These are unusual times. And we’ll most likely live a different normal. Many people have said the social distancing has been a blessing. It compels them to spend more time with loved ones. They’re reaching out to others even if it’s virtually. They’re getting things done.
Still, it’s not easy to stay home as much as we all have in the last couple of months. Here are some tips to help you relax and relieve stress in a time of social distancing. These tips also work when social distancing is no longer required.
Go on a Hike
If you’re looking for a lovely spot with a 3.6-mile loop trail, head to Onion Creek Trail in McKinney Falls State Park. As of this writing, the park is open during the daytime. They ask you to reserve and print day passes before arriving. They strongly encourage visitors to wear face masks. The current requirements are to maintain social distance and limit the group to five people or fewer. Biking on the trail is also welcome.
Studies show that meditation and practicing mindfulness can relieve the side effects of stress on your body. It may help lower blood pressure, reduce pain, and ease depression and anxiety. Many people say they don’t know how to meditate or where to begin. There are many meditation apps for devices to guide you. You can start small by setting aside one minute a day. Then add another minute each day until you reach 10 minutes or longer.
A popular app often recommended is Calm. It comes with a variety of peaceful music and bedtime stories. It’s available for the iPhone and Android devices. If you have an Apple Watch, it comes with Breathe, an app that can remind you to take deep breaths on a scheduled basis.
Connect with Friends and Family
Some people say they’ve chatted more with friends and family since social distancing began than they did before. A simple “How are you?” text message can get a conversation started. Connect with someone on a video call using Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, or Google Meet. These apps allow you to chat without video.
Everyone has their own preference for communicating. Other options include emailing, mailing a letter, and social media. Here’s a challenge for you. Check in with one new person each day using whatever communication method you or the other person prefers.
Try Something New
Have you been wanting to try a new recipe? Learn how to knit or sew? Maybe you’d like to help make masks. This is a great time to learn how to knit or sew and make masks that will help others. If you cook or bake, take photos and post them online. Even if it’s a fail, people love to know they’re not the only ones who didn’t quite nail it.