10 daily practices to keep calm during shelter in place

Noticing the stress level in myself and those around me, I compiled this list of things that have helped me. Feel free to pick and choose, or add to this list. It’s a place to start. (This is about emotional health. Others can remind you, if needed, about pandemic safety protocols.)

1) Walk. Daily walks help with cabin fever, reduce stress and are great exercise. Take one in nature if you can. If it’s a neighborhood walk, notice any beautiful flowers and architecture that may be along your route.

2) Bless others. On your walk and in your online encounters, silently say to those you encounter, “You are beautiful; You are whole; You are worthy. You are loved.” As you bless them, you bless yourself.

3) Access nature. If you have a place to walk or rest in nature, that’s best. Or if you have a yard, pulling weeds can be a meditation and a grounding experience. Even admiring your landscape, houseplants, fish in your tank or birds at the bird feeder can be therapeutic.

4) Meditate. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. If you’ve never done it, there are plenty of books you can buy online to get you started.

5) Address stress. Practicing a stress-busting modality or exercise. Some examples are: running, dancing, tai chi, yoga, acupressure and tapping.

6) Limit input. Read positive news stories and limit how much bad news you take in. On social media, connect with friends, share positive messages and get off. Set your own limits and track them.

7) Connect. Stay in touch with at least one friend or loved one every day by phone or via an A/V platform (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom).

8) Be gentle. The uncertainty, stress and fear around this situation is affecting us all, causing forgetfulness, lack of focus, anxiety, sadness, depression, loneliness, frustration and even anger. Give yourself and others a pass to feel the feels.

9) Stay busy. Try to stay in the moment and enjoy the gift of time, especially if you’re not able to work. Spend the time in a way that works for you, rather than trying to keep up with others or trying to meet their (or even your) unreasonable expectations.

10) Goof off. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, dance, etc. Do things that just feel good, things that don’t produceanything but peace and joy.