These are some strange and scary times we've living in, my loves.
Just because we are going into self-quarantine and imposing social distancing, it does not mean our deep burning need for connection and love goes away. On the contrary, these COVID-19 crazy times are extremely stressful for all of us, which means we need human connection and support now more than ever.
Here are several helpful ways to keep the love and good vibes flowing through isolation.
1. Call your friends and family. Be present in your conversation and ask them, truly, how they are feeling. Listen with the intent to absorb what they are telling you, not just with the intent to respond. Repeat back vital things they say to you to demonstrate that you are right there with them. Now is the perfect time to deepen connection by practicing good listening skills.
2. Host or join a live stream dance party. Many major festivals, clubs and even DJs are hosting nightly live stream dance parties on YouTube, Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Put on your favorite festi outfit (or just pajamas), clear out an open space in your home, connect your live stream viewing device to your best bassy speakers that bang, and let loose. Even if we can't gather in large groups at our favorite venues for the forseeable future, it is important that we stay connected to each other and to ourselves through self expression, music and dance.
3. Keep creating. Create bomb paintings, redecorate your space, create music and jam out, come up with cute looks and take pictures, or write stories in your journal. Share videos, pictures and posts of your creations to stay connected and to keep others feeling inspired as well. Creating something beautiful out of dark and scary times is one of the most powerful and therapeutic things you can do as a human.
4. Keep your fitness up. If you live in less crowded areas, go for a run or a walk outside. Fresh air and getting out in nature is powerful medicine for the soul. If you need to stay indoors, I love Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Adriene offers classes on her channel completely free of charge. All you need is some clear space, your device (I use my computer monitor for at home work out sessions but you can also make do with your cellphone or tablet), and a yoga mat. Staying connected and fit within our own bodies is a sure way to help keep depression and weird feelings of disconnect at bay.
5. Meditate. Out of all the changes I've made in my life in the past year, meditation has been one of the most helpful and monumental ones. Even taking three minutes to simply be still and to focus on your breathing will improve your outlook and mood significantly. Meditation is the 1% of your day that makes the rest of the 99% so much better. You can download Headspace or Calm on your phone for some simple, easy meditation for beginners. The first few classes are always free. You can also search for meditations on YouTube.
6. Ask for help when you need it. Your feelings are always valid, and should never be repressed, pushed away or covered up with substances. They should be felt fully and honored by moving through them in a way that is safe for you and others. If you are feeling depressed and completely overwhelmed, you aren't alone! Ask a loved one for help if you are comfortable. Otherwise, the National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255. There is absolutely no shame and no weakness in seeking help. There is only strength.