needed) and get started.
- Many plant nurseries are still open, or you could order seeds etc. online.
- Follow the instructions – and remember to water it!
If growing something is just too much work, get yourself a succulent (cacti) planter, or you could get an indoor plant like a Spathiphyllum* (Peace Lily) is good for cleaning the air of pollutants (and easy to take care of).
8) Explore your Life Vision:
Rather than watching endless news streams, you can choose to focus on a bigger picture – your future. What do you want from the rest of your life? What would disappoint you if not done? Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?
Having a clear vision of how you want your life to be is a powerful motivator. A vision helps us work towards our goals, take action and make change. Soon, we’ll all be busy again – and a vision might be just what you need stay focused!
Here are 3 questions to ponder or journal around to go deeper:
- What do you desire or yearn for in your life?
- What do you really, really want to be different in your life?
- What’s your dream for this lifetime? Imagine you’re 90 years old and looking back over your life; what did you do that made you proud and happy?
TIP: Remember to think possibility not probability! Don’t limit yourself and your ideas because you don’t believe something is likely. Instead believe it’s possible – and even if you don’t get all the way there, you may get close – or even find something better along the way!
You might like to CLICK HERE and purchase my self-help motivational book, Stuck in a rut – How to rescue yourself and live your truth, which has a whole chapter on creating your vision & life plan.
Believe you have the skills and power to tackle this situation and you will! Choose to make the best of a difficult situation and no matter what – you’ll find a way.
I found this Facebook post and it resonated with me so deeply that I had to share.
So whilst many find this situation stressful and strange, it could also be our greatest gift. An opportunity to pause, reflect and reset our way of living in the world.
Fiona Craig is an NLP practitioner & life coach, psychotherapist, business mentor, and published author of the award winning self-help book, Stuck in a Rut – How to Rescue Yourself and Live Your Truth, helping women remove the fear, worry and guilt to confidently take the steps towards creating the life they want to live.
She helps women who are struggling with the demands of career and family; lacking motivation and confidence; longing to start a business, stressed and anxious; wanting fulfilling career, relationships or needing the clarity and direction to live with passion and purpose.
You can learn more about working with Life Balance Coach Fiona Craig at www.lifebalancecoach.com.au