Keep your Sanity during COVID-19

I just shoved half a bag of popcorn in my mouth while stress-scrolling through Twitter, my eyes scanning over every single coronavirus update possible. And then I caught myself, there are better ways to cope.

So, I sat down on my sofa and turned on a meditation app, taking care to consciously breathe for five minutes. Of course, it took a global pandemic to get me to meditate, something the entire Internet and more than one therapist have been telling me to do for some time. It turns out, they were right, it helps in moments of anxiety. And now, isolated in my home office and going slightly stir-crazy, I have no excuse to avoid it.

I’m in my home because I am sort-of quarantined. Someone at a conference I attended tested positive for the novel coronavirus. But even if I hadn’t gone to the conference, I would be trying to stay put to adhere to the tenets of social distancing, a public health measure that has been proven to reduce the spread of the virus. Social distancing is something we all should be doing.

But as my panicked Twitter-and-popcorn binge shows, it’s easy to start spinning out when you are cooped up. So, what can you do to stay sane while keeping yourself and others safe during the virus outbreak? Here are a couple of suggestions about how to stay occupied.


Exercise

There is an entire universe of free yoga classes on YouTube (I am partial to the popular Yoga with Adriene), and some instructors are live-streaming their courses from home. If you are not in actual quarantine, go for a walk or run outside, while keeping a six-foot distance from others.


Meditate

I am a complete beginner, and I already feel like this is something I should have been doing for a long time. The New York Times has a helpful guide on how to start.