Here’s the thing – these are challenging times, but they don’t have to be terrible times. Yes, people will get sick, businesses will struggle, and life is going to look very different for a while. Still, we’re already seeing many, many people suddenly connecting with each other, supporting one another, and spending much-needed time with family at home.
If anything, the coronavirus has brought into sharp focus some essential truths. Most notably, that love, kindness, and connection with other humans are what will get us through anything, and we are all absolutely, undeniably part of a whole. What we do has ripple effects within our families, our communities, and the world out there.
But let’s zoom back in for a minute. For the moment, you’re probably stuck at home, and endlessly scrolling social media is not going to do much for your mental health, so here are 5 ideas to create meaning and purpose over the next few weeks.
And why not share the article with friends and challenge each other to complete as many as possible – all of these ideas work best when shared. Lockdown bingo here we come!
Introduce New kinds of Movement
The gym is closed. But it’s all good, there are a million other ways to move, so why not try a brand new one now? We obviously love yoga, because it can heal and soothe both your body and mind, and luckily lots of studios are now offering free classes online (check out a few here).
If you’re looking for something a little more sweaty, check out this fitness studio that has tons of ‘cardio party’ videos on it’s YouTube page. You can also join a live online class – click on over to Fitsqr daily in the morning, Fitsquad at midday, or OneAcademy in the evening if you’re kinda crazy like that.
And if you think only a fearless funk session will clear the air, check out this dance studio, which is live-streaming dance classes (everything from contemporary to hip hop and broadway) and shake it off.
Public libraries have closed their doors all over the world, but most have a wide selection of audio and ebooks you can loan online. Put a shout out on social to friends for their favourite book recommendations, and then make a really great ‘quarantine reading list’ to get through over the coming weeks.
You can then share your list and start a weekly virtual book club with your literature-loving peeps. Make it official here, or just say, “everyone on Skype with a cup of tea/glass of wine at 6pm on Friday!” Optional, wear something related to that week’s book.
Also, if you’re anything like us, there are a few books on the shelf (and under the bed, and behind the sofa….) that you’ve meant to read forever – so get started, make notes in the margins, and create stickies on the bathroom mirror with what you’ve learned or ideas you’ve read that you love.
Make Home a Haven
If there ever was a time to declutter and organize, this is it. Not only because it’s a productive task to do, but because if you’re at all prone to anxiety about this pandemic, then you definitely need the physical space around you to be a haven of calm and cozy.
Why not tackle one thing a day – clothing, then books, then that one drawer where the old batteries, extra chopsticks, blunt scissors and random phone chargers always end up. The thrift stores may not be open, but you can pile everything into a box or bag, put it out of sight, and deliver whenever life starts to get back to normal.
Then, think hygge. Now’s a great time to bust out those special candles you were holding onto, that sweet bath oil, or the calming diffuser. With all of us in the northern hemisphere now inside most of the day with the heating on, don’t forget to add a little humidity – If you don’t have a humidifier, hang a small damp towel near heaters or hot air vents (add lavender oil if you have it to keep things extra zen).
Back to School
One really wonderful silver lining to this situation is that many websites who sell online classes are now offering them for free for a limited time. Take advantage and come out of this with some basic Spanish conversation skills, a new love of watercolour painting, or some expertise in graphic design! Here are a few to delve into:
- For crafters, Brit+Co is offering free workshops (use code SELFCARE at checkout).
- The ever-popular Milk Street is making all their online cooking classes free until April 30th.
- ShawAcademy has a 30-day free trial with everything from Nutrition to Viral Marketing.
- And if you want to get serious, ClassCentral has hundreds of free college courses from Ivy League universities.
- Feel more like lounging than learning? Get a little culture from the comfort of your own bed with Google Arts and Culture, where you can virtually tour over 2500 museums and galleries, including The MOMA in New York, and The Palace of Versailles.
Here at tuja, we can’t do much about virus treatments or vaccines, but we want to do our part to strengthen your spirit and look after your mental health. Which is why we’re offering free access to our Meditation Premium Experience for the next two weeks (normally $30).
We strongly recommend you take a few minutes each day to just…breathe. It’s perfect for both beginners who are learning to meditate, and seasoned meditators who want to deepen their practice. You can stream or download our instructional videos and guided meditations from some of the country’s top meditation instructors. Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get access.
We’re all practicing social distancing for our physical health, but please don’t forget to take a few minutes to distance yourself from the hamster wheel of the mind for your mental health!
Be safe, stay well, and take care – together, and with a little imagination, we’ll hopefully get through this with a sense of meaning and a deeper love and respect for one another, and ourselves.