"Stay the BLAZES Home" is more difficult than one thinks
There has been wide-spread publicity of the quote said by Nova Scotia's Premier: Stay the Blazes Home!
While, in an ideal world, this would be fabulous and easy and keep us safe, the reality is that for many people living with a mental illness, staying home for long periods of time, with no end in sight, can be very distressing. It's agitating. It's boring. Social and professional interactions have stopped. It's depressing. We are doing it to keep the vulnerable safe, but has anyone considered that maybe "the vulnerable" also includes the mental health community?
In most COVID-19 discussions, our narratives have been forgotten about. Cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue. What about mood changes, or panic attacks as a result of cabin-fever, loss of income, and lack of supports?
The mental health community MUST be heard. Our voices demand to be part of this pandemic ongoing conversation. The virus is deadly...but so is the isolation faced by many.
I know that this too shall pass. But it's hard in the mean time.
However you decide to cope with this pandemic is entirely up to you. Whether you sleep through it or learn 500 new hobbies, both are valid. You have to make the choice for yourself, and this "time off" does not need to be productive...maybe you just need to recharge. Do that.
There are a few activities that I have been doing to entertain myself and pass the time, so I'll list a few of them here and how you can do it.
1. Scrapbook some adventure or event you've been to. For me, this is my trip to New York City. I ordered my prints online from Walmart and then bought simple scrapbooking supplies from the Dollar Store.
2. Write. I said a quote in grade 10 that my teacher still remembers. "The blue lines soak up my pain and beg me for more." Whether this is a journal, a "scribble out my emotions" book, poetry, or writing a book in my case - writing can be very therapeutic. It doesn't have to be perfect or even nearly perfect. Just write.
3. Physical activity daily. Whether this is cardio, a light walk, running, or chair yoga, getting the body moving can release some pent-up energy and also has many mental and physical health benefits. My goal is 30 minutes of cardio each morning. I'm getting there. Right now, I'm successfully completing about 10 minutes of vigorous cardio. And I just keep moving through until I reach my 30 minute goal through stamina, and maintain that. You can find 20-minute workout videos on YouTube for every fitness and limitation level.
4. Keep a schedule! Get up each morning and get ready. A sense of normalcy in chaos can be grounding! Every morning I get out my nifty white board and plan out my day: walk, scrapbook, write the book I'm working on, make jewelry, process Etsy orders, etc! They may be activities that don't need to be scheduled at a given time, but honestly - scheduling these activities has kept me sane in giving me some normalcy. Give it a whirl!
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