While introverts are thriving for now, just about everyone will begin to experience the deleterious effects of social distancing sooner or later. After all, humans are social by nature — if we don’t have regular contact with the people we love, we may begin to feel irritable, lonely, and more than a little sad.
The fact of the matter is, most of our jobs have us in near-constant contact with other people. Whether that’s going to the office, traveling for work, or serving the public, we’re all used to at least a little human interaction each day. If your job has been suspended or you’re stuck working from home, this sudden shift to isolation can be overwhelming.
And coronavirus won’t stop. The U.S. government just announced that Tax Day has been pushed to July of this year instead of the usual April deadline. The U.S. tax code has an estimated 10 million words. If you haven’t gotten the chance to file yet, government officials are urging citizens to get your taxes done sooner than later.
Unfortunately, taking financial responsibility into your own hands isn’t one of the best ways to stay sane during self-isolation. Here are some of the best ways to calm your nerves and make it through social distancing for the next few weeks.
Support local restaurants
The government has mandated that all restaurants and bars shift to takeout-only menus to resist spreading COVID-19. While you might want to stock up on goods from your grocery store, local businesses might be struggling to keep their business afloat. If you have the money, buying to-go options from your favorite local restaurants can help keep their doors open.
This is also a great way to break up the monotony of making dinner every night. Most of us are used to dining out at least a couple of times each week — investing in your daily iced coffee has been an option since 1965. Getting a warm meal made by your favorite restaurant can help remind us that we’re not alone and that this will all end soon. Even putting on your coat to go pick up your meal can help you feel more energized since you’re breaking your routine.
Between working from home and binge-watching your favorite television series, it can be easy to lay on the couch all day. However, forgetting to move your body can lead to feelings of depression and stress.
On the other hand, engaging in physical activity is one of the best ways to feel accomplished during the monotony of your daily routine. Better yet, getting outside can reduce feelings of stress even more. This is essential if the thought of coronavirus and social distancing has created heightened feelings of anxiety. Visit your local park for a walk — just try to avoid coming into direct contact with anyone while you venture outside.
Limit your news intake
We all want to stay as up-to-date as possible on this new virus. But staying glued to our screens all day in the hopes that the news will change can leave you feeling more stressed-out than ever, especially as more bad news comes down the pipeline.
It is important to stay informed, but not at the cost of your mental health. Set boundaries for yourself when it comes to consuming the news; some people have found that checking it once in the morning and once at night is good enough to catch up on the things they missed. Others have taken an even more hands-off approach and only check the news every few days. This ratio will look different for everyone. If you find that reading the news too much is hurting your health, don’t feel guilty for tuning out.
Make something creative
If you find that you’ve fallen into a routine of working, eating, and watching television, trying out a new hobby is a great way to break it up. Creativity can take many forms. While someone might be happy baking a new dish from scratch, someone else might use this extra time to start drawing again.
Why not take a chance and start painting or sewing? There are an estimated 8,000 tailors working throughout the United States and you could quickly become number 8,001. The act of creating something out of nothing can help bolster your mood and lead to feelings of accomplishment (even if what you created could use some tweaking). Now is the perfect time to explore a new side of yourself.
Try to be social
Just because you can’t visit your friends in person doesn’t mean that you can’t hang out. If you’re feeling lonely, setting up virtual dates with friends and family members can help you feel more connected. Seeing someone’s face and hearing someone’s voice is one of the best ways to combat feelings of loneliness during the coronavirus outbreak.
Staying sane might feel impossible when you’re cooped up indoors. Instead of going stir-crazy, try these tips to help make it through social distancing.