As the fates would decide, our 2020 Walt Disney World vacation was much earlier than usual this year. We visited from February 10th-March 5th, thoroughly immersing ourselves in resort hopping, waiting in queues at the parks, using PhotoPass to capture our special moments and soaking up the amazing Florida sunshine. Hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks Disney parks and resorts would be closed, and we would be practicing social distancing and starting to go stir crazy at home!
Our busy lives have come to a screaming halt. We find ourselves trying to adjust to the solitude, balancing the onslaught of scary news and coming to terms with the uncertainty of not knowing when things will improve. The days can be dark, so how can we maintain a positive attitude and protect our mental health? A disclaimer - we're not experts in mental self-care, but we can share what we're doing during these difficult days and what is working for us.
1. DIS Unplugged - watching the impromptu and regular update shows! It's amazing how stressful situations often make us more grateful for the things we take for granted. We've been loyal DIS Unplugged fans for many years, enjoying the Tuesday updates, along with all the new shows. The DIS Unplugged studio quality shows were great. However, the intimacy and realism of Pete, Craig, Deni and the others chatting with us from their homes these past few weeks have provided such a calming relief from the influx of negative news reports. They're keeping us connected and updated on our beloved Disney - the diversion many of us need right now.
2. Yehaa Bob Jackson - enjoying the live shows direct from his home! No better way to escape the reality of these challenging times, than to watch Yehaa Bob Jackson performing his usual Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort shows on Facebook Live from his home! For those of us who love his shows at The Port, it brings us back to happy times and for anyone who has not seen his shows in person, check them out. He's sure to bring a smile to your face. You can catch him on his Facebook page.
3. Disney+ - We are so grateful for this treasure trove of our beloved animated films, movies, and documentaries right now. The Imagineering Series is our absolute favorite! We're trying to avoid binge watching anything at the moment. But find the balance of screen time that is right for you and your family.
4. News and social media in moderation - While the first three tips give us our dose of Disney fun, we have found it important to limit our exposure to news and social media. We rely on trusted sources for news information and tune in as our government officials provide daily updates. After that, we try to avoid news overload.
5. Stay active and create a routine - We learned in the early days of social distancing that we needed to create a routine to avoid excessive exposure to the news, as well as couch surfing the TV and internet. Every day we decide on a "project." Nothing elaborate, but a project which can usually be accomplished within one day and often something that we can work on together. Shocking how decluttering and deep cleaning a space in your home can bring you a sense of accomplishment and relieve stress. It can be as simple as decluttering a closet or organizing your craft supplies, or as elaborate as re-organizing your shed. Of course, our favorite Disney music playlist is keeping us company as we work.
Although, here in Canada, we've had a snow and ice storm recently, we try to go for walks outdoors whenever possible - choosing areas where we can maintain social distancing. While we much prefer walking in the glorious Florida sunshine, walking outdoors in cool fresh air is good for the soul wherever you live.
So our approach to handling social distancing and staying home isn't rocket science. We have come to appreciate being together as a family and we have definitely realized how grateful we are for the many freedoms we often take for granted. These are definitely scary times and uncertainty is becoming the only constant. But, as Disney fans, we need to find that sprinkle of pixie dust to make our days the best they can be. Stay safe. Stay home. Practice social distancing and self-care.