Whether you’re easing back into a new “normal” or still feeling fairly cooped up really depends on where you live.
Here in Florida, things are slowly lifting, and people are going out more. Though thankfully, the majority are taking it slow, and using precautions.
There’s far too many vulnerable people down here to do it any other way.
But we simply have to figure out how to navigate in this new world. Because the cost of isolation and being “home bound” is high too.
And dangerous for our mood and wellbeing.
Psychologists have long studied groups of people that spend a lot of time stuck by themselves, with little interaction.
People like scientists in remote Antarctica, sailors on submarines out at sea for months, and even astronauts in space.
After a while, you hit a dark time where frustration, anxiety, and loneliness of being cooped up become almost too much to bear.
You have to recognize this is happening. Understand it’s normal. And take steps to do something about it.
To nurture yourself, and ease your burden a bit.
Here are five ways you can do it. I’d recommend printing this out if you want, and going back to it if you start to feel blue:
#1: Listen to music
You don’t need researchers to tell you that music can have a powerful impact on your mood, and fast. Music is also intertwined with your memories, so old songs from your youth can trigger good feelings, and help you remember a time when things weren’t such a mess. I listen to music every day, when cooking, working or just relaxing. I highly recommend it.
#2: Laugh, and laugh some more
The world right now is no laughing matter. But making an effort to seek out funny things will help lift your mood, and allow for a release of some tension. We all need it so bad. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural chemicals that fight stress and depression. So find a funny movie or look up some dumb jokes to drop on your spouse. Even Karen has to admit that this works, even if she does roll her eyes from time to time.
Ok, dance may not be your strong suit. It’s certainly not mine. And count me among the people who feel self-conscious about it. But stuck inside, I do take a little time during my home gym workout to strut my stuff a bit. I mean, nobody’s watching so who cares? And believe me, it feels good.
#4: Go outside
Simply being outside can lower stress and shift your mood. And the added vitamin D is critical right now. Your levels are probably low, so get outside, even if it’s just for a walk around the block. You won’t regret it.
#5: Play with kids or pets
I don’t have little kids at home, but for those of you who do, or if you are lucky enough to have a pet like we do, they’re like little therapists. A short break to play with them can quickly brighten your day.
Now listen. If you’re stuck in a rut or a bad mood, it’s easy to forget what to do to get out of it. Just one of these things each day might be enough to help you turn the corner.
And if you do a little dancing, it might make someone else laugh. It’s a two-fer!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.