By Lauren Rahill
Amid the fear and anxiety that the 24/7 COVID-19 news and lack of daily routines are causing us all, I’ve been wracking my brain in recent weeks (and reading every post and article I can get my hands on) for ideas of how to stay sane and keep a positive attitude.
I wanted to share a few things that have helped me stay positive, motivated and as close to normal as possible.
Find a new book or pick up an old one you’ve been meaning to read but could never find the time. My little sister gifted me “Normal People” by Sally Rooney for Christmas. I finally read it and it really lived up to the hype. As an added incentive, Hulu is releasing a show based on the book later this month.
Also consider re-reading an old favorite. How many times can you re-read "Harry Potter" you ask? To answer that, I believe Cady Heron said it best — the limit does not exist.
2. Find a new show or binge watch an old go-to.
For me, re-watching "The O.C." was like saying “hello again” to old family friends, and you can never watch “The West Wing” too many times.
I know I’m late to the game, but I also recently started “Downton Abbey” on Amazon Prime and am loving every minute.
3. Find little things that bring you joy.
Hallmark is the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve taken advantage of their recent re-airing of holiday movies. Anyone who knows me knows nothing gets me out of a slump more than a little festive cheer (no matter the time of year). Currently listening to NSYNC’s Christmas album in my headphones. Please don’t judge.
4. Start a new movie series (something that lasts longer than one two-hour block).
My older sister and I had never seen the Marvel movies, so we decided to use our isolated evenings to watch them all. There are several ways people recommend watching them, but for us, we went with the “chronological” option and it seems to be going well. If quarantine lasts long enough, I may even be persuaded to finally watch Star Wars. Only time will tell!
5. Connect. Often.
This is not by any means an innovative idea, but as I was having a virtual happy hour with a friend last week, intermittently interrupted by adorable outbursts from her toddler, I realized again how much it helps just to see and talk to other people. Call your friends, check in on your family members and touch base with colleagues and peers even when you don’t have to. Interaction keeps us sane!
6. Soak up some vitamin D.
If your kitchen table, desk or couch are starting to feel too confining, change it up. For me, I took my laptop and phone and set up an outside “office” on my front porch. Not only was it a welcome change of scenery, but I felt like I could take advantage of some sunshine, and as a bonus, get a glimpse of some other humans (from a distance) in the process.
7. Get your blood pumping.
Gyms may be closed, but we still have options. I’ve been going on walks outside (when Oklahoma weather cooperates), and my sister has been doing Orangetheory from her laptop in the mornings (many programs are offering online classes for free).
8. Change out (and clean out) your closet.
I found this was a great weekend activity that didn’t take too much effort but made me feel like I achieved something. We may end up missing out on most spring activities, but I for one couldn’t look at those heavy winter clothes a minute longer. As a tip, most Goodwill drive-thrus are still taking donations!
9. Find (or make) a great playlist and blast it.
I’ve been alternating between some old favorites (nostalgia at its finest) and trying to discover some new artists. Spotify provides great recommendations based on your listening history.
10. Spend time on projects you’ve been neglecting.
We’re all guilty of having some work projects we’ve put off because they require some serious focus time. What better way to take advantage of forced isolation than to tackle some long-term to-dos without interruption? Helpful tip: Set aside focus time, and let your team know when you plan to be off the grid. When working from home, communication is key.
Have you stumbled onto other ideas for escaping from reality? I’d love to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Rahill oversees Sagac's account management and new business group. As Marketing Director, she brings to her role nearly a decade of experience planning and executing public affairs campaigns for pro-business political committees and managing the strategic planning aspects of Sagac’s public affairs clientele.