Our hearts go out to all people affected by COVID-19. We send butterfly kisses to those who are diagnosed with the virus, their friends and family, and for all affected by the work and school closings and everyone affected by the economic impact of this crisis. People all over the world are anxious and fearful about the unknown outcome of COVID-19. People are anxious and fearful about the unknown outcome of the pandemic.  I’ve heard people say it reminds of them of dealing with the chaos of the aftermath Hurricane Harvey, the death of President John F. Kennedy and even dealing with the emotional turmoil of feelings after September 11th.  Some people are paralyzed and don’t know what to do.  Others are moved to action.

We can’t control everything, but we can choose how we are going to respond, and how we are going to take care of ourselves during these unpredictable times. Besides keeping social distance and rigorously washing your hands, here are 50 concrete things to consider doing to take care of yourself and your family during this time of uncertainty.

Post or DM us with how these work for you or if you want to add something to our list.

  1. Take care of yourself.
  2. Connect with others. Call/text/email a friend you haven’t heard from lately.  Not just a Facebook friend, a real friend.
  3. Check on someone you know who is older than you.
  4. Read to a child. Listen to a teenager talk about what concerns them. FaceTime grandchildren and children.
  5. Try a little spring cleaning.
  6. Declutter your home one drawer at a time. Start with 15 minutes at a time. Stop after 15 minutes and continue when, and if, you are ready.
  7. Declutter your computer. Curate duplicate documents and photos.
  8. Play a new game either solitaire or with family members at home.
  9. Put together a puzzle.
  10. Walk a labyrinth, while maintaining proper social distance.
  11. Play outside.
  12. Play in the dirt, it’s almost spring. Plant something.
  13. If you are near the coast, walk barefoot on the beach. If you are not near a beach, walk barefoot on the grass.
  14. Yes, try coloring in an adult coloring book. It’s fun, stress free and when you are done you’ll be surprised to remember how much fun it was when you were a child.
  15. Write a letter, a real letter, with a pen and stationary. Send a card to someone you love. Send a card to someone you do not love. You may never know how your relationship might change by sending them your thoughts in your own handwriting.
  16. Write a letter to your future self. Write a letter to your past self (yourself as a child.)
  17. Go for a walk alone.
  18. Order your groceries. Paying a delivery fee is much less than paying a co-pay at the doctor’s office if you get sick.
  19. Clean, chop, prepare and batch cook. Prepare a week’s worth of food at one time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rt2Z8QBPzo
  20. Make a double batch of a new soup recipe. Take extra soup to a friend.
  21. Try a recipe with more than five ingredients. Slow cooking is the new fast food phenomenon.
  22. Eat slowly, savor every bite.
  23. Try a new healthy smoothie recipe-it’s St. Paddy’s week, maybe something with lots of green in it. https://vegnews.com/2019/3/st-patricks-day-green-smoothie
  24. Try a new tea.
  25. Drink water, lots of water. Staying hydrated is really important under times of stress.
  26. Read a poem, write a poem, and memorize a poem.
  27. Read a prayer, write a prayer, and memorize a prayer.
  28. Play an instrument. Listen to a song. Write a song, SING OUT LOUD.
  29. Turn up the music and dance like nobody is watching.
  30. Read an uplifting book. Read an uplifting children’s book.
  31. Practice speaking with an accent. Stay “in character” all day long.
  32. Write an original joke. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itWxXyCfW5s
  33. Watch a funny video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HttF5HVYtlQ
  34. Take a bubble bath.
  35. Take a bath with lavender Epsom salt.
  36. Binge watch an uplifting show.
  37. If watching the news triggers fear and anxiety, take a sabbatical from the news. However, stay attuned for important changes and updates. Times they are a’changin!
  38. Limit alcohol, it’s a depressant.
  39. Limit caffeine, it’s a stimulant.
  40. Limit sugar and soda, and processed food. You know you want to, now’s your time.
  41. Surround yourself with people who bring calm into your life. Anxiety can be contagious, so steer clear of people who trigger your own fears and worries. One of our favorite authors @GretchenRubin has a wonderful podcast called Happier. She has designed one special episode to help people with anxiety. https://gretchenrubin.com/podcast-episode/240-very-special-episode-on-anxiety/
  42. Connect with a healthy online group.
  43. Make a gratitude list. It sounds like a cliché but recording things we are grateful for actually shifts our mood.
  44. Breathe slowly. If you want to meditate pick a word and repeat the word in your mind. Set the timer for one minute, and increase as you desire.
  45. Stretch your body. Lie down on your back and breathe.
  46. Take a nap
  47. Go to bed early and sleep late.
  48. Don’t isolate yourself. Seek support from friends, families and communities like ours.
  49. Write your own Iron Butterflies Project story and send it to us at [email protected]
  50. For information check out the following resources:
    1. SuperSoul Sunday: 4 ways to stop anxiety spiral. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YB9eJjBtkE
    2. Hand Sanitizer Recipe: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-make-hand-sanitizer
    3. Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19
    4. World Health Organization https://www.who.int
    5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov
    6. If you can help those who need food and shelter, please contact your local food bank and shelters. We are one community. #FindFoodNow