It’s been a little more than a month since I began self-isolating. I’m an introvert, so staying home isn’t that difficult for me. It’s the stress surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic that I’m having a harder time with. It’s the worry about family and friends, the wondering when this thing will finally end and what it will mean for the world when it does.
There is no going back. This pandemic will change us all, not only individually but the entire world.
Humans are creatures of habit, and me more than most. I miss the little things in my weekly routine—breakfast out, running errands, stopping in at the coffeeshop/bookstore, going out for lunch and a movie, seeing my family. Little things, and certainly not important in the grander scheme of what is going on right now, but I still miss them.
But there are things I am doing to keep my spirits up and find joy. If you’re struggling with stress, there are things you can do that might help. First and foremost is to be gentle with yourself. These are unprecedented times. We don’t exactly have a playbook for this.
1. Call family or friends. Being alone can be tough for some people. I talk to someone in my family daily. Some days, I talk to all of them. It keeps us connected even though we can’t be together.
2. Discover a new show on TV, Netflix, or another streaming service. The last couple of Saturdays, I’ve binged on Netflix shows—Next in Fashion and Messiah. Two totally different kinds of shows. I’ve made Saturday a sleepy, do-nothing-much-of-anything day. If you have kids, it’s tougher, but maybe you can find things to watch as a family.
3. Exercise. It’s tough right now with having to stay inside. I’ve started walking around my apartment and I walk whenever I’m on the phone. If you have a yard, getting outside will certainly help. It’s cold here and there is still snow on the ground.
4. We all want to stay informed, but there comes a time when you need to turn off the TV and shut down social media. I’ve started turning on music. It can be soothing. If you want to rock out or have a dance party, that’s good too. Whatever works for you.
5. Journal. Get your thoughts down. It’s a way to help you work though what you’re feeling and going though. It can also be a record of this historic time that we’re living through.
6. Meditate. There are plenty of free programs or you can search YouTube. Or you can simply turn everything off, close your eyes, and simply breathe.
7. Cook or bake, if you’re so inclined. It’s a great activity if you have kids at home. I don’t do much of it because it’s only me at home. Too many cookies is not a good thing for my waistline.
8. Go online and check out some of the free video tours of famous museums and galleries being offered.
9. Find a new hobby or pick up an old one. If you’re not sure what you’d like to do, go online and look around. Between Pinterest and YouTube there’s not much you can’t find. And if you don’t have the money for a hobby, it’s still fun to watch other people and see what they’re creating. My sister has pulled out all her partially finished projects and is either finishing them or using the materials for a new one.
10. Housework. Yes, I said it. If you’ve been putting off a project, now may be the time to tackle it. Maybe not major home renovation but cleaning out a closet or the garage. I figure when this is over there are going to be tons of yard sales as people unload stuff they no longer want.
11. Draw a hot bath, sink into the water, close your eyes, and relax.
12. And finally, my go-to when my stress level is high is books. I wouldn’t make it without them. I’ve read some new ones and gone back and read old favorites.
If you like paranormal romance and are looking for a new read, you might want to check out Fury Unleashed, the first book in my new Forgotten Brotherhood series.
Forgotten Brotherhood, Book One
Maccus Fury, a fallen angel, is trying hard to keep his sanity. Seems being an assassin might be catching up with him. Now, Heaven, or Hell, has sent a beautiful assassin to kill him. Lovely. She’s pretending to seduce him, and he’s okay with that. She’s smart and snarky—but she has no idea what she’s walked into. And he’s more than peeved that they only sent one person. They’re going to need an army if they want him dead.
Morrigan Quill is one of Hell’s bounty hunters. She sold her soul to keep her sister safe, and now she’s working off her contract by catching bad guys and dragging them back to hell. When Lucifer makes her a new offer––that’s definitely too good to be true—she can’t say no. All she has to do is kill a powerful and crazy-hot fallen angel, who will totally kick her ass in battle.
Good thing he won’t see what’s coming next.
About the Author
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
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