What can I do? Quarantine anti-freak-out tips from an anxious soul

We are all dealing with it: I don’t remember any time in my life when I could tell with such certainty that “I know how you feel”. And that sureness is based on experience. We are all dealing with the same uncertainties and fears, wondering when we will be able to get back to our normal lives. We are all trying to find ways to distract our minds from the news, to engage in new habits or review old routines in need of some sort of adaptation. COVID-19 got us all as humans, and we all need to find our way to fight against it, not forgetting ourselves and our planet are all part of the game. 

To not freak-out, I’m trying to reach a goal each day. Today, I wanted to write something. That was literally an appointment made with myself on my schedule of tasks for the day: “Write. Anything”. While deciding on what I would write, I thought I’d share some things that I’m trying to do to keep my mind under control. I can say that I have been successful and that I have failed. But, mostly, that I have tried. The latter is the thing we need to celebrate every day: we had the straight to try. But, well, let’s go for it, you’re trying to find things to do to not lose your mind, so, check it out:

1 – Meditation: first thing in the morning, 5 minutes after lunch, an afternoon break, a cool thing to do before sleep. Do what works best for you but give it a chance. I can only say that meditation has helped and that I feel way more relaxed after a short exercise. I used to be the first one judging meditation. Firstly, judging me for not be able to reach that focus. Secondly, trying to make the app everyone was using to work for my needs and getting frustrated because I couldn’t get it right. As soon as I found out everyone has a different way to deal with meditation, and that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all, life got way more tolerable. What I’m trying to say here is that saving some time for you and your thoughts is important. You can call it “meditation”, “breathing break”, “silence minutes”, whatever. But give yourself some time to be on your own. It’s scary how much you can learn from it. 

2 – Get informed, but don’t panic: I’m an immigrant. I live and work in Ireland, but I was born and raised in Brazil. Following the news is a critical thing to me, as a way to understand the situation clearly. Is also a safe way to organise my routine and offer help, to my friends and family, here and there. But checking the graphics or the tabloids every five minutes, follow the increase or decrease of cases and deaths and all sad stories out there won’t save lives or change the situation. Be informed, but don’t be a maniac. It’s not good for anyone.

3 – Offer your help – in the best way you find for it: here, it’s important to say that as selfish as it sounds, you are the most important person in your life right now. Before offering help, help yourself. If you are in one of the risk groups, don’t try to be the hero: rest, self-isolate and wait. If you are not in any danger, then, offer help to your neighbours by collecting their groceries lists and bring it to them. Select a group of local business to support and do your groceries with them, get your deliveries from them, promote them on your Social Media platforms, donate. Offer your professional capacities to help a friend in need. Find a way to do something for someone. It will be better for you!

4 – Exercise in your perimeter: here in Ireland, people are allowed to leave their places to exercise in a 2km perimeter from their homes. That’s enough for a jogging or a short ride in the ratio of any area you live in. Exercises at home are also a great distraction. Nowadays, we have so many sources of good exercises routines that there’s absolutely no excuse to not to try something. Mostly when you are locked down at home. Moving our bodies generates a series of positive reactions on our brains and, in a moment like this, all we need is positivity.

5 – Follow all recommendations from health organisations: if your health organisation body is asking you to stay at home, do it. Wash your hands, use hand sanitiser, keep all areas clean, if you feel that you need to wear a face mask, try to get one made out of fabric instead of buying the ones required in hospitals. Don’t be a #COVIDIOT. It’s simple!

Five beautiful tips, all slightly simple to follow. I guess I had to put this in words as a way to help. Stay safe, everyone!