Now, more than ever before, we are utilizing technology to go about our daily routine as we practice social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. By staying home and attending work/school remotely, we are all facing the struggle of trying to keep ourselves happy, healthy, and motivated in isolation. It’s important for us as social beings of habit to maintain some sense of normalcy and keep up with our routine as much as possible. However, it’s also important that we embrace this newfound time from the lack of a normal routine to partake in activities we previously didn’t have time for. Let’s get into some quarantine tips that can help you cope with the negative effects of social distancing and get the most out of this unique situation.
1. Maintain a Routine
Most of our days require us to leave our homes in some form. Adjusting to doing all of our daily tasks from the confines of our homes can be quite challenging and disheartening. It’s not easy to stay focused and keep our spirits up when we are trying to adjust to life during a world pandemic. There are some things we can all do that will help us maintain our energy levels, motivation, and mental health in check. First, try maintaining consistency in the time you wake up and go to bed. This will help you sleep better throughout the night, enhance your wakefulness in the morning (meaning you will have more energy throughout the day), and maintain some part of your routine. Another tip for maintaining routine is being conscious of where you spend time within your home. Tackling all aspects of your day from your bed will surely diminish your energy, motivation, and mess with your sleep schedule. If possible, do your work at a different part of your home than where you sleep and spend your leisure time. This will help your mind better differentiate between when it’s time to work, relax, and sleep. Lastly, try and maintain contact with the friends and family you are isolated from. Humans are social beings and we need to continue to interact with others while still following social distancing guidelines. Talking to those that you are isolated from, through video chat or a phone call, can be helpful to your mental health and ease the frustration of not being able to spend time with friends and families in person.
2. Spend Time Outdoors and Exercise
While it’s very tempting to lay in bed all day and binge watch Netflix, spending some time outdoors can be very relaxing and refreshing. This is especially true now that we are indoors and immersed in technology for such a big part of the day. Spending some time outside to get some fresh air for as little as 30 minutes a day can help us feel better and more energized than we would if we stayed inside all day. With that being said, it’s also very important that we stay active. Staying in bed all day will most definitely have a negative impact on your energy and motivation levels. Getting some physical activity in is super important to staying healthy and energized. Combining the two and getting some exercise outdoors can be even better. Walk, run, bike, or do your workout outside if possible. There are also a ton of trainers and gyms posting their workouts online for free for individuals to do from home. No matter what you do, just getting some form of physical activity in and spending time outdoors will make you feel better and more accomplished at the end of the day.
3. Use Extra Time for Personal Goals
With normal life being so hectic and things moving at such a rapid pace, you can take this extra time to do things you didn’t have time to do before. Take this time to invest in personal growth and personal goals. I’m sure we all have something we’ve always wanted to do and thought “if only I had some more time on my hands.” Whether that be painting, cooking, reading a book, self-reflection, meditation, or learning a new skill, allocate some time in your day to do something different. Take advantage of this time, while you have it, to do things you don’t have time for in your normal schedule. Even if you have nothing in mind, you can take this extra time to slow down and just enjoy the present moment. When we have a lot going on and many upcoming things, it’s easy to rush and not be present throughout the day in anticipation. Now is a great time to practice being fully present and engaged in everything we do during the day.
While some good things can come out of having more time on our hands, the situation we are all faced with can carry a lot of fear and anxiety about the future. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, unmotivated, and anxious in these times of uncertainty. We are all in this together; you are not alone in your struggles, and this all will pass. If you need further guidance or assistance, there are some helpful resources available to you from the university regarding COVID-19 that can be found here. I hope some of the tips mentioned in this blog post will be helpful to you as we all try to stay happy, hopeful, and healthy in these ambiguous times.
BY PAULA FERREIRA