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Thoughts on staying sane during Covid-19

In this uncertain time of Coronavirus, where most of us are either huddling up to our smart-phones for contact or forced to head out into the hazardous unknown for work, there’s a lot of talk about health. Like that of the guy who touched the can of tuna fish just before you did (did I just hear him cough?!). But what isn’t being talked about as much is our mental health. I’m Sarah, one of the team members at Berkshire HorseWorks, and I wanted to share with what’s been helping me during this disruptive time.

There’s a great article called, “A Framework for Staying Sane in a Year of Uncertainty” (Here) that’s provided a lot of encouragement for me as a nearly 30-year-old stuck inside with no dog (dangit). In it, Dr. Gil Noam talks about the Clover Model, created by Harvard doctors to describe human development. These are the areas, which, if addressed effectively every day, can help us “stay sane” and keep us moving and grooving even when we’re isolated and in our apartments. Here’s are my ideas for practicing the 4 principles every day:

  1. Active Engagement: Find something to do that gets your brain moving. A crossword puzzle, an art project, going to work – get involved in something that stimulates you.
  2. Assertiveness/voice: Write in your journal, blog or talk to others about how you’re feeling. If you have opinions about how things are going in any area of your life, find ways to speak up about them.
  3. Belonging: Call your Nana, your best friend, your best friend’s Nana or someone in your life that loves you. Find ways to stay connected; it’s the best way to counteract the social isolation of socially isolating.
  4. Reflection: Being stuck at home is the perfect time to draw inwards and ask yourself the hard questions like “Where does a rainbow start?” and “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?”. Take advantage of the downtime to get to know You better.

Like many, I’m not impervious to the stress of the virus, but when I tackle each of these 4 tenats every day I feel happier. It IS possible to stay sane in this unprecedented and frightening time – and I think we can do it together. Though I also think it’s generally much better when there’s a Donkey involved.

Thanks for reading!