It seems that since the start of 2020, the only constant we have is change. Does this long and winding road have a destination? Sometimes it seems not, which is a downer. With just a few mental shifts, however, you can regain a sense of control over your days by cultivating a world that has more meaning and joy for you and your family.
1. Take stock of things that have changed for the good. One thing COVID-19 has done for almost everyone is brought change. Although we’ve felt plenty of frustration, there have also been positive changes.
For example, maybe you’re working exclusively from home now. Suddenly, you aren’t forced to commute in traffic. Hey, you’ve gained an extra (likely, more peaceful) hour a day. Or, maybe you’ve gotten into a fun afternoon routine with the kids, which has brought you closer.
Be grateful for these little gifts. Carve out a few minutes each morning to write three things you’re grateful for. Have the kids do it, too. Having a gratitude log helps to set a mental tone which can domino into a really good day. This also teaches the kids that they can set the tone of their days by choosing to focus on the good things in their lives.
2. Build a treat into your day. With all of our at-homeness comes a bit more flexibility in our schedule (another thing for the gratitude log). However, without places to be, things can begin to feel a little monotonous. One thing that never fails to brighten our day is adding a fun calendared item—think yoga, nail or massage appointment—in our planner.
Ziva Nail Lounge and 2Ten Salon are always ready to help you unwind with a little pampering. Why not book a recurring hair, nail, facial, or massage appointment so you have something to look forward to (because, the anticipation is half of the fun?!).
3. Build a community group. If you’re feeling disconnected and would benefit from a discussion group like a Bible study or book club, why not start one? Hold it online or social distance in the backyard to enjoy a little outdoor time with friends. Or, meet up at the coffee shop to share some thoughts over a mocha. Café 23:5 has some of the best coffee/tea drinks around, and if you linger towards lunchtime, they’ve got several must-try lunch options, like a build-your-own sandwich and savory crepes.
4. Become proactive and creative about your media consumption. It’s so easy to default to tuning into the nightly news after a long day, which can leave your heart racing. Challenge yourself to change your media consumption habits by keeping the television off; instead, tune into something thought-provoking, creative and positive. From podcasts to TED Talks to free books, online lectures, classes and more, there are so many ways to feed your brain and give your mental health a boost. OpenCulture.com is just one of many great free resources to peruse.
5. Establish a family pizza and game night. Sometimes, mental health is as simple as giving yourself a break from the mundane routine of life (kitchen duty, we’re looking at you). Besides, what’s more fun than gathering the family around a pizza? Throw in a board game and you have a new weekly tradition. Byrd Mill has some great games on sale right now and Parker County Brewing Company is, of course, our pick for the best pizza pie in the county.
One day we will get back to normal. Until then, let’s use this opportunity to cultivate our worlds in a way that brings more joy into our homes and peace to our minds. Who knows…we may just want to make one (or all) of these changes permanent. (And that will go into the gratitude log).