Shelter in Place Survival Guide
We're all in thisTogether
Many of us are feeling scared right now in this time of extreme uncertainty and constant flux, but we feel less scared together and it is possible to experience a sense of togetherness even when we are separated by social distancing. Staying home and honoring the Shelter in Place is a powerful act of compassion and the most important and effective form of action we can currently take in this fight. While we are learning to adjust to a new way of life we can continue to intentionally engage with what is important to us and find new ways to cope and connect. I have been inspired by all of the resources and support circulating since this crisis began. So many people are sharing their gifts and proving that when our normal is shattered, human kindness prevails. I created this space as a a launching pad for resources, coping strategies, entertainment and general goodness. It is a collaborative collection of ideas for cultivating peace, resilience, courage, patience, compassion and hope.
Don't be ruled by Fear. This virus is not magical or lurking around every corner. It requires contact to contract like any other virus. It is empowering to know that if we follow these rules we can stay safe:
1. Wash your hands after touching unknown surfaces
2. Avoid touching your face
Find the second one difficult? Learn the trick to stop touching your face here.
Viruses aren’t the only things that spread through networks of people. Attitudes and behaviors do too. We can choose to spread viral kindness, gratitude, humor, love and hope.
Like my mother always says...
Hope springs eternal.
What are you doing to cope & connect?
spending time in nature and getting fresh air
going for walks, hikes or runs
making playlists and listening to music
reading books or listening to audiobooks
listening to podcasts with comedic, positive or inspirational messages
watching TED talks
using meditation apps like Calm
painting, drawing, sketching, and creating art in its many forms
cooking, baking and experimenting with new recipes
drinking tea and being cozy
getting plenty of rest & catching up on sleep
walks with the dog
cuddles with the cat
playing cards or board games
talking to friends
- Any of the above over FaceTime with friends!
Things i love
The beautiful wisdom of the book
The books, TED Talks, podcast, and basically anything Brene Brown
The Masterclass, guided meditations and mindfulness resources on the Calm app
The uplifting insight of the Greater Good
Time with Chunk
Ride the Waves
Tips for Letting Go...
The most common recommendations for managing anxiety are limiting intake of news coverage, creating time each day to do something joyful and staying connected to loved ones. Here are some tips on How to Stay Sane in a World that Isn't from the New York Times.
We are living in a state of uncertainty and navigating an overwhelming amount of information that is rapidly changing and focused on the negative, creating a fertile ground for anxiety. Limit media intake, practice focusing only on what is happening in this exact moment, and intentionally make space for positive experiences. Here are more tips for coping if you have Anxiety or OCD.
Ten Percent Happier is offering a free live sanity break, featuring some of the world's best meditation teachers every weekday at 3pm ET.
Mindful SF is offering drop in virtual mindfulness sessions open to everyone, donations benefiting SF restaurant employees.
Marin Therapists Monica Elden, LMFT & Rachel Michaelsen, LCSW are building a virtual community by offering Zoom groups at no charge to help you find calm & resilience in stressful times & build immunity through social connection.
Monday, March 23, 6 – 7:15 pm
Wednesday, March 25, 10:30 – 11:45 am
Monday, March 30, 6 – 7:15 pm
Wednesday, April 1, 10:30 – 11:45 am
Are you a parent of child with OCD? Join this virtual support group to learn tools and build community.
Feel the feelings
We can expect to be visited by a variety of emotions as we navigate this uncertain time. It is normal to feel worried, restless, frustrated, disappointed, irritable, anxious and sad at times. It is okay to let yourself cry or ask for support.
Acknowledge and validate whatever you feel. Simply offering yourself validation will help the emotion pass like a wave. Here are some tips from the Mindfit DBT Center if if you start feeling stuck in an emotion.
feel disappointed about a special event being cancelled or annoyed with being stuck at home
have compassion for the people who are suffering from the many forms of loss and devastation caused by this pandemic.
All of it is true.
We know that anxiety feeds off of the unknown and under these unusual and rapidly-changing circumstances we may feel pulled to follow anxious thoughts but we also have an opportunity to practice intentionally bringing ourselves back to the present moment over and over again. The breath is a powerful anchor to bring us out of whirling thoughts and back into our bodies.
The Power of Gratitude
Starting a daily Gratitude Practice or "Silver Linings Playbook" will help train your brain to focus on the positive and will reset your system.
You might be asking, "how can I feel thankful at a time like this?" It turns out that it's not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. According to UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb, author of The Upward Spiral,
"Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful."
This is one of my favorite TED talks on the power of positive mindset by Happiness Researcher Shawn Achor who knows a thing or two about gratitude.
Relief is right outside your door.
Any amount of time in nature can help lighten the spirits. Take a walk around the block, step into your yard & tune in to the 5 senses, sit on your deck & feel the sun, open your window & breathe in the fresh air.
Together Apart ...
We can intentionally practice Social Connection while honoring Physical Distancing.
Everyone can relate to the experience of feeling lonely at a party. That's because loneliness does not come from the absence of people, it comes from the absence of connection. We are lucky to live in a time when connection remains not only possible but plentiful even while we are keeping a physical distance.
So FaceTime or Zoom, send a text, Snapchat, email, pick up an old fashion rotary phone and dial the number of a friend, family member or loved one. Maybe even put pen to paper and reawaken the age old tradition of Pen Pals!
It's easy to start, just let someone know you are thinking about them.
We might start noticing that by reaching out to intentionally connect with meaningful people in our lives we feel even more filled up by these interactions when we are no longer taking them for granted.
The Daily podcast did a special episode on how people all over the world are coming together during this crisis.
The Greater Good Science Center and Reimagine are partnering to present a Daily Dose of Togetherness every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon through April 3. "We invite you, for free, to join these special 50-minute virtual experiments where we’ll come together online and in community to enhance our collective well-being." Find out how to register.
"When we relax the nervous system, it enables us to reconnect with ourselves. In so doing, we familiarize ourselves with our deepest values, and our deepest humanity. We connect with something essential. It's a bit like coming home, to a place that feels so natural, so effortless, and so right, that you realize you've been missing something very important all along. This realization enables us to better connect with others, because there is no longer a gap between who we are deep down, and what we present to the world."
"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.
Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.
It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good."
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes