One unique challenge of the coronavirus pandemic is that it’s a global crisis that’s also affected each and every one of us in a very personal way. We are all learning to balance our worries about huge topics like public health care and the economy with our own disrupted schedules and the daily needs of our loved ones.
Here are some things you can do to care for your body, your mind, and your perspective every day during this difficult time.
Depending on social distancing guidelines in your state, you can probably still go outside and walk. Maintain a six-foot bubble, avoid crowded areas, don’t touch fences or other public structures, and wash your hands when you get home.
If you’re really missing your gym fix, there is a wealth of at-home exercise options available. Many trainers and fitness experts are offering free online classes, which gives you a chance to stay fit and try something new risk-free. It may also be time to dust off that treadmill or stationary bike in the basement to mix up your Netflix or podcast routine.
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t stay healthy. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently posted, “I started my own fitness journey with chin-ups on a tree branch by a lake in Austria” and shared his “no gym required” workout. Old standbys like push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and running in place can still give your body what it needs.
Connect More… And Less
Did you ever think you’d miss office chit-chat or a friendly barista this much? Social distancing has turned even our most casual connections into long-distance relationships, and that’s been a hard adjustment for some folks.
Maybe you have started organizing weekly video calls with your friends and family. Supplementing those big calls with quick text messages or funny emails can make those connections feel more integrated into your life, even in isolation.
However, experts warn that too much video chatting and social media can have the adverse effect of driving up anxiety. If you feel your stress mounting, unplug. Play games with the friends and family you’re with at home. Cook a meal with your spouse. Block off some solo time to read, take an online course, or practice your hobbies.
Try to embrace a little boredom from time to time. In our always-on, always-connected society, we feel like we should always be doing something, always watching something, or always messaging someone. A quiet moment alone with a cup of coffee, letting your mind wander, can lead to inspiring ideas, a problem-solving breakthrough, or the inner peace Facebook just isn’t delivering that day.
Not knowing how long we’ll have to live with social distancing can make it difficult to think about your life outside of your house and beyond the coronavirus. So much of our attention is focused on what’s happening right now and what we need to get through the next day.
Just know that you WILL get through today and the next one. Eventually, we will be back outside, heading to the office, sending our kids to school, spending real face time with friends and family, and working towards the goals that are most important to us.
Try to carve out a little time every day to think about those long-term goals that are hard to see right now. Is there something you can do every day to move the needle? Can you devote ten minutes to that side project you want to present at work? Can you write or paint more? Could you expand your skills through education? Be a little more involved in helping your kids or grandkids exceed at school?
We are all weathering the same storm but in different boats. Big-picture thinking can help you maintain the proper perspective on the long-term financial goals your plan is designed to achieve. You decide on the best course of action for yourself and your loved ones — and if you’d like a fresh perspective, the Marca Life Planning team is here for you.