Hi, friends. One of the hardest parts of this COVID-19 situation is the overwhelm caused by excess / competing information, panic-causing social media feeds, and the feeling that we must be constantly plugged in to be informed. All of this wires our brains to seek dopamine hits triggered by a new update, a new story, or a new announcement. We were already too plugged-in to begin with, and with COVID-19, we’re even more addicted. That’s not to say our reasons aren’t valid. Like you, I want to be informed to-the-minute so I can make the best possible decisions for my family. And it seems this situation is evolving rapidly. Still, we can’t allow these circumstances to pull us away from our people or to suck the life out of us before we get to the other side. Have you found yourself feeling panicked, anxious, or impatient because of the overwhelm? Here are a few tips for quieting all the noise being drummed up by COVID-19.
Q: I want to be informed, but all the information, opinions, and memes are making my head spin. What should I do?
First, take a beat. Go plug your phone in and give yourself ten analog minutes to pick up your house or go for a walk. While doing this, think about where the most reliable information is coming from. For me, it’s the New York Times. I receive their free Morning Briefing email every day at 5am. It’s a very quick, bullet-point read with all the info I need to know. They also have a free Coronavirus Briefing email that is sent periodically. I follow them on Twitter (a great place to find breaking news). Choose your 1 favorite source of information and rely on it. Chances are you’re scrolling social media looking for updates rather than allowing the updates to come to you in the way you choose. If something monumental happens, your friends and family will text or call you. After your ten analog minutes are up, go back to your devices and edit your feed.
Q: This information is making me feel off. What can I do to improve my mood and keep my spirits up during this?
If you’re dealing with anxiety or depression, do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor during this time. Here are a few tips I gathered from Team Simplified for practicing self-care during this time.
- Find a free online workout program and get sweaty. Endorphins are magical. Peloton (my fave), Tone it Up, and BeachBody are all offering free plans right now.
- Use this extra time to learn a new skill. SkillShare is free for the first two months. Masterclass is $15/mo, but I’m considering it. I really want to watch Bobbi Brown’s makeup masterclass.
- Begin your day with a digital devotional. I love She Reads Truth.
- Every night, have each member of your family state “something they’re looking forward to.” (Thanks for this, Dusty). This is a great way to stay encouraged and hopeful.
- Stay connected to people who matter to you, especially if you’re quarantined. Use FaceTime, Zoom, text messaging, or phone calls.
- Get some sunshine. Vitamin D is great for our bodies and minds.
- Wake up early. I know it’s hard. But giving yourself extra time to shower, to get dressed, to get breakfast ready will just help you win the day.
- Use this time to declutter your home. You can access our free Simplicity Challenge e-book here. The Simplicity Challenge includes thirty simple tasks that each take less than fifteen minutes and cost $0. If you have a Simplified Planner, you can find the entire Simplicity Challenge list in the front. If you don’t, our remaining 2020 editions are 30% off and our warehouse is fully operational. Now is a great time to spend some time clearing your home of excess, organizing what you have, and investing some energy and love into making your home even more homey.
- If you're looking for a good read about quieting the noise, may I humbly suggest my recent book -- When Less Becomes More. It's about this very thing: making space for slow, simple, and good in a chaotic world. Get the audible version here (I'm reading) or listen to the first chapter free here.
Tips from my kids (unedited):
- Brady: Spend time with your kids. You’ve always been there for them and now they will be there for you. they’ll boost your spirits in the time of need.
- Tyler: Have no fear because God is always with you.
- Caroline: Watch TV with your mommy.
Here are a few resources I hope are a blessing to you:
- The Headspace (meditation app) is free for health care professionals. I am a subscriber and I love it.
- Audible is a great place to find a good fiction audio book to take your mind of current circumstances. Might I suggest Where the Crawford Sing or anything by Liane Moriarty.
- Here’s my Hope playlist on Spotify. Calming tunes and promising messages. It's collaborative, so feel free to add hopeful songs to it.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline can be reached at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- Actor Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf from Frozen) is reading stories every night and sharing the videos to his Twitter feed for you to share with your children.