25 Ways Not To Lose Your Mind During a Pandemic. (Mental Health)

I was driving around listening to CBC radio about a week ago. The host brought on famed moustached astronaut Chris Hadfield in order for him to share some ProTips regarding self-isolation. The biggest takeaway? Make lists for every day. Having a set of tasks to accomplish does wonders for the mind and creates a form of structure in which to thrive.  It turns out maybe my Aunt Flo was right – the idle mind really is the devil’s playground.  So, in the spirit of that sage advice, after being laid off yesterday, I began to create a list for myself in order to plan for my newfound self quarantine. In doing so, I thought it might also prove useful to share it with others suffering the same fate.  So let’s dive in, shall we? One more thing – I had a hankering for some of the music I grew up with (à la mental comfort food) so I’m including some old cold cuts in this post.

1. Listen to some tunes.

It’s good for your mental health and might inspire some creativity.  Bottom line, it will help you regulate to a new lifestyle.

2. Re-Design your resume.

Even if you are not planning to search for a new job, updating your resume is a good exercise to re-assess your current trajectory, review your past accomplishments and plan for a sunnier future. Don’t let life pass you by, homie.

3. Job Search.

If you are looking for a new job and the bills and rent are ominously glaring at your current predicament, it may prove useful to look for something even if it is just a temporary, part-time job, where you can work remotely, such as careers in I.T. or market research surveys.

4. Edit a film.

That is more specifically geared for me, but this can apply for anyone with a large project on the go, that struggles to find the time to do it. Maybe for you, it’s the great novel you always wanted to write, or a blanket or basket to weave. Now is the time, so carpe diem, you little rascal.

5. Write a blog post.


6. Join an organization.

Find a group that supports something you feel passionate about. Not only does it feel good to engage in a new activity, it feels even better connecting with like minded others. Otherwise it’s just me, myself and I.

7. Call or write a friend, relative or neighbour.

Life happens when you’re too busy making other plans. Not any less true than when Lennon said it last. Pandemics provide the perfect opportunity to re-connect with those we always meant too, but often find ourselves too busy too. This is also super important for regulating your own mental health. Talk about your feelings and find out how others are doing.

8. Design a home workout routine.

With no access to the gym, it’s time to get creative. I’ve taken to lifting heavy appliances.
Not really. But it’s nice to think about while I crack open a bag of chips.

9. Write a short story.

There are so many things to get inspired by during a pandemic. Lately I’ve been really concerned about traffic ticket cops. What will they do, now that no ones drives anywhere? Maybe I should write a story about one who goes on to become a writer that writes about a traffic cop who becomes a writer. Seriously. This is gold.

10. Draw a picture.

There are no limits to what you can draw and it’s a skill that anyone can develop. Zero context for the following tune, but it’s a good one to get creative with.

11. Clean part of your home.

Don’t aim too high, just do it as if shooting Aliens while firing an M41A pulse rifle. Short controlled bursts. Disinfect your phones and switches. Then try your bathroom or litter box or something. Aim low, homie.

12. Take the dog for a walk.

If you don’t have a dog, just drag around a leash. It will help with social distancing. Trust me, I’ve tried it.

13. Go for a run.

You need to stay in shape when the dead learn to re-animate and chase you for your delicious brain. Hurry!

14. Groom the Pet.

I have a dog and a cat and they are super cute and cuddly but man do they shed like crazy.  I plan to finally get that shit under control!

15. Cook something new.

Now is the time to learn to bake bread or make your own pasta, now that shelves are empty.

16. Take an online course.

Try to focus on something useful during a pandemic, like knife throwing or first aid. In that order.

17. Play a board, card or video game.

Just like when you’re doing hard time in the big house, a little diversion goes a long way.

18. Plan a trip.

If we ever get out of this thing alive, it’s good to work towards a dream. See you in Tahiti.

19. Read a Book.

Yeah, those things. The things with the words inside.

20. Take on an art project.

21. Lean a new skill or language.

22. Fix the oven light.

That’s my jam, but everyone else has something broken in their home they never get a chance to fix. Get to it.

23. Go for a bike ride.

This one works particularly well if you own a bike. If you don’t, then just steal one. It is a pandemic, after all. If you can’t  break a few rules now, then when? (just kidding. maybe you can build one. out of stolen parts.)

24. Have a dance party.

It was my go to when I was young a thousand years ago. I intend to cut loose at least once a day. Hope I don’t break a hip.

25. Watch a foreign film.

I purposefully put watching any content last, because I absolutely love television and film. In fact, I love it so much that I can watch anything for hours. I always try to get outside my comfort zone by watching something on Mubi, but sparingly. Because like my Aunt Flo also said; “Too much of anything makes you an addict.” Or was that Nappy Roots?


And Finally:

Limit your intake of current events.  Focus in on what you can control.  Stay safe and be kind to others.




Top, featured image by resprouk from Pixabay

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