I am a professional shut-in. From chronic illness to multiple surgeries, I’ve had many, many periods of time where I’ve been forced to just stay put for days, weeks, months on end. So, I’d like to offer you my 5 tips for not losing your marbles.
1. Remember that this is temporary.
I know that it doesn’t feel like it right now, but this will pass at some point. It may not be as fast as we would all like, but it will eventually end.
I deal with a lot of abdominal pain on a daily basis, and I constantly repeat to myself that it’s temporary, it will go away, because it always does, no matter how bad it is.
2. Use deep, belly breaths.
It is scientifically proven that deep breathing and prolonged exhales, actually help lower heart rate and reduce stress in the body.
Did you know that when we’re babies, we all breathe into our bellies, and then as we age, we become more shallow breathers?
I take time to do deep, belly breaths throughout my day. It helps to refresh and reset my body and mind.
3. Allow yourself to be silly and laugh.
I’m 100% convinced that it is important to allow yourself the space to laugh. Sometimes when things are horrible, I think we feel an obligation to be serious, but I think all that does is cause a detriment to our mental health.
I’ve had multiple surgeries, numerous tests, questions of tumors and cancer, my husband has been on deployment overseas for a year, not to mention all of my family of origin issues, but I know the only reason I’ve not lost my mind is because I try to prioritize laughter.
Laughter is known to relax your body, increase endorphins, decrease pain, and boost your immunity.
Take time to find something that makes you laugh. I love finding funny or adorable videos on YouTube and taking the time to be silly with my ten-year-old.
4. Reach out.
Being isolated doesn’t always feel fun. It actually feels pretty shitty at times.
I am very used to being home all day, every day, but there are times during this stint in coronavirus isolation that I’ve felt overwhelmed, so I make it a point to chat with my friends on a regular basis, and I started seeing my therapist via video chat once a week.
It’s ok to say that you aren’t doing well.
No matter how independent, introverted, or used to being cooped up you are, we are a social species, and we all need each other.
5. Learn something new.
This is my favorite way to deal with being forced to stay at home!
Again, because I haven’t been able to maintain a full-time job, I get quite bored being at home and only doing a little work here and there. So, I consider myself a hobby enthusiast. I love to learn new hobbies. I’ve done knitting, crocheting, baking, drawing, painting, jewelry making, etc. I also have an affinity for teaching myself how to use different computer programs or graphic design apps/software.
It always feels so good to be able to learn something new.
My grandfather had MS, and he always told me that your body will fail you at times, but your mind is still able to roam, so I’ve always prioritized learning and reading so that my mind is able to travel to the places that my body can’t.
What are the things you’re doing to keep your cool during isolation?