I am personally a very introverted person by nature so this isn’t terribly difficult for me. Even I struggle with the limits of human contact. So I have empathy for the extroverts of the world that really need that human interaction for optimal mental health.

Quickly I realized that I needed to take steps to maintain positivity during these challenging times. Giving into the fear of the unknown only further challenges my ability to maintain my mental health.

What we allow into our minds percolates and sets the tone. So I have challenged myself to set in place positive practices.The first thing I do in the morning (after a quick dash to the bathroom…being mindful that I shouldn’t waste my stash of toilet paper) is turn on some positive music. Singing along (badly) I make my morning coffee. I always say I am going to do yoga first….but I don’t. I truly love that quiet slow coffee wake up. My favorite song right now is “The World Is So F**ked up ” by Michael Franti.

I sip that aromatic brew and count my blessings. There is always something to be grateful for…. the birds chirping outside (even though it is damn cold outside), my safe warm home, my son who is safely self isolating with my mom, my mom, family, friends (that I can chat with if I need to).

A sense of purpose helps a lot! I made a decision to finish some of my projects that I have been struggling to complete. This motivated me to tidy up my work space to make it uncluttered and inviting.

Give …hmmm… a little trickier. This goal pushed me off a ledge I have struggled with. Distance healing. Once I put it out there I was amazed at the response. During these challenging times so many are really needing some help to be resilient. The added stress of current events is forcing many things to the surface to be looked at…..fear, anxiety, insecurity….the list goes on and on……

I have long believed that the root cause of our physical wellness is a manifestation of our emotional wellness. To be able to reach out at this time and share healing with people near and far is a gift to my sense of purpose and a reason to get dressed!

Don’t live in your pajamas! Get dressed. One…. make sure your clothes still fit after all that home cooking! Two…it makes me feel like working….aka anything productive.

Shower and do your hair. For yourself. This is an opportunity to lean in and do things just for you…learn to love yourself enough to take care of yourself just for the love of you.

Take a (washable) marker and put positive affirmations on your mirrors. Mine are covered with “You are beautiful”, “You are powerful” etc…. so every time I look in the mirror I see these words and allow those to sink into my subconscious.

Purpose could be as simple as cleaning that junk drawer. Reaching out in some capacity. Our local seniors organization had asked for volunteers to write pen pal letters to seniors that were lonely and are now even more lonely. It takes a few minutes a day and I am grateful to be able to make a lonely stranger smile.

Cook…. the internet still works if you aren’t a cook already. There are many advantages to cooking beyond the obvious…eating. It makes your home smell welcoming. It fills one with a sense of accomplishment. Cooking your own food is much less expensive than ordering out or eating prepackaged foods. Also it is MUCH healthier. I wont get into that diatribe right now.

Plant something and take care of it….I planted a tomato slice….laugh if you want but it works. soon I will have many tomato seedlings to transplant and in time tomatoes to eat and enjoy.

Meditate…seriously. Learning how to quiet the mind right now is a real gift to our mental health. There are many free offerings on youtube. Meditation brings our bodies to homeostatic state. This is great for our mental, emotional and physical health. It is important to keep our bodies in a place that encourages healing and maintaining a strong immune system. Meditaton helps with that.

Personally I love doing yoga every day. My chosen favorite is Kundalini tantra yoga which focuses on breath and moving energy through the body. Holding on to the emotions keeps them rolling around in our bodies. The flow and movement of daily yoga keeps them flowing through rather than getting stuck in my body.

Don’t get me wrong….now and then I follow the rabbit hole into the depths of anxiety and fear. But it lasts moments not days. I have allowed myself to wander the dark places for periods of time….wondering if life was really worth the effort. It is! If that ever crosses your mind….reach out for help.

Many institutions are offering free or hugely discounted learning opportunities….try one. What do you have to lose.

Color, dance, sing……bring high vibe into your day in any way that makes you smile.

But every day……find something to make you laugh and smile…..it strengthens resilience and resilience is whats going to get us through this ….