Ann Stromberg, Emotional Wellness Counselor
COVID-19 Self-Quarantine day # 857
It sure feels like we have been in quarantine for an eternity, but all joking aside this is a real test of our coping abilities. As our days run together, it becomes harder to know what day of the week it is! The longer we are quarantined, along with the daily changes to the “rules” of social distancing, the harder it is to feel positive that there is an end in sight. It is important now to continue to take care of ourselves and to find joy and happiness in each day. Keeping a schedule and remaining focused may feel more difficult, especially if your workload is decreasing. If that’s the case, create an opportunity to learn or do something new.
Our brain loves to learn; learning and doing new things are for the brain like exercise is for the physical body. Stimulating the brain is a great way to improve our brain health. It doesn’t matter what we learn or do, just by changing our routine we can stimulate brain activity. Simple things like changing where you sit at the dinner table or eating with your non-dominant hand can stimulate brain growth. If you are living with a houseful of people, make a game of it and have each person chose something to do that is different each day. Use the Internet! There are many opportunities for learning anything that piques your interest. These days at home may provide opportunities to have fun, be creative, or just expand your knowledge.
This week presents additional challenges as we enter Passover and Easter week. These holy days present challenges to the faithful all over the world as social distancing has forced most worship communities to close. Regardless of your tradition, it is likely this year it will be observed differently. Take time to find online options for community worship. Take time to connect with family by phone or set up a virtual celebration. Knowing this year’s observance will be different, identify the most important aspects and determine the best way for you to honor that tradition. Create a new normal this year and have fun! You may find that there are new ideas that you choose to keep when we all get back together.
Make this week the week you try something new, continue to spend time outside, and move your body. As this quarantine continues, staying productive at work may not be easy to do. Remember to do what you can, take breaks, find the thing to be grateful for, and practice kindness to yourself and others! Smile! Smiling improves our mood instantly! Being patient and kind is really needed now more than ever.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
Thich Nhat Hanh