With so many closures of public facilities and cancelled events amid this COVID-19 pandemic, we’re taking a break from our usual top-five things to do this weekend.
Instead, we’re offering a bit more of a philosophical approach – handy tools to maintain peace of mind in a world that’s changing by the hour.
Even as we face uncertain times – and these truly are unprecedented times – it’s important to keep your sense of humour. Aside from regular washing, this might be the most important thing you can do as we retreat into our homes and away from the community, doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Laughter is the language of the soul, as Pablo Neruda once said, but it’s also sustenance for the soul.
There’s a reason extended solitary confinement is viewed as torture. Even the most stable among us can succumb to cabin fever. If laughter is sustenance for the soul, talking is sustenance for the mind. We may be divided by the walls of our homes, but we don’t have to be emotionally divided. Call your loved ones. Tell them how you’re feeling and ask them the same.
A still mind grows stagnant, and while movies or video games or music can fill some time, learning about the world around you is both productive and satisfying. The universe is at your fingertips, and it’s never been easier to explore the depths of the oceans, the far-flung reaches of the galaxy or the minutiae of the building blocks of life and the universe – right from your home.
4. Walk away.
We know as well as anyone the news these days is alarming, and the deluge of it on social media makes for especially distressing times. Keep an eye on the news, but take a break from social media and get away from the constant flow of “BREAKING,” “JUST IN” and “NEW.” And don’t believe everything you see on the internet.
This is likely the most important piece of advice going around right now. Health experts say to wash your hands for 20 seconds using warm water and soap. This should be done frequently, especially if you’ve been out and if you’ve touched things like a public door handle or hand rail. Speaking of which, try to use your sleeves for opening doors and practice greetings without a handshake or even an elbow-bump.