In recent weeks we’ve all had to make drastic shifts of routines and systems in order to avoid the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19. It’s probably the first time we ever hear of the term social distancing, and now that we’re all under quarantine it seems imperative that we manage ourselves and our time well. Students are learning from home, businesses are struggling to function remotely, and we are all trying our best to stay sane during these difficult times. So how do we navigate these new waters? How do we manage to stay sane while in quarantine?
1 || Plan & Schedule
If you’re working from home, block off your virtual meetings and mark off any looming deadlines. Set specific times for video chats with family and friends. Simply write down all you intend to do on a specific day and commit yourself. Even if you don’t work, it is important to keep a schedule of what you intend to do on daily basis so that the days don’t blend into each other.
2 || Get Physical
It is essential that you meet all your physical needs while in quarantine. It is absolutely crucial that you exercise daily since you’re not meeting your daily quota of movement. There are countless exercise apps to download and videos to watch. You can even check to see if your local gyms are offering online classes that you can join; my yoga sessions with my teacher on Zoom are the only thing I look forward to these days. If you’re still not motivated enough, the least you could do is a few jumping jacks with some push ups and sit ups
3 || Try New Things
It is inevitable that you will get bored. Try to break the boredom by getting creative and finding novelty wherever you can. You can try out new recipes, new exercise routines, learn a new language, attack a home-improvement project you’ve been wanting to do, do that scrap book, or a family vision board.
4 || Engage Your Senses Mindfully
Make an effort during this time to engage all your senses on daily basis as this will help you stay grounded and regulated. This also helps lower cortisol levels that are probably elevated due to the activation of our fight or flight respons. Smell foods, flowers or essential oils, listen to different genres of music including chakra-balancing music, drink ice-cold water or hot tea, eat something crunchy like an apple or carrot, use a weighted blanket, stretch, use a loofah or a scrub when you shower, put on a sleep mask, sit in a rocking chair, get a tiny massage, give and receive hugs, and spend sometime upside down. Whatever you do, make sure you are fully present and doing it mindfully rather than distractedly.
5 || Don’t Binge
Don’t allow yourself to binge, be it on food, Netflix, or social media. Whatever you plan to do, make sure you insert it into your schedule and keep track of your time. You should know that our minds follow our bodies, when our bodies are lethargic, our minds follow suit.
6 || Write Down 3 Things You’re Grateful For
A state of gratefulness bolsters your immunity believe it or not. At the start or end of each day write down three things you were grateful for today. They can be as small or as silly as you want no one is here to judge. Did you enjoy your warm bath, your coffee, or an article? Are you grateful for the food in your house and the roof over your head?
7 || Stock Up Smartly
Now is the perfect time to do an accurate assessment of your family’s needs and requirements. When you’re not allowed to do your regular shopping, you will need to monitor and figure out your levels of consumption so that when you do get a chance to shop you can do so smartly without overspending and over stocking. Having two cucumbers left in the fridge was a wakeup call for me!
8 || Self-Care
We cannot stress enough on the importance of self-care during this period. Find your outlet and your coping skills, be they listening to music, lighting up scented candles, journalling, watching comedies, turning your bath time into a spa time, or playing an instrument.
9 || Plan For Later
Remind yourself that this is all temporary. This quarantine is providing us with a golden opportunity to assess our lives and to figure out what we need to do next. Do we carry on doing what we always did or do we make changes? When we all emerge on the other side of this we should decide on new ways of going forward. What areas of our lives need adjustment, what is actually working for us and is there anything we need to ditch?
10 || Soak Up The Sun
When the sun comes up make an effort to spend some time soaking in its glorious rays. Whether you sit in your garden or next to a window, make sure to spend a few minutes in the sun to lift up your anxiety and depression.
11 || Mental Filter
You have to filter out all the information that’s coming through to you. It’s very easy to join the hysteria when we allow anything and everything into our space. Install mental filters that will only allow information from credible sources to enter your sphere. Take mental breaks to read articles that will alleviate your stress instead of compounding to it.
12 || Be Kind To Yourself
These are exceptional circumstances, don’t expect yourself to navigate them perfectly. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself and others, for this is a learning curve for us all. Be safe.