I haven’t written anything here for a long time; but, I felt like I should speak up during this surreal situation with COVID-19, as I don’t think people have paid much attention to the mental health implications that a pandemic, such as this, has. Governments, health institutions, news, influencers and so on are flooding the TV and internet with ways to protect our physical health with different measures and restrictions. Don’t get me wrong, I support this, but we’re still human beings. We used to go to work, go to school, spend time with friends, etc. Suddenly, people are encouraged to distance from socializing or to put themselves in quarantine. Now that a majority of people are isolated at home as well as dealing with threats of job instability, potential financial troubles, and fear of the disease itself, what impact is there going to be on one’s emotional health? Probably not good. So, by all means, DO stay safe, quarantine, and do social distancing; but, if you’re feeling down, depressed, or anxious, try some of these tips to take care of your souls at home.

I don’t want to mention the “basic” tips like staying productive (uni/work stuff), reading, working out or cleaning etc. You can find those all over the internet. These are my personal “helps” to cheer me up or to make my time more meaningful. I hope you find some inspiration to help keep your spirits high.

Solitude

Finally, you have the time to do everything you wanted and couldn’t spare the time before! This is the perfect time to create a habit. It doesn’t have to be an hour or two a day, just 5 or 10 minutes are enough. Also, you don’t have to do it every day. How does 3-4 days in a week sound? Lazy time allowed!

  1. volunteer – local organizations might be helping people in quarantine with groceries etc. look this up. If there aren’t any, why not try asking your neighbours?
  2. learn the language/instrument/magic trick you always wanted
  3. call your family/friends – stay social
  4. practice mindfulness – I can recommend the app Waking Up (with Sam Harris)
  5. set one-word intention for the day – how do you want your day to be? how do you want to feel? Could be anything… love, rest, happy, fun etc.
  6. declutter your closet/beauty products/kitchen – do you truly need everything you have?
  7. decorate your space with DIYs or forgotten decorations – make it cozy
  8. spa/lazy days – get some rest, it’s OKAY to just lay in bed for few days
  9. bake sourdough bread – all you need is water and flour (even for the starter) but it’s harder than you might think
  10. cook – I just love food, you spend some time learning how to cook + more time the actual cooking (which is fun  ) and then you get the reward of a delicious meal

Couples/Flatmates

These often depend on how close you are or want to be with the person you live with. My boyfriend and I once lived in a tiny caravan for a month (although, while working on a farm, so we did spend most of the time outside) and we’ve been living in a 20m2 studio apartment for almost a year now. It hasn’t been always easy, but I think we’ve got some good experience and actually enjoy living in such a tiny space. All of it is about respecting the other person and having effective communication. Easy to say, so how is done then—how to enjoy so much time with someone else and not let them drive you crazy?

  1. make your “flatmate/couples” routine
  2. have some “alone” time – do the things you want, it’s fine not wanting to spend every second with someone else
  3. teach each other something new – share your hobbies (teach them photography/DIY/do yoga, anything…)
  4. share responsibilities and chores – take turns in making breakfast, snacks, cleaning…
  5. read the same book on a topic neither of you know a whole lot about – share thoughts and explore together
  6. play games – boardgames (7 Wonders Duel, Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Civilization…) cards, co-op videogames (can’t recommend Overcooked 2 highly enough!), free flash games, WikiRaces!!! (iPhone only though and for total geeks like us, haha)
  7. have a chat with your friends – socialize, just in a different way
  8. play stupid songs (early 2000s) and dance like crazy kids

These are hard times, please, don’t underestimate the disease and the impact this situation may have on our mental health. It’s perfectly fine to feel down at times… But, don’t forget to have fun and TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY AND YOUR SOUL. That’s what makes you :). If you like this post and think it might be helpful to someone else, please share it.

All the Love,

Domča xx