As the coronavirus spread shows no signs of slowing down, normal routines are being altered.
And since routines are an essential ingredient to happiness and health, it can be hard for many to stay optimistic during such uncertain times.
Dr. Sue Varma, a board certified psychiatrist practicing in Manhattan, reveals 10 things you can do to lift your spirits while self quarantining at home.
New normal: Dr. Sue Varma , a board certified psychiatrist practicing in Manhattan, reveals 10 things you can do to lift your spirits while self quarantining at home
‘When we have been stripped of all of our natural outlets (i.e grabbing your favorite machiatto, chatting with coworkers, dropping the kids off at school, getting manicures, going to the gym, etc..), you might think “what the heck do I do now,” said Dr. Varma.
1. Try progressive muscle relaxation
‘Tensing your muscles for 5 seconds and then relaxing them for 5 seconds, doing each muscle group twice- starting with your fists, then biceps, shoulders, face, abdomen, and feet,’ suggests the doctor.
New York City’s top acupuncture destination, ORA, is offering relaxation services that can be utilized from the comfort of your own home.
While their blue and white space – designed by the Rockwell Group – is a calming oasis worth visiting post coronavirus, they are currently providing wellness tips on YouTube and offering live chats and free tele-consults with acupuncturists that are trained in traditional Chinese medicine.
Online: New York City’s top acupuncture destination, ORA , is offering relaxation services that can be utilized from the comfort of your own home
Get up: ‘You can stretch with foam rollers or go outside for a walk or jog when not too crowded, assuming your community is not on lockdown.’
2. Practice a ten minute meditation daily
Set the tone for a calm day with a ten minute meditation.
You’ll get the most out of the silence and stillness of the mind if you do it first thing in the morning, before the day’s stresses creep in.
You don’t have to be a yogi or a monk to see dramatic benefits from meditation. If you’ve never tried it before, there’s no time like the present.
Sue suggests Calm or Headspace.
3. Move around
‘Pick your favorite app. Is it Sweat, 8fit , Peloton, Yoga with Adriene or Gaia?
‘You can stretch with foam rollers or go outside for a walk or jog when not too crowded, assuming your community is not on lockdown.’
Global fitness brand, P.volve, is offering its community a free 30-day streaming trial—which gives access to hundreds of their workouts through their online streaming platform.
Part of the offer includes live free workouts on Instagram Live (and 10 post workouts on Youtube) three times a day.
Share your feelings: ‘Destress by scheduling a daily FaceTime chat with a friend,’ suggest Dr. Varma
4. Pick up your journal
The act of writing in a journal can help you think through your goals and dreams and harness creativity.
Don’t get too caught up on your words, the doctor suggests recording anything.
5. Start a thought log
‘When worried, write down your thoughts and emotions,’ says Dr. Varma. ‘Then ask yourself which of these thoughts are distorted?
‘Are you fortune telling, catastrophizing, mind reading, discounting the positives or negative filtering?’
6. Counter negative thoughts
‘What would I tell a friend? What will be the outcome 5 years from now? What is the likelihood of this to actually happen,’ are questions Sue recommends you ask yourself.
What friends are for: ‘Share our fears or I say divide them when we talk to people we love’
7. Schedule daily FaceTime chats with a friend
‘This can decrease stress hormones, and we get to share our fears or I say divide them when we talk to people we love.’
8. Clean your closet
‘If you haven’t worn something in over a year, consider donation or consignment.’
Donating gently used clothes to organizations like Dress For Success, Out of The Closet or Bottomless Closet gives those less fortunate an opportunity to acquire new clothes and is good for the environment.
Organize your jewelry and Doctor Varma suggests doing inventory on your beauty products as well.
De-clutter: ‘If you haven’t worn something in over a year, consider donation or consignment.’ SuiteSymphony 24.75″ W Closet System, $389; wayfair.com
Stack ’em Plastic Jewelry Organizer by Axis, $34.99; target.com
Audrey Stackable Cosmetic Organizer Drawers 4 by STORi, $21.99; amazon.com
9. Shop online
If you have the means, Sue suggests a little retail therapy.
‘You are helping the economy as long as you aren’t breaking the bank.’
10. Engage in healthy distraction
‘I like Netflix’s Jane the Virgin – it’s sweet, funny, light, and clever with strong family bonds that are comforting.
She also suggests sharing funny memes. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
LOL: Doctor Varma suggests sharing funny memes
Laughter: Funny memes lighten the mood