Does staying at home make you feel like your mind is going a little crazy? Have you noticed how many people seem to be adjusting, baking, crafting, completed DIY projects and being stellar home school teachers? Do you feel the exact opposite?
You’re not alone. Over the course of the past 6 weeks, people and communities nationwide have felt the implications of “adjusting” at home. I have heard story after story of their so-called adjustment, or lack thereof. While some are sharing how their increased time at home has been a “blessing to spend more time with family” others have secretly cried and wondered if something must be “wrong” if all they wish for is to “escape” their family for only 20 minutes.
Don’t be alarmed. Many are wondering when the whole “adjusting” will kick in instead of barely making it through each day. The reality is we don’t know the answer to that. What we do know, is adjustment takes time, consistency and applying some source of routine for emotions and thoughts to begin to chill out.
Think about an elementary aged kiddo who goes to school. There is a start and end time to school, he/she hypothetically has the same teacher, is in the same class, with the same general schedule, with the same kids, and eating lunch at the same time. Why? Because people, not just children, do well with routine, structure and predictability.
So let’s think about that, why have the effects of COVID 19 been so hard to adjust to? No predictability, not enough time since initial impact, and lack of structure or routine.
How to begin adjusting:
- Create structure as best you can. Wake up at the same time each day, eat meals around the same time, brush your teeth, change your clothes, and develop a bedtime routine for all in the family.
- Give it time. Yes, time. Natural adjustments take months, and contrary to popular belief, you aren’t creating a habit at 28 days or even 40.
- Focus only on things you can control. There are three things and three things only you have ANY control over – your thoughts, your feelings and your actions.
- Social connection- find others you can facetime with, look into support groups to join virtually, call people you haven’t in awhile, wave to your neighbors.
- Go outside. Change your scenery and get back in touch with nature. Stretch your legs and go for a walk, drink your coffee on your balcony. Even a few minutes goes a long way.
- Social media detox. Look at the total amount of time spent on social media per week. Imagine that amount of hours invested into something else… (mind blowing)
- Silence your mind. Don’t fill your mind with too many thoughts at one time. Try and focus only on the things that are unfolding to you in this moment. Engage all of your senses and demand of your mind to stay here. No thinking of the past or future, just the now.
Whether you’re rocking a sparkling clean home, a pinterest-looking office and thinking about a future as a school teacher, or wearing yoga pants, sneaking out during the day to “water the grass” to have a moment of silence, or counting down the moments until things go back to “normal”- you’re not the only one. This goes out to the well-adjusted and barely adjusting, you’re not alone. Hang in there champ.