What are your plans for Surviving Quarantine?
As Detroit Free Press Columnist Mitch Albom writes, how we deal deprivation says a lot about who we are. We can ignore it and put ourselves and others at risk. We can shut down and descend into tension relieving behaviors. Or we can make it the defining moment of our lives.
Watching the dominoes fall as we finally awaken to the danger of COVID19 has been a fascinating exercise in sociology.
We tend to ignore and accept just about anything, until it impacts us directly. We consume mind numbing escapism and fantasy and resist mind expanding ideas that might challenge our paradigms, until circumstance wakes us up.
The corona pandemic will severely test us. How we process and implement the multitude of ideas and advice that are flowing from so many sources, some reputable, some not so reputable, will determine how we weather the storm.
Here is some advice from the experts.
Implement a Routine
Quarantine is not a vacation. Think of it as a learning experience; a laboratory where you can test new habits and routines. Start by creating a daily schedule for yourself and your family and try hard to adhere to it. The graphic from MommyHood101.com is a good place to start. Think about how you want to exercise your mind, body and spirit and put it writing. Print it in full color and post it where the family can see it. Have conversations about what’s working and what isn’t and make modifications.
Think about fun ways to do things as a group, virtually. Jackbox.tv has smart device games that family and friends can play together in different locations. Check out their suite of applications at your favorite app store. Amazon FreeTime has a wide array of games and videos, specifically designed for kids. If screen time is approved, these can be vetted activities that challenge the mind as well as entertain. Bring back your favorite board games. Break out the basketball, baseball mitts and football and play together.
There are lots of lists out there to quell the boredom of surviving quarantine. Do a google search and test drive some of the ideas you find.
Extra Credit: MommyHood101.com has a helpful blog post about how COVID-19 can impact children. It’s well researched and has some useful tips on how to protect both your kids and yourself. The danger may not be as great for the young, but there is risk to parents and grandparents: kids can bring the virus into the house.
Fitness is medicine. Staying strong can be a powerful defense, even if you end up catching corona. Noam Tamir, a fitness expert who writes for Business Insider penned a helpful article to get you thinking about how to keep your fitness program going at full speed, even if you can’t get to the gym.
“For the most bang for your buck, the burpee is the best,” trainer Bryan Goldbert told Tamir. “No matter where you are in the fitness spectrum, there aren’t many things that are so simple but have such a profound effect as a burpee.” Fitness expert Funk Roberts can teach you how to do a burpee effectively and safely. Check out his video on YouTube.
Push-ups and squats are powerful workout tools. And you will discover that you have things around the home that can serve as effective substitutes for some of the machines you’ve used to strengthen arms and legs.
Walking and running are ok, too. If you have a FitBit, don’t give up on that 10,000 step goal. If you’re area isn’t on total lock down, a vigorous stroll around the neighborhood can be refreshing on many levels. Runners World reminds us to be aware of maintaining social distance. Stay at least six feet away from others and wash your hands when you return from your walk. And don’t overdo it. Depleting your energy reserves can impact your immune system.
The Centers for Disease Control have recorded a YouTube video with tips on surviving quarantine and staying fit in the process. As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before beginning or modifying your routine.
Fuel Your Body with Immune Building Food
The rules of healthy eating apply in every season. The America Academy of Dietetics recommends balance.
“Aim for five to seven servings of vegetables and fruits daily to get immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And remember to wash produce before eating or using in recipes. Clean glasses, forks, spoons and other utensils to reduce the spread and growth of bacteria.”
Rest and Recharge
The National Sleep Foundation reports that many of us don’t get enough sleep. notes that we are typically tired 3.4 days out of the week! Finding the right patterns for effective sleep can strengthen your immune system and dramatically increase your waking productivity.
Don’t Be a Spreader
When my university cancelled face to face classes and cut the students loose until on-line alternatives could be implemented, where do you think they went? They packed the local bars to fire capacity.
“We now know that asymptomatic transmission likely [plays] an important role in spreading this virus.” That’s what Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota told CNN. People who don’t yet show COVID19 symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
This is the reason we are being asked to limit contact with one another. It’s why all large group activities have been cancelled.
As Americans, we treasure our freedom of movement. And we love hanging with our tribe. The most powerful contribution you can make to limit the magnitude of the pandemic is to do whatever you can to keep from passing corona on.
Center Your Mind
A common expression I’ve seen on faces as I’ve made my own preparations for surviving quarantine is fear. Anxiety and panic are common when we are facing an unknown enemy.
Catherine Belling, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine told NPR’s Allison Aubrey that the stress we are feeling right now is a natural reaction to “state of extreme uncertainty”.
We feel better when we can take action. Two things I hope this message leaves with you is the value of planning ahead and working on skills to live in the moment. Be careful about your media consumption. There is a lot out there to frighten us. Because the US was slow to grasp the significance of COVID19, we still don’t know the extent of its presence and the magnitude of the impact it might have on those we love.
That’s “The Unknown Zone”, a place in the change curve that impacts our hearts and minds with every evolution.
The only solution is to do what we can to live in the moment.
When stress overtakes us, breathe, consider meditation to slow down your mind and allow it to put fear into it’s proper place.
The famous Stockdale Paradox, articulated by Vietnam Prisoner of War and Congressional Medal of Honor Winner Jim Stockdale is more important than ever right now. At the low points of his captivity in North Vietnam, Admiral Stockdale, “.. never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not change.”
We have no control over the challenges life throws in our path. We can control how we react to them.
Keep panic in the box, try to turn surviving quarantine into a defining moment for your family. And handle every reaction with care.