Day one of social distancing: You feel fine – almost appreciate the time spent indoors. The weather still isn’t that great, you can binge-watch your favorite shows, catch up on sleep. It’s great, right? For a lot of us, day one was a much-needed social recharge.

Day five of social distancing: While we would have groaned at the thought of having to go grocery shopping, we really miss those awkward, polite conversations with the cashiers. No matter how introverted we may be. We’re ready to welcome the daily annoyances with open arms if it means we can be rid of the Coronavirus stress.

The Coronavirus has yet to hit what’s considered its “peak” here in the States. So, social distancing isn’t going away for a while. But don’t worry. We have five little tricks you can do at home to feel better while you’re social distancing.

1. Be aware of your schedule while social distancing

Maybe you need to stick to your schedule. Get up on time, get dressed, go through your morning as if nothing has changed. If you’re temporarily out of work, treat your new hobbies as though they’re your job. That not only helps you concentrate better, but it will improve your craft.

If you’re working from home, treat your space as though you’re in an office setting. Pretend you’re not at home. Think of your pets as coworkers. There’ve been plenty of pet pictures going around social media with their owners referring to them as coworkers. We could all use a little distraction and humor right now.

2. Stream a movie to watch with friends

I’m not saying to have friends over – but stream a movie or a series and FaceTime/Skype with your friends while watching it. Or, if getting the timing down is too difficult, watch a movie on your own and plan to have a discussion with friends about it afterwards. Only, instead of just a voice call, make it a video call – it’s possible. Have tea or coffee together over this video and treat this as a normal discussion. It not only gives you a chance to be social and engage with others, but it’ll make the day go by faster.

Maintaining any kind of relationship is very important – especially now when in isolation. Make the effort to communicate with your trusted friends and family members. It’ll help you feel better and you never know who may need that push to engage.

**This also applies to attending meetings. There are numerous recovery meetings online that you can partake in. Don’t forgo those meetings because of this social distancing. These times are trying and maintaining those relationships and principles is extremely important.

3. Turn off that news

It’s good to be informed, but when does it become too much? COVID-19 is everywhere, from news stations to social media. Even the memes going around don’t offer us a much-needed mental health break. Instead of inundating yourself with constant streams of news, turn off the TV, put down the phone, and pick up a book. Everyone I know has a to-be-read mountain of books. Well – now’s the time to start that climb up Mount Libro.

If you don’t have a pile of books, or are looking to do some recovery reading, Reach Out Recovery has three books to help you get through these stressful times. Lindsey Glass’s 100 Tips For Recovery is a workbook and easy-to-follow tip book with space for journaling. If you’re looking for an activity book with light reading, check out the coloring and journaling book: Find Your True Colors In 12 Steps. Or, if you have kiddos at home who need a little extra support, our coloring and storybook, My Family Is Hurting – What Can I Do?, comes with a grownup guide to help you engage in conversation and color along with them.

4. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t work out

I know about the nervous energy that comes with being stuck inside. When I first heard about social distancing and isolating, I began jogging. I didn’t run myself ragged, but I made sure to get a good workout in each afternoon to calm my nerves. After waking up an old ankle injury, I resorted to working out my core and arms. While it didn’t get me out of the house or continue my cardio, it still made me feel better than I would have if I just sat around, looking for distractions.

There are hundred – if not thousands of various YouTube stations offering free work out tutorials. Find something that really speaks to you and work that into your routine. Share it with your friends and maybe over FaceTime or Skype, you can do these routines together. Kill two birds with one stone and get that heart going while making a social connection.

5. Write letters or journal

Journal in your private diary. Write letters to your favorite people – or to your future self. You don’t have to send them if you’d prefer not to. But take this time to write about your favorite memories with these people. Really think about your feelings and examine them. This can either be done in your journal or in a letter form. What’s important to you now? What do you hope to achieve in five years? How do you think you’ll get there? What are you looking forward to right now?

If you’re writing a letter to a loved one, whether you choose to send it or not, what would you like to tell them? What’s your favorite memory with them? What’s something you’d like to do with them once the Coronavirus is under control?


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Samantha Curreli
Samantha Curreli is a staff writer at Reach Out Recovery. Sam is also a graduate of Arcadia University's MFA in Creative Writing Program and a freelance journalist for New Jersey music magazine, The Aquarian Weekly. She has had multiple pieces of fiction published in literary magazines and short story anthologies.

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