Daily Suggestions to Maintain Serenity, and Sanity, while Staying In Place!

Looking for ways to improve your outlook, and your life, during the ‘Stay at Home’ order in the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s a list of simple activities you, and your loved ones, can do to have fun, and get through this crazy time.

Wellness: Make a conscious decision to focus on your own wellness. Be intentional to make one good thing happen each day. Don’t just “survive this”, allow yourself to “thrive”.

Spirituality: Engage in something spiritual today. YouTube, Podcast, Reading, Prayer & Meditation, Join a livestream service or hop on an online 12 step meeting. Take 20 minutes to trust in a force bigger than yourself.

Exercise: Walk outdoors in nature or follow a YouTube video, Thai chi, yoga, silver sneakers, or floor exercises or weight lifting with household items.

Take a Nap: Allow your body to rest after these weeks of high stress which flooded the body with cortisol & created an adrenaline rush. 

Gratitude List: Write out all the things that this time will allow for you. Only allow yourself to talk & think about these things. Refrain from complaining or gossip.

Organize: Clear some clutter It frees the mind & spirit to have less clutter around. I will also provide a sense of mastery during a time of feeling helpless.

Bless someone: Find a way to engage in a random act of kindness. Have a pizza delivered to a friend, relative or neighbor. Send someone flowers. Offer to get groceries for an elderly person in your area if you go out. Surprise the people you live with by leaving them a handwritten note of appreciation.

News Break: Fast from the news for a day – notice what it would be like to have a time to disconnect from the chaos of the world for a moment. Watch your words. Don’t spread negative stories. Just for today, only repeat good news.

Happy Reflections: Make a list of the happiest moments of your life. Review all the times you can think of since you were a child, maybe your first bike, favorite holiday, or game you used to play.

Read a book: Spend a couple of hours in a favorite part of your house and relax into a book that absorbs your attention.

Learn: Try something new. Maybe learn a technology, a craft, a new language. Stretch your mind.

Breathe on purpose: Practice deep breathing. Breathe in for four counts. Hold for four counts. Release for four counts. Repeat this pattern at least 4 times

Stretch: Take 15 minutes today to stretch your body after all this sitting around. Be sure to stretch upper body, neck after being on devices for long periods of time.

Sanctuary: Create a space in your home, an area of rest & retreat with those things that restore you.

Priorities: Make a list of what needs to happen when stay in place is over. Putting missed events on paper will allow it to leave your mind. Have a plan of how & when things will get done when the Stay in Place is over.

Resilience: You didn’t choose this, but you can celebrate your sense of resilience and take stock of how you are adapting.

Goodness of Others: Notice the goodness of people today, what do you notice on the news or in your life.

Kindness: Let this be your motto for today. See how you can be kind to others today.

Indoor Restaurant Night: Dress nice, set a pretty table & cook something special or order in from your favorite place.

Mindful Walk: Use all your senses as you walk. Notice the sky, the trees, the animals, the grass, any budding flowers. Notice scents, sounds & how you feel.

Light a candle: There is something soothing about dimly lit lights that calms the spirit, especially if it has a good aroma that fills the home.

Get Cozy: Wear your favorite comfy clothes, sit in your favorite place & do your favorite thing.

Coloring: Adult coloring is very soothing. Get a coloring book or look for a coloring app on your device.

Bilateral Brain: Use both sides of your brain. Play an instrument, knit, cross stitch, crochet.

Spring Clean: Feel refreshed by cleaning behind & under things. Clean light fixtures, switches, & shelves.

Open the windows: Weather permitting allow the fresh air to circulate in your home and remember that Spring is blooming.

Honor a mentor: Reflect on someone who shaped your life and find a way to express that to them.

Watch a sunset: Prepare to be outdoors and facing the west when the sun is setting. Allow yourself to be present to the experience.

Story: What is the story you are telling yourself about the way things are. Are you stuck or safe? Catch the way you weave the narrative about your life. Is it a happy or a sad story? Are you victim or victor?

Puzzle Day: Work on a jigsaw, crossword, word search or Sudoko.

Post it Notes: Leave notes of appreciation for your family members or yourself around the house in fun places.

Video meeting: Set up a Zoom, Skype or FaceTime meeting with some of your favorite people that lift your spirits.

Pet Break: Spend a half hour intentionally interacting with your pet. Brush them, use a toy, ball or frisbee. Be fully present with them.

Energy: What or who in your life gives you energy or drains your energy? Set boundaries on the drains.

YouTube: Learn something on YouTube. Perhaps a TedTalk, a technology, a language, a craft, a dance, etc.

Thoughts: Check in throughout the day and ask “What am I thinking about?” Past, present or future? Stay in moment taking life one day at a time.

Stretch yourself: Do something that you are uncomfortable with to help yourself grow.

Fear: Cope with fear by using that energy to prepare. Create a plan to deal with “the worst that could happen”.

Tune inward: How are you feeling today, mad, sad, glad or scared? Allow yourself to experience & express those feelings in a journal or to a trusted friend.

Numbing behaviors: Beware of self-medicating with numbing behaviors – eating, sleeping, drinking or smoking too much. What are you doing that you will regret later?

Sit in the Sun: Soak up the nutrients of nature. Notice the impact the sun has on your mood & energy.

Straighten up: Stretch your body to offset poor posture and sedentary days at home. As you do this, remind yourself to be flexible with life and others during this time.

Meditate: Pick a word or phrase to repeat in your mind as you sit quietly. Keep bringing your attention back when it wanders. Start by focusing on the word or phrase for three minutes.

Body Scan: Sit quietly. Notice where in your body you are holding tension. Take deep breaths and release the tension allowing your body to relax.

Colors: The psychology of colors indicates that color effects us in different ways. Some soothing, some energizing. What colors help you most?

Favorite things: Reflect on your favorite things in life. Create a list. How often do you allow yourself to do or have these things?

Talk yourself down: When anxious, talk to yourself like a friend you are comforting.

Charity: Go through things in your home that you are ready to release and box them up to bless someone else.

Photos: Arrange your photos on your phone or go through those albums or boxes. Reflect on the people and experiences you have had in your life.

Project: Tackle something you have been procrastinating on. If it’s difficult to get started, set a timer and approach it for 20-30 minutes at a time.

If you are, or someone you know is, feeling lost, overwhelmed, depressed or in need of support during the coronavirus pandemic, we at Barrington Behavioral Health and Wellness are here to help.

Phone: 1-888-261-2178
Email: help@barringtonbhw.com

Dr. Denise Casey, Psy.D.

CADC, NBCCHT, ACH, CCT

Dr. Denise Casey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a Certification in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling and a National Board Certification in Clinical Hypnosis. She is also Certified in Cognitive Therapy and has studied addictions and hypnosis at advanced levels.

Her general experience in working with young adults to seniors has equipped her to deal with a wide variety of issues. Dr. Casey is highly skilled, deeply compassionate, and presents a very casual and caring atmosphere.

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