This week, we’re exploring how to create structure in your normal daily activity and ways to maintain a healthy mindset during social distancing, with tips from Dr. Chinara Tate.
Creating Rituals & Routine
Create rituals around bedtime and waking up that involve activities for self-care, such as drinking calming herbal tea, stretching, meditating, journaling, aromatherapy and/or engaging in an am exercise regimen. Then stick to a routine. Try your best to sleep and wake up at the same time each day to support the body’s natural circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality. Try to avoid using your phone and exercising less than 2 hours before bedtime as both may disrupt and negatively impact sleep duration, depth and overall quality.
Create a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care. Tomato Timer is a great tool for setting incremental times to focus on work and then reward yourself with breaks in between, whether for a walk around the block or to grab a quick snack.
Build a balanced-diet meal plan. The USDA’s MyPlate program is a great resource to build a well-rounded diet for you and your family, offering guidance on everything from planning weekly meals to making grocery lists. Use the MyPlate Plan tool to generate custom dietary recommendations based on your personal profile.
Find something you can control, and control the heck out of it.
Select specific blocks of time to focus on things that are within your control*. In moments of uncertainty and overwhelm, control your little corner of the world. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together that furniture, group your toys. These activities help anchor and ground us when the bigger things are chaotic.*Please note, if engaging in these activities leads to obsessive, compulsive, distressing and/or intrusive thoughts and activities throughout the day you may need to seek the help of a mental health expert. New Yorkers may call 1-844-863-9314 for free professional mental health counseling related to the current crisis.
Limit social media and COVID conversation, especially around children.
One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalized, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily). Keep news and alarming conversations out of earshot from children—they see and hear everything, and can become very frightened by what they hear.
Finally, our latest fun internet find: Try your hand at the Getty Museum Twitter Challenge to recreate works of art with found objects at home.