If every day is starting to feel like Groundhog Day, you’re not alone! Stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 have left most of the nation in a perpetual state of limbo. It’s normal to go through a whirlwind of emotions as you deal with uncertainty, altered daily routines, and isolation from loved ones and your students.
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to beat the stay-at-home blues and feel better. Follow these five ideas and share them with your colleagues, students, and parents.
- Get Outside. Staying home doesn’t mean having to stay inside all day. Even a few minutes outdoors can do wonders for your mental health. Many studies have revealed that getting outdoors can reduce stress, give your mind a rest, and feel better. So go sit on your front porch, lay on a blanket in the sun, or go for a short walk.
- Get Active. Data shows that as little as 15 minutes of walking can boost feel-good dopamine and norepinephrine which can re-energize your mood and reduce feelings of lethargy by regulating your circadian rhythm. Strategize your active time by getting outside when the sun is out. The days are getting longer, so if you can, mix some Vitamin D into your feel-good fitness routine and really boost your mind and energy levels. Make sure if you’re on a public bike path or park that you keep yourself and others healthy by wearing a mask.
- Get Your ZZZZs. Maintain a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at approximately the same times every day. It may be tempting to wait to get up on weekends until the sun peeks through your curtains, but you’re better off sticking to a consistent routine on weekdays and weekends, regardless of when the sun rises. According to SleepFoundation.org adults should shoot for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Fuel Your Body with Healthy Foods. Remember the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind!” Toss the cookies, candy, and chips in your house and replace those items with healthy fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and hearty grains. A healthy diet will keep you feeling energized and will give you the fuel needed for your mental and physical well-being.
- Remember to Laugh. One of the best ways to beat the blues is to laugh. Whether you are FaceTiming friends or indulging in your favorite rom-coms, make sure you are giving yourself ample opportunities to smile big and laugh hard. Experts believe that laughing can counter depressive symptoms (as if you needed an excuse to binge-watch Friends or The Office).
COVID-19 has been a huge interruption in our daily lives. But this too shall pass. In the meantime, check in with yourself and how you’re feeling. Do something everyday that makes you smile. And remember, if you’re feeling too overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, there are resources to turn to for help.