Before we get into the list of ideas, we want to send virtual hugs to all our readers. These past weeks have been very difficult on all of us. Trying to stay positive or find joy right now seems nearly impossible. Whatever you are feeling is valid. While we might be practicing social distancing, please remember you are not alone. Those of you with COPD, avoid contact with others as much as possible and continue to follow the CDC guidelines. If you are struggling with your mental health, please reach out for help by calling the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.

The main goal right now is to stay healthy and that includes your mental health. Start your day by doing these 3 things:

  1. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish by the end of today. Write it down so you can keep yourself accountable.
  2. List the things you are thankful for by saying them out loud.
  3. Name 3 people to reach out to by the end of today.

Move Your Body

Seriously, get off that couch right now. We’re waiting… There is evidence that a moving body is a happy body. Staying active is one of the best ways to foster a chemical reaction that releases dopamine in your brain and leads to happy thoughts. Don’t know where to start? There are so many resources online for at-home exercises, including right here on our Live Actively® blog! To name a few: Exercising while on Oxygen Therapy; Ways to Stay Active Indoors; Improve your Quality of Life Despite COPD

If you are looking for a more visual approach, there is an app for that (many actually). Workout Trainer: fitness coach is a free app for Andriod and iOS. It gives you a questionnaire in order to measure your fitness goals and recommend the best exercises and workout plans. FitOn is another free app that offers Pilates and dance classes. It comes with full voice and video instructions that will turn your smart device into a workout class. Check out Tom’s Guide for more workout apps.

Yoga is also a great way to move your body and clear your mind. Yoga International is offering free Yoga for 30 days. You can stream hundreds of yoga and meditation classes on any device you prefer. Silver Sneakers also have YouTube videos of yoga classes and other workouts that are tailored to older adults.

Hang Out with Friends

Yes, you can still see your family and friends (virtually). Physical distancing does not mean you should socially isolate yourself. It is more important now than ever that you maintain your relationships with your loved ones and check up on them often. There are multiple new apps such as Houseparty that allows you to video chat and play games with as many as eight people at a time. It’s fun and will make you feel like you are hosting a game night! Of course, there is always FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom.

Adopt a Pet

There are many health benefits to owning a pet. Pets increase our opportunities to exercise, by forcing us to go on regular walks and be more playful. Pets also help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. Find your new friend on rescueme.org or adoptapet.com

Write it Down

There are a ton of book recommendations out there right now. Chances are multiple sources you follow have provided you with a list of books you should consider. That is a great way to pass the time, but we are also going to suggest that you write. Write it all down. How you’re feeling, all the emotions bottling up inside you right now, recipes you’ve discovered, things you want to do once the stay-at-home order is lifted, anything. If you ever considered writing a book, here is your chance.

Find new creative ways to express yourself such as adult coloring books, or puzzles. Try shadow drawing with your kids, or try it even if you don’t have kids in the house. It looks fun!

Spread Hope

It is important that we do our best to spread hope and not fear during this fragile time. Right now, social media might not be the best outlet for you. Stay away from the negativity and allow yourself to heal. If you are active on social media and find that it helps you feel less alone, that is ok too, but consider sharing hope, compassion, and good news stores. Take a page out of John Krasinski’s book. If you haven’t seen his videos yet, enjoy