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Hey y’all, my name is Brittany Morris. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the lead clinician with Thriveworks in Chesapeake, Virginia. A lot’s been going on obviously with COVID-19 and so we’ve been tasked, just kind of give some advice and just share some information on what to do with some of the time that you have.

So the question that I’m going to be answering for y’all today is, “How can I be more creative during COVID-19?” And this question has come up so much with my clients and I’ve talked about it with other clinicians, just trying to figure out the best way to give advice to everyone. So I’m going to share a little bit with what I would tell the people I’m working with.

So one of the big things I know that people have been having a hard time is how can I stay physically active? The gyms are closed, I’m losing my mind. I don’t want to be stuck in the house. So I have been tasking my clients to be as creative as possible. Like look around your house. What are some of the things that you can lift? Like you could lift babies, you can lift dogs, you can lift furniture, you know, you can put books inside of suitcases, inside of backpacks and do some weightlifting if you want to, because I think that’s the big thing that people are really missing.

Um I know that a lot of people I’ve talked to have been working with their roommates or with their partners on like who can make the most creative obstacle course with the things that they have in the house, which is awesome. And that’s something that you can also do if you have kids too, you know, just tasking them to pick things up and have a fun course, like do it in the backyard, do it out in front of your house, in your driveway. You know, you’ve definitely got options here.

Um another thing that I’ve really encouraged people to do is just get out and walk, you know it’s been pretty nice here in Virginia, so when the weather’s nice, it’s nice to get outside, just kind of walk around the neighborhood. But one thing that’s been a little bit more fun with that is doing a scavenger hunt, especially if you have kids. Take them out on a walk, you know, write up a scavenger hunt and then it gives you guys bonding time. It gets the kids out of the house and it gives them something to do where they’re kind of just working on different skills. And so that’s something that’s definitely awesome.

Another thing that’s been really hard for people is obviously the social distancing. We want to engage with our friends. Like we don’t want to feel disconnected from friends, family, all of that kind of stuff. So obviously like most social media platforms at this point, you can do video chatting on, you know, there’s Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, you know, you can call, you can talk to people, which is awesome.

There’s also a bunch of other platforms out now where you can play games and chat with people in a different way. So House Party is a big one that’s going out like Gypsy or Jackbox where you can play other games like UNO online with your friends. Zoom, Skype, all of these things have different features where you could play games or do something a little bit creative to stay in touch with the people that you love.

Another thing that’s been really, really awesome that I know some of my friends have done is we’ve started sending snail mail to each other, writing letters, taking pictures of kids or art projects and sending things out to people and just kind of saying like, I’m thinking about you, I’m missing you. And here’s this thing. This is also really awesome if you’ve got maybe older relatives who don’t engage in using technology as well, or you just want to send them a little something extra to let them know that you’re thinking about them. So I’m all for the snail mail. I think everybody should be doing that.

There’s the other thing too, though, some people are not able to work right now and I’ve tasked a lot of people to like if you’re a workaholic, if you’re not used to doing self-care, this is really your time to step up and do that. So thinking about what can you do for yourself? Have you been neglecting your family? Have you been neglecting projects? And so maybe this is a good time to channel some of that energy into getting some things done. Or maybe there’s a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try or you really don’t know what your passions are, and so this is your time to kind of put that energy forth to those kinds of things.

And just remembering that productivity is subjective. You don’t have to do anything. You have the right to be sad about what’s going on. You have the right to mourn the things that are happening around us all over the world. You have the right to be upset about not having a job or your kids not being in school or the extra stress that you’re feeling. And so I know there’s a lot of pressure to say like, you have all this time, you have to get all this stuff done. But it’s always important to remember to treat yourself with grace and give yourself a little bit of leeway on exactly how fast you need to get things done.

So just remember that you can choose to use this time however you want, and that’s valid. You don’t have to justify relaxing. You don’t have to justify spending time to yourself. You don’t have to justify unplugging for a while from social media if that’s what you need to do. It’s really just about finding as many ways to take care of yourself in a healthy way as possible during all of this. So I hope that that was helpful. I hope that you guys are taking care of yourself and I appreciate your time.