Hello, dear readers. Secret Stash is on a brief hiatus as we readjust during these difficult times. While things are uncertain right now, we wanted to stay connected with you while we weather this storm as a community.
If you're reading this from inside your home, congratulations: you are doing the responsible thing and saving lives. Still, self-isolation can be hard on everyone (we are social beings, after all) and depending on how long you have been isolated, it can really start to affect your mental health.
So this week's Secret Stash Edit will be a little different. Here are some suggestions to keep your peace of mind during a quarantine:
Avoid the news
While staying informed is generally good, there is such a thing as "too much information" in these fast-paced times. There's something about disasters that is simultaneously awful but difficult to look away from. The problem with constantly updating yourself is that instead of alleviating your anxiety, it can feed it and make it grow. Stress and anxiety can start to show as physical symptoms like headaches and stomach pains, and affect your immune system. So practice putting down your phone, mute the relatives who keep forwarding panicky COVID-related Whatsapps, and shut off the news during the day. You're already doing the best thing in your power by staying at home.
It sounds frivolous, but a simple part of your routine like getting dressed up in the morning can dramatically affect your mindset for the rest of the day. Resist the urge to sit around in pajamas during the weekdays, because it will make the disturbance in your routine more obvious. Put on your favourite clothes even though you're not going to see anyone; trust me, it will make you feel more motivated and upbeat. Plus, with nobody looking, this is a good time to experiment with different styles and makeup you normally don't go for. Use this chance to be creative!
This is a fantastic opportunity to de-clutter, get some spring cleaning done or start that DIY renovation project you always thought about, but didn't have the time or energy for. Repaint your bathroom, learn a new space-saving folding technique or start making a donate pile of things you no longer use. This is a great activity to do as a family: if you have kids, encourage them to organize and maybe even redecorate their own rooms.
Hearing about human suffering from the comfort of your home can amplify feelings of helplessness. Fortunately, there are brave people currently organizing to bring food and aid to the needy. If you can't contribute physically, consider donating to a reputable charity in your city that is doing the work. We will be sharing a list of local charities and COVID relief efforts soon.
On behalf of the Secret Stash team: stay safe, stay well and remember to check in on your loved ones.