We are a family that loves not being in a rigid routine. One of the main reasons we were hesitant to get a dog was because we didn’t want to always think about when we last fed or walked her (side note: we got the dog and it’s working out great). For us coming and going as we please without having to think about the time or look at a clock is pure joy. And with my mom being a teacher and dad working from home, our aligned breaks allow for this collective leisurely way of life quite often. But now with the Corona epidemic and the world having to socially distance, we have this illusion of having that same freedom we do during vacation since there’s nowhere we have to be. Yet, there’s still work to be done, and in order to stay sane while stuck indoors, it’s critical we maintain focus and awareness and not stray away from key daily activities.
I came across a Facebook live stream with Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Success Principles (highly recommended reads by the way), and the beginning of the video caught my attention. He discussed “The 5 M’s” to maintain balance while in quarantine. Here’s a summary of the mindful activities Jack Canfield recommends integrating into our daily routine while we are stuck at home:
It’s important to maintain awareness of our physical/emotional state and not get too lost in our thinking. Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions (this includes washing your hands and touching your face).
Meditation improves the immune system, increases feelings of connection, and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Simply focusing on your breath for even under a minute can calm your thinking, expand your perspective, and improve your patience (which we’ll probably need if we’re cooped up in the house with our families for an extended amount of time).
Run up and down the stairs, dance around the house, or go outside! We’re not trapped in our homes (yet) so we can still go for walks, jogs, bike rides, etc. We need fresh air to maintain our sanity.
My dad is adamant about always having “sound” in the house (literally as I’m writing this my dad turned on some music). Whether it’s the TV in the background, his vinyl records spinning, or the bluetooth speakers bumping, we need something that puts some pep in our step. Listening to music encourages movement and revitalizes the spirit Music lightens the spirit and makes movement more fun, so crank up the volume and get moving!
Engage in activities you’re good at, enjoy, and/or want to improve upon. For me, this includes developing my knitting, Italian, and ukulele “skills.” Maybe you want to learn how to make jewelry. Maybe you want to perfect your cheesecake recipe. Or maybe you want to write a novel, start a blog, or create a nonprofit! Curiosity combats boredom, so make a list of things you enjoy, want to learn, and accomplish. Time is on our side, so what do you want to accomplish by the time this pandemic is over?
Just because we are physically isolated from outside connections, we do not need to emotionally isolate ourselves. With a simple phone/FaceTime call or text message, we can maintain and even strengthen our relationships. Imagine how much more frustrating this situation would be if we didn’t have social media or video chat to connect with others, so take advantage of it! Take time to write a letter/call a loved one, eat dinner with your family (preferably without technology present), or play some video games with your siblings. Acts of service bring people together, which increases happiness and also strengthens our immune system.