During these unprecedented and unsettling times, normal routine for people across the globe is thrown into complete chaos. Whilst we are being encouraged to stay at home en masse to maintain our population’s physical health and well being (to slow the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19), I am becoming increasingly concerned about peoples’ mental health.
I can’t help but think that if everyone if physically healthy but feeling isolated from friends and their usual routines there may well be a significant rise in mental health problems. Then we’ve got issues. Big issues. Now, I’m all for people staying at home, but I want to take a moment to discuss how I’ve been trying to keep my life as normal as possible while doing so.
Like many of you I’m sure, I’ve been face timing my friends on a weekly basis to keep in touch (at a time when I’d normally see them anyway) to maintain the sense of normal. No, it’s not the same, but it’s better than nothing. Simply to try and have a few laughs. The best part about it? Everyone is pretty much free all the time so it’s easier to see people than what it normally is!
My friends and I are also messaging more than what we otherwise would. It’s important to make sure your loved ones are okay – especially for those who live alone.
I’m a dancer and I miss my classes so much it aches. As a result, I’ve been taking online dance classes and found some ballet classes on YouTube that are keeping me moving. No, it’s not ideal on the living room rug and it’s not the same without my friends but the moment is normal and it feels good to be dancing – however that may be.
Whilst we are still allowed in my area, I’m also going for daily walks around my suburb and keeping my distance from others.
I’m also trying to maintain my normal meal times throughout the day as well as eat the same foods and same quantities as what I would normally (I’m not snacking excessively on unhealthy food just because I happen to be home all the time). This helps my daily routine feel normal. For instance, I normally have hommus and veggie sticks for morning tea when I’m at work, so that’s exactly what I’m having now that I’m working from home.
The one thing that has changed for me slightly is I’m now trying to get a takeaway once or twice a week to support local businesses in my area that are struggling. I still want these restaurants and cafes to be around after this madness is over.
I’ve found it important to not spend my weekends on the couch in front of Netflix all day everyday. I’ve been going for walks, writing, playing games, dancing, stretching and reading. For me, a variety of activities is important, especially things that get me physically and mentally moving. It’s not all about TV all the time. Try something you’ve always wanted to do, learn something new, take an online course and be creative!!!
How are you maintaining your normal? Are you okay?