1. Be mindful
Check in with yourself consistently. Ask yourself, how you are feeling? Have you been drinking water? Your body will tell you what it needs when you ask. A great tool for this is the “Five Things Game”. Sit comfortably wherever you are and think of five things you can feel, hear, see, smell, and taste. This can be done anywhere and at any time, and it is helpful to set reminders in your phone to do this every few hours.
2. Be creative
Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain responds well to creative arts, and it is a great way to release negative feelings and gain energy. Find something that is creative that you enjoy or always wanted to learn and give it your all, (have a dance party, listen to music, blast the music and sing/play along). See how relieved you can feel.
3. Entertain yourself
Find lightness and humor in each day. There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie—we all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day. Give yourself permission to enjoy them.
4. Meditation / Relaxation
5. Be active
Move your body throughout the day. Commit to your preferred forms of exercise such as taking a walk, a 30 minute online workout, yoga, etc. and try to do this most days of the week.
7. Structure your day
Provide your family with a semi-structured schedule to serve as a starting point or home base to return to when needed, but give yourselves a break from sticking to it perfectly. A schedule is to help formulate some structure but not intended to add pressure. Leave room for extra rest, extra play, and creativity.
8. Be kind to yourself and remain positive
Lower expectations and be kind to yourself. Try to find something to do for yourself each day (i.e. read a book you enjoy, journal, listen to a podcast, or meditate). You can also take time to think of some positive thoughts and write them down or say them to yourself throughout the day.
9. Challenge yourself
Break up your days into moments by focusing on whatever bite-sized piece of a challenge feels manageable. We have no road map for this. We don’t know what this will look like in one day, one week, or one month from now. Find what feels doable for you, and set a time stamp for how far ahead in the future you will let yourself worry. Take each section of the day at a time, and move through stress in pieces.
Schedule phone calls, zoom chats, face time calls and other ways to connect with your friends and family. Share your experiences with others and ask how you can support each other. Allow others to support you and your family while you offer your friendship, listening ear, and share tips on what’s working for you.
This resource was created by Special Olympics Strong Minds Clinical Director Amanda S. Cothern, PhD, LPC.