These are strange and uncertain times we are enduring, and the current state of the world is something that no living person has ever experienced. Many of you are probably relegated to your homes for most, if not all, hours of the day. Before I continue, I just want to say that no matter how bleak things might seem, we will get through this. Nobody knows how long it will be before we come out on the other side, but things will not be as they are now, forever. This week I want to share some strategies that you might find helpful while coping with self-quarantine:
- Self-care. This can mean so many different things. It could mean soaking in a bath, painting your nails, working out, or making your favorite meal. Self-care is simply doing things for yourself that make YOU happy. I cannot determine what will work best for you, but I will be sharing a ton of further suggestions!
- Create a routine. In America, most of us are used to working Monday through Friday for 8 to 12 hours each day. We know exactly what to do and when to do it. We are not used to having so much free time, and not staying productive or maintaining a daily schedule can easily lead to “falling into a rut”. Set your alarm and make sure you get up when it goes off. Write down a schedule and hold yourself accountable each day to maintain your productivity. Make lists of things you want to accomplish, and cross them off as you do each day, so that you do not feel that your time is being wasted.
- Get outside. Numerous studies throughout the years have shown that a lack of fresh air and sunshine can lead to increases in anxiety and depression. If you have a dog, take them for a walk each day. If you enjoy running, go for a jog. Enjoy traipsing through the woods? You can still go for a hike, it is just important to remember social distancing guidelines – maintain 6ft of space between yourself and others you encounter while outside.
- Pick up a new hobby. If you have the means, try to pick up a new and productive hobby. Because we live in the age of the internet, you can easily watch How-To YouTube videos for almost anything you could think of. Also, you can easily order books to hone your new chosen craft. Personally, I have decided to try my hand at gardening. My father grew a garden every year when I was a child, and I have very fond memories of picking peas right off the vine to snack on! I ordered about $150 worth of seeds from Rare Seeds, with the intention of starting a garden in the coming weeks. Here in Ohio the planting season begins after the last frost, which can be as late as May! But I am eager to start harvesting a variety of vegetables right from my backyard.
- Work on your living space. Have a “honey do” list that you have been putting off? Are you feeling that spring cleaning itch? Ready to de-clutter? Now is the perfect time! Get the whole family involved and slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls to brighten your living area. Rearrange furniture to make your home feel new. Collect items for donation and downsize your possessions to decrease the amount of visual chaos in your home.
As I promised above, here is a continued list of the aforementioned strategies, as well as many additional ways to productively spend your free time while adhering to social distancing/self-quarantine guidelines:
- Wake up to your alarm
- Order some versatile gym equipment for your home (resistance bands, kettle bells, dumbbells, etc.)
- Try yoga or meditation
- Pick up a new book (or an old book that you enjoy)
- Bake a treat for yourself
- Organize your closet
- Donate old or unworn clothing
- Plant a vegetable or flower garden
- Learn how to knit or crochet
- Rearrange your furniture
- Paint some rooms in your home
- Start that project you’ve been putting off
- Watch your favorite movie(s)
- Listen to music – sing!
- Discover new music
- Start a blog or YouTube channel
- Check on your friends a couple times per week
- Craft Christmas ornaments
- FaceTime your family and friend
- Journal your daily thoughts and feelings
- Stick to a schedule
- Spring cleaning!
- De-clutter your home
- Go for a walk
- Cook a healthy meal
- Try your hand at drawing or painting
- Limit your social media usage
- Limit your time spent watching/reading the news
- Play with/pamper your pets
- Pamper yourself!
- Have a game night with your roommates
- Work on a large jigsaw puzzle
- Update your resume
- Do research on your next vacation destination
- Order prints of your digital photos or create a photobook on Shutterfly
- Go to bed at a decent hour
And here is a list of things to avoid during quarantine:
- Sleeping in/staying up late
- Not getting dressed
- Eating junk food
- Eating in bed
- Drinking alcohol (in excess)
- Doing drugs
- Letting messes pile up
- Staying inside all day
- Bing-watching Netflix for days at a time
- Constant social media use
- Being glued to the news
- Visiting friends and family
- Grocery shopping every day
- Going overboard with online retail therapy
The overall message this week is just to take care of yourself. Establish healthy habits during this stressful time while navigating your new normal. Try to avoid unhealthy habits and things that increase your stress and anxiety. I would be lying to you if I said I have not done any of the things on the “avoid” list…but we are all human. Do the best you can, and be kind to each other – not just during the pandemic, but also afterward. Not everyone copes as effectively as you might, so share your strategies in a compassionate and effective way. Build your neighbors up, have patience, and be understanding.
If you have any delicious recipes, good reads, or other ways that you are coping with self-quarantine measures – please share links and feedback below!
“When life is going smoothly, we tend to lose ourselves in complacency. Small setbacks and challenges can actually awaken our conscience and help us grow. Isn’t that a blessing?”Shih Cheng Yen