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How to stay sane during the COVID-19 crisis

Since a few days the buzzing city of Amsterdam is quiet. The world seems to be in chaos. Italy is in full quarantine and other countries are following the same approach. Borders are being shut and people are stuck in foreign countries. There is no doubt that many people are scared about their own health and the health of their friends and family. The economic consequences are also visible, people are losing their jobs and have no more income.

How can you keep going in such a situation?

Well, despite the obvious of not going out to slow the spread of the virus, washing your hands and keeping distance to people, there are many things you can do to deal with the situation and even benefit from it.

Here are 8 quick tips on how you can deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Enjoy and stay safe!

1. Stop spreading fear

Fear is more contagious than any virus. By now everybody that hasn’t been in a silent retreat or lives in the caves of Siberia is aware of the situation. The last thing you want people to do is panic. In uncertain situations like these, anxiety can quickly turn into panic. In a state of fear, very bad and irrational decisions are made. Avoid posting death rates and worst case scenarios that might happen. You saw what happened when people panic, they think toilet paper will save their lives. Spread support and love and focus on solutions.

2. Focus on yourself

We do not often get the chance to stay at home and use the time to develop skills that you can use when this is all over. Get inspired by people. If you are in complete quarantine and feel lonely, immerse yourself in a book, connect with the characters. Or write one yourself. If you have a pet, cuddle it and tell it how much you love it’s hairy ass.

If you have an internet connection (assuming you do), try out some online courses. There are dozens of free courses you can do and companies seem to be nice right now, offering free resources because of the crisis.

Learn a new language on Duolingo!

Whatever your choice of creative pursuit is, now is the time to shine.

3. Meditate

Maybe you can’t travel on the outside but you can always travel on the inside. Since everything is so quiet, try to practice some meditation. There are many ways you can practice meditation. Headspace is a great app or just search YouTube and find your favorite Guru.

4. Help others

No don’t go running outside and start giving away clothes, but connect with people digitally. Now may be the time to reconnect with people that you have neglected for a while or want to make amends with. Find out if any of your friends or acquaintances are in a very affected area and reach out to them. I am sure they will appreciate it.

5. Exercise

If sitting around get’s boring, go out for a run if you can. Wave to people and smile (from a distance). Spread some positive energy (from a distance). Find a 7 or 14 day workout challenge that you can do at home and invite others to join you in their homes. It is still highly possible that you will get the virus too and the fitter you are the lower the risk.

6. Create a meal plan

Since going outside should be avoided as much as possible, create a meal plan for the week. Decide what you want to do and start preparing your meals for the coming days or longer. Like this you avoid unnecessary journeys to the supermarket and have more power over what you eat.

7. Focus on the now

It is easy to make predictions and assumptions for the future. Try to zoom in and focus on today. If today seems overwhelming, focus on the next hour or next 15 minutes. Like this your mind doesn’t wander into the uncertain future. Are you breathing right now? This is how you focus on the now.

8. Set goals

By creating goals and writing them down, your mind will focus on something that is important to you. Wether they are future goals that you want to achieve in 10 years or just daily goals. I suggest you do both. Once you have written them down, sit and visualize them in as much detail as you can. This is super powerful and will make you feel very good.

That’s it, I hope you got some inspiration.

Much love from Amsterdam, stay sane and stay safe!

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