• Sarah Ballan

Top 5 Tips on Surviving Social Distancing

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

In the last two weeks I, along with everyone in New York City, and many others across the country (and 6/7 continents), have been stuck in limbo. All sense of normalcy and routine has ceased to exist as a result of a series of unfortunate events that took away our freedoms one by one *cough* coronavirus. Is “cough” a trigger word now? Anyway, thanks to this novel coronavirus, people are now not only expected, but mandated to stay home and wait for this worldwide pandemic to subdue. Our lives remain on pause as we do our best to abide by the new laws enacted to flatten the curve. All gyms and boutique fitness studios were deemed unsafe by the government due to the infectious disease, COVID-19, spread by this virus, consequently putting me and 98% of my company out of a job. Many industries, particularly performance and service, along with the entire stock market are declining. This microscopic, yet omnipresent POS is wreaking havoc on society and paving its way by propelling fear! I know days of the week are seemingly irrelevant during this “unprecedented time,” but here are a few things that are helping me stay sane and survive social distancing. 

1. Get The F*ck Up Out Of Bed! 

This new “stay at home” policy allows for everyone to sleep in. There’s nowhere to travel since we are all OOO, but creating boundaries in my apartment helps me stay productive and on track. I know if I stay in bed all day I’ll end up watching TV and wasting a ton of time. Therefore, I limit the amount I spend in bed so I can make the most out of my day. As soon as I get up, I make my bed right away. Making the bed is crucial, otherwise you may feel tempted to crawl back under the covers. 

Self-care should stay a priority! 

Basic hygiene is a give in ie: brushing your teeth and showering, but what about getting dressed? Does it really matter if you look glam for a conference call? I argue the answer is yes. I am not suggesting you suit up, nor would I even go as far as squeezing into a pair of jeans, but if you look totally sloppy you may start to get lazy in other departments. I love how even my tinted moisturizer makes my skin, and even though I rarely leave my apartment, the glow-up is a mood booster. Even though you can’t get a mani/pedi at a salon, try a DIY spa night in. Put on your favorite panties under your pj’s. Brush your hair. I personally feel my best when I look my best, even if it's just for me, myself, and I. Don’t use WFH as an excuse to LYG (let yourself go). And if you really don’t feel like any of this is worth the effort, then please, for the love of god, change your f*cking sweats

2. Move your body. 

Working out is a great way to release energy and stay fit. Unfortunately as I mentioned, gyms and boutique fitness studios are closed indefinitely. The good news is, many fitness instructors, myself included, are offering online at-home workouts. Tuning in for a live workout is encouraging because it’s happening in real-time and you’re working out with other people. In fact, I started an instagram account with friend and fellow Flywheel instructor, Greta Bradbury, @coronachronicles_ which helps keep us and our followers entertained, informed, and active. In these moments, among isolation, I feel a sense of community and connection. Another thing I’ve been doing daily is going for a walk or run outside - while maintaining safe social distance, of course!

3. Don’t Touch, but Keep in Touch

We’ve been hearing a lot about social distancing, the trendiest hashtag on Twitter. This social phenomenon requires you to maintain an appropriate physical distance (6 feet +) between yourself and another person. Handshakes and hugs are taboo, but it is also frowned upon to walk side-by-side with a person with whom you do not reside. Of course, there’s not much of a reason to go outside right now given every aspect of attended entertainment has been “cancelled.” The President recently stationed the National Guard in NYC to enforce the temporary order to stay home unless you are out of food or medication, so instead of face-to-face time, switch to FaceTime! Even if you’re just catching up while you cook, it’s important to stay connected to friends and family. Some other virtual "quarentivities" include DJ’s like Diplo who are spinning LIVE sets on instagram for everyone to listen to together. Try having a virtual dance party or happy hour with friends on Zoom! 

P.s. those of you who are quarantined with a partner or roommate, be sure to respect each others’ needs and find a #healthyballance of space and company. 

4. Stay woke!

Keep up with the news and take precautions. Rules are constantly changing as we learn more and more about the virus. There has also been a ton of false information circulating, like the “hold your breath for 10 seconds” test. If you complete this wildly unscientific BS task without getting breathless, you are said to be in the clear of corona. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet (duh) and be wary of articles like “top things to do to cure corona,” because no-one knows wtf this is or how long this state of emergency will continue... *FYI This post is purely for enjoyment and none of what I am saying is in any way scientific*

5. Positivity is a CHOICE

If you feel you’re getting a little too negative you’re already on your way to positivity. Noticing when you are negative takes you out of the “bull sees red” moment and brings you back to reality. Noticing your thoughts and intervening is how you gain control of your mind. 

If you are reading this you have internet and wifi. Be grateful. Focus on what you have, not what’s been cancelled or postponed. If you feel sad or scared, sit with the emotion and ride it out. Try and do something constructive with your energy, like keeping a journal! (or painting or drawing or making a collage or cooking or running or playing a board game or watching tv or calling your friends…)

Stay present and focus on what you can control. 

Your brain is a complex muscle and unwanted thoughts may come. Your ego may be bruised if, for example, you're like me and out of a job right now. People tend to get anxious and upset when they experience uncertainty, but guess what? You decide what information you feed your stream of consciousness. You do not have control over other people’s thoughts, so learn to control your own. 

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