7 Ways to Stay Sane While Social Distancing

March 30, 2020 Updated: March 31, 2020

Nothing in our lifetimes has brought about such a sudden and drastic change as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus. All at once we have been asked to stop unnecessary travel, limit social contact, end all large group activities, and even just stay put at home and only go out for outdoor exercise and essential items. With all of these changes happening so quickly it can be difficult to make the necessary mental adjustments. So how can we adjust, survive, stay sane and thrive during this crisis?

Follow Safety Guidelines

It can be easy to tell yourself that nothing is really happening. However, if you pay close attention to what is happening around the world, you know that things can get out of control quickly, especially if we fail to prepare and take precautions. My advice is to follow the official safety guidelines and suggestions closely. This is not just for you, but for people around you. In this crisis, we have to look out for other people as much as ourselves.

Limit Exposure to News

While it is important to remain informed about the latest developments, it is also easy to get caught up in the news, which fuels more anxiety. Set limits on your news intake and continue to focus on other areas of your life.

Stay in Touch

It’s important to continue focusing on the relationships with people you are close with or even to make new relationships. These connections are important for all of our mental wellness. Especially since we will not be able to see as many people face to face, make sure you pick up the phone and keep in touch with everyone you care about, or volunteer to regularly check in with people that may be more isolated. Limit the amount of time that you spend talking about the virus.

Find Ways to Contribute

We are all in this together. How quickly and safely we get through the crisis is dependent on our collective efforts. Finding ways to contribute will shift you out of a sense of powerlessness and make you feel that you are taking actions to make the situation better. Some ideas are: volunteer to bring groceries to someone who is at risk if they leave home, offer to take care of a child for a healthcare worker who is going to need to work long hours, or call people in your social circle and ensure they are safe or help inspire them and strengthen their morale.

Reestablish Routines

People often underestimate the importance of having a predictable daily schedule. If you find yourself staying home, out of school or work, it is very important to re-establish a routine. Many people will begin to flounder, feel lost, or engage in excessive television watching or internet surfing when they don’t have a daily program to follow. Take some time to write out things you want to do each day, including calling people, exercising, and other self-care activities. Put those in your calendar.

Tackle Projects You Have Been Putting Off

Are there any projects you have been putting off indefinitely because you never seem to have the time to tackle them? It may be time to clean out the garage or and declutter your closets. If you do have to stay at home for a while, you might as well make the best use of your time. Decluttering and simplifying are great for your mental well-being and will save you time when your life gets busy again.

Focus on Your Faith

This crisis can be a good opportunity to focus more time on your faith and your relationship with God. Look inward and make sure your actions align with your true conscience and seek redemption for your mistakes. Call other members of your faith community to share insights and inspire each other. Perhaps after this tumultuous time is over we will emerge as a more spiritual and united people.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Michael Courter is a therapist and counselor who believes in the power of personal growth, repairing relationships, and following your dreams. His website is CourterCounsel.com

Do you have questions about relationships or personal growth that you would like Michael to address? Send them to mc@CourterCounsel.com