Some days, I don’t feel like getting out of bed. And I don’t. Some days I run miles, lift weights, do everyone’s laundry, and make three different kids three different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Everything that was, no longer is, and all that is now never happened before. Practicing extra compassion and patience for yourself and others is imperative at a time like this.
So, how do we stay sane during quarantine from COVID-19? I can’t say I have all the answers, but these are 11 tips that work for me.
Recognize this is a crazy time. None of us have ever seen anything like this in our lifetime. You are not alone – we are ALL feeling off. Our lives are altered. Our routines are completely different. Our environments are entirely changed. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream (at least vacuum while you do it so you don’t freak out your neighbors, you multi-tasker, you!) Feel your feelings without judging them or yourself. Your feelings are completely valid.
Keep a schedule and create new routines. Try your best to stay consistent and include times for: waking up, exercise, meals, work, breaks, play, socialization, planning workout clothes/coffee/meals for tomorrow, bedtime, etc.
Write down all of your to-do’s. Write this in two categories: personal and professional. Then, break down your to-do’s into actionable, bite-size pieces. Aim to tackle at least one big thing both personally and professionally each day. Check them off as you complete each task.
Dress the part. If you catch yourself feeling blah, take a shower, do your hair, don some eyeliner and put on a cute outfit. We function better when we are dressed for success. Yes, we all love to wear pjs and yoga pants 24/7, but that may contribute to feeling sloth-like. Your mood will lift immediately!
Practice mindfulness and gratefulness. Don’t take the little things for granted. Appreciate your kids’ laughter, the birds chirping, the blue sky, or your neighbor asking if you need anything from the grocery store.
Use spaces accordingly. Work at your desk (or make-shift desk), sleep in your bed, and eat at the kitchen table…keep them separate.
Get outside. Vitamin D and fresh air can work wonders. Throw on your sneakers and get out there. Clear your mind and move your body.
Meals. This is a great time to practice and hone your cooking or BBQ skills. Try a new recipe, repeat a family favorite, or just goof around and create something completely new. Be sure to focus on sitting down for actual meals and quit continuous grazing. Check in with your hunger cues and ask yourself, “Am I feeling actual hunger right now or am I just bored?” This is a good way to fend off mindless munching.
Exercise. For everyone who used lack of time as an excuse… this is your time! So many apps and websites are offering free extended trials and programs right now. Take advantage of apps like Peloton, Tone It Up, Sweat, or look for workouts on Google Instagram, and YouTube. The opportunities are endless. For better adherence, recruit an “accountability buddy” and send workout schedules and swelfies (sweaty selfies) back and forth – you will both thank each other. Working up a sweat will keep you healthier, both physically AND mentally. Trust me.
Take breaks (from yourself and others!). While we were never meant to be tiny islands fending for ourselves, we were also never meant to be on top of our fave people 24/7. Put yourself in a timeout if you need one. Take a walk on your own, get in your car and just drive to nowhere in particular, watch tv in a room by yourself… take your own space whenever you feel like you want to (lovingly) choke one of your family members. Likewise, if you are working from home, be sure to take a walk or stretch breaks intermittently throughout your day.
Practice self-care. You cannot pour from an empty cup so be sure to give yourself whatever rest and care you need. If you feel like doing less than zero, embrace it. If you need a nap, take it. If your roots are greyer than grey, dye them. Take a lavender Epsom salt bath. Light a candle. Netflix and chill. Bake some cookies with your kids. Paint your own nails. Have a dance party in your living room. Enjoy a glass of wine with your partner in the garage, on your balcony, in your bedroom, on the driveway — kid-free. Quarantine or not, whatever your body, mind, or soul needs or wants, do more of that.
We are all in this together, so if you have any others that work for you, please send them my way to [email protected] I would love to hear from you!
Relax, embrace this time and take care of you, especially as its more important now than ever.