Coronavirus 2020: Stay home orders extended for some states. What to know about the extensions and our advice on how to stay positive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of April 30, 2020, stay home orders were extended into May in several large states, including Illinois, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Nevada and Michigan. But other states are cautiously lifting their stay home orders in order to slowly – or in some cases quickly – getting their economies opened. As we move through the month, check back to learn more about stay home orders and whether your state (or states that share a border with yours) will be opening up soon.

Coronavirus 2020: Stay Home Orders Extended 

There isn’t a cure for the novel coronavirus yet and although scientists are racing to develop a vaccine, it’s going to take time for one to get through the full approval process, including the development of the vaccine, several levels of testing, and human trials. Then, the vaccine has to get to market.  Until a vaccine is available, government officials must continue to make tough decisions to protect citizens and slow the spread of COVID-19.

The New York Times has created an interactive map that shows which states are shut down and which states are cautiously reopening. Many states have extended stay home orders for residents to shelter-in-place through the month of May. Some states are partially reopening beaches and parks. Others have begun reopening businesses like salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors, although most are required to be at limited capacity. 

Wherever you are and whatever restrictions you’re under, it can be difficult to remain positive during such uncertainty. That’s why we’re sharing our advice for staying optimistic and reducing stress and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic. 

How to Stay Positive 

These are four things you can do to boost your mood and shake off some stress during the coronavirus pandemic:

1. Ask Yourself:

Brooke Anderson, an organizer and photojournalist, shared six daily questions she’s asking herself to check in and make sure she’s doing okay during the quarantine. Her questions went viral on social media and have helped thousands of people around the world ease their stress and anxiety. They are:

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. Who am I checking in on, or connecting with, today?
  3. What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
  4. How am I getting outside today?
  5. How am I moving my body today?
  6. What beauty am I either creating, cultivating or inviting in today?

Answering these questions each day can help you establish a routine, feel accomplished and soothe nerves about the uncertainty of it all by giving you a sense of control.

2. Limit Your News Intake

It’s important to stay informed, but that doesn’t mean you need to watch every press conference, special report, expert interview, regular newscast and check every news notification you get. 

Headline stress disorder, a term coined by therapist Dr. Steven Stosny, refers to the intense feelings of worry and helplessness fueled by the grueling news cycle. If you find yourself getting panicked, nervous or feeling hopeless about current events make an effort to take a break from the news, focus on things you can control, or look for positive news roundups like The Office alum John Krasinski’s Some Good News. 

3. Do Something Good

There are plenty of organizations that could put a charitable donation to good use. However, if you don’t have money to spend you can still give back. 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen people sending encouraging cards and letters to loved ones who are struggling with social distancing, cleaning up their neighborhoods when local restrictions allow for it and crafters have taken up the cause of sewing masks for friends, family, and organizations that can’t find them elsewhere. 

Doing good makes you feel good and there’s always a way to help make a difference during times like these, especially if you’re willing to be creative. 

4. Focus on Your Finances

Odds are something about your financial situation has changed during the coronavirus pandemic. Maybe you aren’t commuting as much so your transportation costs have gone down, or your spouse lost their job, or you’ve been spending more than you normally do on groceries to stock up for sheltering-in-place. Now is the best time to review your budget and plan for challenges ahead. It’ll be a big relief to know where you stand and how you can prepare your finances for the deep, prolonged global recession that the COVID-19 pandemic points to. 

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or hopeless about what’s going on in the world, give one of these four things a try and let us know what else you’ve been doing to stay positive through uncertain times.

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