How are you feeling?
I know I’ve been having all kinds of unusual emotions, from crying after a news binge, to beaming with gratitude for my face-to-face conversation with the grocery store clerk. I’m fidgety and frustrated and lonely, and I feel joyfully connected by the way my choices are literally protecting (or endangering) people I’ve never met.
COVID-19 stress tips from the CDC
No matter your specific circumstances, the uncertainty we’re facing with this pandemic is bound to cause some stress and anxiety.
Here are some tips from the CDC, such as continuing your mental health treatments, taking news breaks, caring for your body, talking with loved ones, and doing activities you enjoy.
The magic (and science) of being outdoors
One thing I love? Being outside, especially in the sunshine. I hesitate when the weather is cold and gray, but really, I never regret making it outside for a walk.
There’s something almost magical about being outside, yeah?
The other day I was feeling particularly frazzled, and I stepped onto my porch and took a breath of fresh air, and damn… I felt like me again.
Scientific studies agree. Spending time outdoors has been shown to improve focus and creative problem-solving abilities, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, and yes—improve immunity.
One way to practice
Here’s a simple practice inspired by Byron Katie’s Morning Walk.
Go outside and walk. As you walk, mentally name everything you see: sky, tree, window. Remain silent, and focus on this naming.
Your body will breathe and move. Let it move you.
Your mind will try to think. That tree is beautiful. I can’t believe people litter. Just notice and return to naming.
To explore this idea even further, here’s a relaxing 4-minute video from Katie herself.
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