Our New Normal: 5 Tips for Staying Home (and Staying Sane)

Staying sane while staying home

With “social distancing” our newest buzzword and authorities urging everyone to avoid crowds, and in some areas, “shelter in place,” most of us are finding ourselves with a whole lot of time on our hands–at home. While some cabin fever during this time is to be expected, there are a few things you can do to make this time a bit easier. We spoke to some experts who gave us these five helpful tips to help us cope with the weirdness we’re all facing right now.

  1. Get up and get dressed. As tempting as it might be to stay in your PJs till noon, you’ll feel better and more productive if you get up and go through your typical morning routine. Most of us are creatures of habit, and if you start your day with some semblance of “normal,” it’ll trigger the habit circuitry in your brain and get your day off to a better and more energetic start.
  1. Create a designated workspace, if necessary. If you’ve moved your job from a professional office space to your home space, this will help you both physically and mentally separate work from personal life. And while it might all feel blended together right now (especially if you’re not used to telecommuting), designating one spot as your “workplace” can help narrow your focus and stay on task.
  1. Plan out your day. It might be hard to replicate a workplace environment in your home, so unless you have meetings all day long, you may need to add some structure or a schedule to your day. “One hour for answering emails; 30-minute meeting; two hours to write that report; 20 minutes to get some fresh air,” and so on. It might seem silly, but it can help keep you from sinking into a black hole of “what-the-heck-have-I-accomplished?”
  1. Move. Remember the movie “WALL-E,” where humans became blobs who lived in front of a screen? Let’s fight against that becoming our new reality! Sitting is the new smoking, according to many health professionals, so do your lungs a favor and work out. When you exercise, you increase blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen your awareness and make you more ready to tackle your next big project. A protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) boosts your cognitive abilities—and BDNF is triggered by exercise.
  1. Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. One neuroscientist I talked to said this is one of the biggest challenges right now: Our brains want to gravitate toward the unknown and uncertainty, but when we let that overwhelm us, our limbic system, or emotional circuitry in the brain, gets activated and increases our stress and anxiety. Instead, it’s better to focus on what we can control: Eating healthy foods, exercising daily, connecting with our family members, etc. This will make us feel more in control and therefore less anxious.

Now, as always, Coupons.com will be right here, bringing you the best savings and offers available so you can buy what you need with confidence. Always check both our grocery coupons and coupon codes before you shop, and rest assured that we’ll get through this time together.


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