Turn off the outside noise. Seriously, turn off the television, the car radio, the computer, your phone. There is such a thing as oversaturation, even in “quarantine.” I have to say there are some days when I go into survival mode, and those aforementioned things are hacking away at my mental stability. Silence is also very good, sometimes.
Eat a meal outside. One of my favorite things to do is go out to eat, and preferably by the water. We aren’t currently comfortable doing that. We’ve taken advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having by eating outside on the deck, with our pretty cushions to sit on and umbrella open, listening to each other and the sounds of nature around us.
Music. I’d forgotten about the days when life was less than perfect, where I’d spend half my evening in the kitchen to avoid the unhappy things, blasting music and dancing around and cleaning like my life depended on it. And in those days, it did. Music is still restorative though, and I’m remembering how it lifted my spirits while I performed my kitchen tasks. Also – if you’re going to have the car radio on, put on MUSIC. Stay AWAY from commentary that upsets you. It works! Trust me.
Call a friend. Or Zoom, if that’s more your thing. We’ve all been living this stress and anxiety, maybe even depression, and what I’ve noticed most is how many people seem to have disconnected. I’ve disconnected. I spend more time losing myself in whatever, and sometimes that “whatever” takes me further and further down a black hole that beckons with fake promises of everything-is-fine. A recent call with a friend made me laugh harder than I’ve genuinely laughed in months. Sure, it might’ve been at the expense of someone else, but he knows we love him.
Exercise. Come on, doesn’t everybody know by now that getting moving is the cure-all to what ails you?? It’s not only good for your heart, it’s good for your mental health too. There’s no one-size-fits-all exercise either. Go for a walk, do some stretching, or run if it turns you on. Hell, if being turned on is good for your health (which it is, by the way) and you can get it without breaking the law – by all means have sex! (And don’t say you don’t have anyone – remember what Whitney Houston said about the greatest love of all?) << that’s still exercise, right?
Go for a swim. Or get in a hot tub. Or take a hot bath. Water has been known for its healing properties for centuries. It improves both physical and mental health, for relaxation and mood-improvement. No pool or hot tub? How about a baby pool on the patio, sitting in cool water in the sun? I’d totally do that.
Do something ordinary. Or extraordinary. Find ways to let your creativity out. Color. Draw. Write something. Knit. Start a home project. Wash the car. Look for things that take time and focus. Go birdwatching in your backyard. Or, if you’re like me, clean something you normally don’t bother to clean. It sounds like fluff or a copout, but what I’m really trying to say (badly) is that sometimes it’s the ordinary stuff we do that brings us inner peace in its “normalcy.”