As the days turn into weeks, which turn into months, it is increasingly difficult to remain at peace with our situation. When we were first told to quarantine, it was unique and in some ways welcomed. We got to work from home and the stress was diminished due to no longer needing to commute. We no longer needed to get dressed up to go anywhere because we stayed home and didn’t see anyone.
As we enter into the ninth month of quarantine however, some of us may be beginning to feel the loneliness and isolation that is a side-effect of this pandemic. Especially since, depending on who you talk to, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight any time soon.
It is increasingly important that, during this time, we maintain a spirit of hope and mindfulness for our mental health.
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”Emily Dickinson
Some steps to help you retain (or regain) your sense of hope:
- Start a gratitude journal. Focusing on the things we are grateful for helps us maintain hopefulness.
- Don’t watch the news…even just for today.
- Keep your focus on the positive events in the future, even if they are months away.
- Try and only talk with people who will lift you up.
- Take a minute to think about your goals and what you can do today to accomplish them.
Mindfulness is being present in the moment and being aware of your current reality.
Practicing mindfulness will help in maintaining hope in these difficult times. It can also reduce anxiety and depression and for seniors, may assist in keeping the mind sharp.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”Amit Ray
Some ways to incorporate mindfulness into our lives:
- Spend time outdoors – be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to the grass or pavement beneath your feet. Use your senses – sights, smells, sounds, and feelings.
- Sit quietly and pay attention to each part of your body starting with your head and working your way down to your toes. Doing this will release any stress or tension and help you to feel more relaxed.
- Pay attention to your mood. Are you feeling lonely, scared, or anxious? Write in your journal about these feelings. doing so may help to recognize the origin of the feeling and determine if it is justified.
- Set daily goals for yourself. Writing down goals to achieve each day will help you maintain a feeling of worthiness and usefulness.
It is by getting out of our heads and into our hearts and souls that we can maintain a spirit of hope, happiness, and peace in these difficult times.