(by Matt Mintz, C.Ht., CADC-I)
Hi, HOPE Family. Here are some quick tips for beating the Coronavirus blues (it’s not an official diagnosis but it should be!)
- Get some sun on your skin. Even if you have mostly cloudy weather where you live, if the sun DOES come out, SO SHOULD YOU! Press pause on whatever you’re doing (Netflix can wait). Get outside and get some sun on your skin. It makes a big difference and will help you keep your spirits up.
- Get outside. Whether or not the sun comes out, get outdoors as much as you can. Get into nature if possible but at least get a walk around your neighborhood. I actually take a 5-minute break every 30 minutes I work indoors. It’s a lot of fresh air breaks but it makes everything better!
- Journal. A lot of us are struggling with anxiety, depression traits, low energy, apathy, “cabin fever” and/or feeling isolated. If you have a good friend you can process your feelings with, go for it! If you have a professional in your life that is trained to help you with these, utilize them. But whatever your source of venting, you can’t heal what you don’t feel. So at least get it out in your journal. There’s no need to pretend all is well when you don’t feel like it is. Set a 5-minute timer and honor your feelings by writing them down.
- Choose gratitude. Often! Start your days with a list of your favorite moments from the day before. End your days this way. That’s general gratitude and it’s such a good foundation for a magical life. Magic is attracted to magic and gratitude is pure magical. Then make sure you are doing specific gratitude as well. This is about any person, place or thing in your life that you want to be more loving and appreciative toward. Set a daily alarm called something like “3 Things I Love About…” and come up with 3 sincere answers a day. As anyone knows who is already doing it, this is powerful stuff.
- Spiritual writing and reading. Read something every day that inspires you and challenges you to be a better, deeper, wiser person. Then journal about it. Even more powerful: have an imaginary dialogue with your Higher Power. I know that when I do this I am coming up with a lot of the replies God gives me. But there are also daily examples of wisdom I receive in these dialogues that seems to be from something more than just ‘little old me’. The answers may start off simplistic but it’s like dating: the more you get to know each other, the deeper you will go. Here’s a highlight from this morning’s conversation with God: “Whether or not things in your life are a blessing or a curse is up to you. But remember: you chose this life. This is what you asked for. What you ordered. It’s really important for you to know that this is your life.”
- Be gentle with yourself. If you are compromising on things like eating too much comfort food or or less-than-ideal sleep patterns, do it boldly. Live unapologetically! Know that this is where you are with your needs, wants and choices and trust that the time will come when you can return to more thriving-based, sustainable choices.
- Lastly: throw out every item on this list that stresses you out! This isn’t a competition or a contest. The last thing anyone needs is more overload and guilt. Just find the one thing on the list that feels like low-hanging fruit (looks easy, sounds kinda fun) and do 5 minutes of it. I’m already proud of you! Survive and thrive, my friends!
See yourself as Whole!