|One of the things we know about times of crisis is that sticking to a routine is crucial to our own mental health. So, we’ve put together 10 tips on how to maintain a routine of kindness during difficult times:
- Maintain a sleep schedule and manage your hygiene. This may be difficult for those working on the front lines, but remember that sleep is critical to wellness. Getting enough (continuous) sleep is so important! Keep up with your hygiene habits. Get showered, brush your teeth, wash your face, wear something other than pajamas (even though they are so comfy!) and include bright colors in your daily wardrobe.
2. Do good for others! When we help others and increase altruistic behavior, we are doing good for ourselves. There is a LOT of evidence about the science of doing good and why it benefits our own health. Make sure that while you’re taking care of yourself, you’re doing what you can to support others.
3. Get outside. Go for a walk. Play frisbee. Plant some flowers. Try to go for at least 30 minutes. If you can’t go outside, open the windows. Get fresh air and sunshine. Vitamin D is so important to our physical and mental health. Soak up some rays!
4. Connect with others. Use your phone or platforms like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to talk with family and friends. Share how you’re feeling and actively listen to others when they share how they are feeling.
5. Spend a little extra time with your children and/or pets. They may be confused and/or scared. This is a great time to build stronger connections with those around you. Looking for ideas for things to do with your kids? Did you know we have a curriculum that has all kinds of great ideas and activities? Check it out and adapt the lessons for use at home! And, it is SO IMPORTANT to keep kids on a schedule as well. Let your children help with creating a daily schedule that includes academics, exercise, creative time, quiet time and time to connect with friends.
6, Drink lots of water! Eat healthy. Often, during stressful times we over-indulge and don’t maintain a healthy diet. Use this time to re-evaluate your diet and try new recipes!
7. Develop a self-care plan for yourself. Consider strategies that are proven to work well for many. Listen to music you love, burn a candle that smells good, write in your journal or read a book. When was the last time you colored something? Get out the crayons and colored pencils and color a picture! Take a long warm bath. Start a craft project. Organize a room. Whatever feels good to you… do it and pat yourself on the back for taking care of yourself.
8. Be kind. Everyone is doing their best right now. It is easy to be judgmental of how others are handling this challenging time, but know that we all operate a little differently. Offer a bit of grace to others during this time. Notice all the good things happening in the world right now. There are a ton of great things… just do a search online for “good news during Covid-19” and you’ll find a lot!
9. Find a reason to smile every day. In fact, find a way to generate a good hearty belly laugh every day. It does a body good.
10. Be grateful. There is SO MUCH to be grateful for right now. Practicing gratitude builds resilience and helps us through the toughest times. Find three things every day that you are grateful for and write them down. Put the lists in a jar and look at your lists months from now to remind you of all the little reasons you were able to get through this period.
We can do this if we keep a routine of love, laughter and beauty at the forefront.