Are you having a hard time coping with the state of the world right now? I know it’s hard right now here in April of 2020, but you are going to get through this, and I want to help in any way that I can. I’ve found that these 9 things really help me cope with isolation.
The thing that is bothering me the most right now is not the news. What bothers me the most and causes me the most distress is being so far away from our families. If something were to happen to them we wouldn’t be able to go to them, attend their funerals, or grieve together.
But among all of this distress I have found a few things that are helping me to cope.
1. scheduled video calls.
Along with the rest of the world, we have been taking to video calls to conduct meetings, business, and to connect with family. It’s been great! But to be honest It’s a bit frustrating that it took everyone in our life this long to catch on. We have been asking for video calls for years, at least 5 years now, and we would always here, “I don’t want to download and extra app,” or “Eh, I don’t know how to do that.” We’d offer to help them get everything set up and walk them through it but they would still say no. SO, I am EXTREMELY glad that everyone is on board now and that this is a new normal for everyone to do video calls. I hope that it’s something that sticks around after the lockdowns are lifted.
2. randomized video calls & messages to surprise our friends and loved ones.
In addition to family video calls we have been randomly video calling our friends in town and it has been awesome! I still have the same gripes as above, but our friends were quicker to say yes to video calls over the years. The best part about it is that the program that we use lets you send video messages to the person you are calling if they don’t pick up, its like a voice message, but its a video message! When we miss a call it is like getting fun packages, cards, and letters in the post mail! It’s a really fun and exciting way to connect with our loved ones and friends.
3. virtual gaming with friends and family.
Along with video calls instead of phone calls, my brother and I have started up a virtual game together. We are playing Ironsworn, its a bit like Dungeons and Dragons, but a different game mechanic all together. Speaking of D&D, my brother in law and our cousins have started a “Cousin’s D&D” virtual game that we play the same way. We all jump on a video call and play RPG games together. If RPG games aren’t your style you can also play virtual board games with people online as well, which is what we’re doing with another group of friends that we normally had a board game night with each week before the world changed. It’s really so much fun to still be able to play games together even though we aren’t in the same room. I say this lovingly, “the World of Warcraft and Xbox headset gaming nerds had it right!”
4. learning about plants.
I recently realized that I had been severely under watering my plants. I swear…. I can’t win either way, because its that or over watering. So I got out my handy green witch wand, my plant moisture meter, and started checking my plants every morning. The cats know exactly what it is and get really excited to check the plants with me each morning when it’s time. I am also trying to save my first orchid, well not my orchid…. it was a gift from me to my husband because it’s one of his favorite flowers. And he stopped caring for it so I became caretaker and I have no idea what I’m doing. I nearly lost the whole plant to root rot, but some how it’s still showing signs of new growth. So I did some research to save it and now it’s trying to grow in river rock… we’ll see how that goes. Outside I have seen the first shoots of my lilies breaking the soil from my container garden, I am going to be checking to see if a few other sets of bulbs overwintered well (or if I lost them) in the coming weeks if nothing comes up.
Zoya and Olena have been getting some extra love from us while we’ve been stuck at home. Along with extra pets and snuggles, we have been discovering new ways that they like to be pet and played with. On one of the recent warm days we had I brought them outside onto the deck with me while I was tidying up. It was so sweet to watch them lounge in the sun and then wiggle back and forth in it, a sign of true happiness. They have also both changed a bit since we’ve been stuck at home. They have new sleeping spots and have even started getting alone time away from us during the day too. It’s funny and super cute to see their personalities change and open up more since we have been at home. I’m also trying to show them that I respect their “space” too by letting them have extra alone time or let them go even if I’m not quite done snuggling yet. I’ve been rewarded with overnight and morning snuggles in bed with them, which have been such an amazing way to wake up.
“Hi, my name’s Jenny, I’m a professional napper.” I nap like it’s nobody’s business… there is no such thing as a 15 min or 30 minute nap for me. My naps are always 3 hours long. Yeah you read that right, 3 hours long. Take a nap if you need one. Take a nap if you’re stressed. But be careful, oversleeping multiple times a day for many days in a row can be a symptom of depression. It was for me. I have two types of naps, “stress naps” when I’m so stressed that my brain just shuts down and won’t let me do anything but sleep and “restorative naps” that leave me feeling refreshed and happy. During this time I am trying to minimize the amount of “stress naps” that I take in a week, and opt for naps that my body actually needs instead of giving into my stress levels. The key is to wake up happy instead of still stressed when you crawl out from under the covers.
7. putting down the news.
I watch a lot of news because I like to be informed. And I decided to responsibly reduce the amount of news I’m consuming. Instead of watching everything that I can get my hands on as it pops up through out the day… I tried drastically reducing the times I consume news each day. First I consolidated my news and picked three sources that I check each day. I watch the national news each morning from the night before and then don’t seek out the news for the rest of the day. I have notifications set up from one other national / intentional news source that sends me updates through out the day that I can consolidate or turn off if its too much. I get 3 updates a day on average. Finally I have one local news source that sends me 2 updates on our state each day via text. These are the most important to me because it is the news that impacts me the most directly.
8. getting medication delivered to my door.
When the world changed due to the virus pandemic, along with a few other key first actions, I immediately counted the pills left in my prescription and called my pharmacist to see if I could get it filled early. While on the phone I found out that they have a delivery service that runs through the post mail. I immediately signed up. When it’s time to refill again I will get a notification and then it will get sent to me after I approve the transaction. Check and see if you can get your medications delivered. It’s been a literal life safer for me.
9. utilizing local delivery services for food.
We have been trying to be strategic with what we choose to get delivered and from whom. Make sure to support your local businesses in this time so that they are still there when the stay home advisory is lifted. We like to order food from our favorite local places and tip extra because the risk that the delivery people face while out delivering food. Next up we are going to find a local farmer to support to get a garden box from. It is really important to support those around you and in your local community. That is your home, and where you will feel the most impact and benefit when you help others in need. Its also really encouraging to put a face and a physical place you have been, into what you are supporting with your money.
Lastly the thing that has been helping me cope is journaling. To kick start your journaling practice check out all of the journaling prompts on my website here and download my free 52 Week Journaling Prompts below. Normally…. I’d say take your time and do one journal prompt a week or reflect on it with mini entries throughout the week before you move onto the next prompt, but we all have much more time on our hands, so it’s okay if you blow through them. Just head back over here to get more journal prompts to keep you going through this crazy time that we are all living through.