Updated: Apr 22, 2020
I knew a blog on COVID-19 and the quarantine was coming, but what to focus on? I’ve recently enrolled in Yale’s online course The Science of Well-Being because it was FREE, and, who doesn’t want to be well? A part of the course led me to Dr. Santos’ Facebook Live Q&A where she took questions from viewers and provided such valuable information and tools for optimal health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here it is.
Many of us are living with family members be it spouses, partners, children, extended family. I can admit to there being tension within my household on certain days, but how do we deal with it? Reducing your expectations of your partner and being compassionate are two ways to limit tension. Think about it: you expected your husband to put your toddler to bed while you were spending time studying. Only to realize, it’s after 9:00 and your toddler is still awake. Two options are present here where one can lead us down a path of anger, frustration, while also inducing an argument. The other option is to lower one’s expectations as to why that initial thought and expectation transpired. Approaching the situation from a different perspective without ANY expectations and either take on the responsibility of what needs to be done or politely ask for help will result in the problem solved!
Think about how you connect with your family members. Whatever it is, do more of that with intentional planning. Do you and your partner enjoy comedy? Find a stand up or movie to watch together. Does your child enjoy being outdoors? Think of activities (yoga, jogging, biking, sports, or even a family walk around the neighborhood) that will place everyone in a positive mindset while participating in said activity.
I know Meditation is talked about around the globe, but a specific type of meditation called Metta Meditation is a meditation focused on love and kindness. While practicing this type of meditation, bring a specific person(s) to mind and repeat the mantra “May you be happy. May you be healthy.” This allows for you to be compassionate for those who need your compassion, yet it limits you from feeling drained as a normal, physical interaction may have left you by being with that individual.
Some have been experiencing trouble with sleeping that can be attributed to a number of changes due to the pandemic. One way to establish healthy sleeping patterns is to harness the power of ritual. What makes you feel more in control? Regulating how much anxiety provoking material you're exposed to before bed is another recommended strategy for quality sleep. I am certainly guilty of this before bed because I’ve felt this is the only time to have independently while browsing social media. In lieu of this, I’ve engaged in my studies with Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, and my newest course The Science of Well-Being and can speak first handedly that my mood improves when I am choosing a more positive outlet. Hey, my VIA Character Strengths Survey did reveal my top strength is my love of learning. 😊 Add a new habit to take the place of an old habit, and prioritize sleep. Quality sleep is essential for mental health and immunity.
As I write this article and approach the topic of having children during the quarantine, I find that even with my educational background and former business tied into the field of Education, the following tips are great reminders to keep us sane! For one, keep a routine. Children thrive on routine (adults too, no?) and are especially used to this if they were in school prior to all school closures. Maintain their social connections and utilize the resources we have like Zoom, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, WhatsApp, you get it. Children can collectively participate in a planned activity or just simply see how one another’s day is going. My 2-year old was able to see her friend from school just yesterday and though they have limited vocabulary, they sang the ABC song together a few times and it was apparent they really enjoyed that!
Finally, be the calm of the storm and transmit positive emotions (this begins with taking care of yourself first). Harness fresh starts that can be relevant to cooking, playing games, articulating gratitude before dinner, Zooming with family members. The sky is the limit!
If you’ve enjoyed these tips and links to wonderful resources, consider following me on Facebook and Instagram for more information on how to live your best life. Be well and I hope to see you soon!
X ~ Jaclyn