Today I am sharing with you the list of things that helped me change my attitude and emotional state during quarantine. Don’t see this list as pressure to feel positive and productive every single moment (I definitely don’t), but rather as some ideas to get you through this difficult phase, and help you stay sane during quarantine.
When we hear the words “quarantine” and “global pandemic”, we automatically feel low and think about the endless list of things we are not allowed to do and how much our lives have suddenly changed. The uncertainty and stress caused by the global outbreak can take a serious toll on both our physical and mental well-being. This is why we should think of all the opportunities that this downtime offers. Instead of worrying about the coronavirus and all its consequences in our lives, which are completely out of our control, maybe we could take advantage of this slower lifestyle in order to finally relax, learn new skills, finish those things we never had time for and pamper ourselves.
1. Focus on the things you can do
First things first. Thinking about everything we can’t do during quarantine and feeling stressed is normal and inevitable. But it also leads nowhere, since we are dealing with a situation that is completely out of our control, and there is nothing we can do about it. The only thing we can do is to change our perspective and make the most out of it. Once I began thinking this way, I started to feel better and adjusted much quicker than I expected to this new, unprecedented reality.
2. Keep a routine
Our normal routines have been disrupted, regardless of being working from home or not. The first thing I’ve done once I managed to feel good again, was to create a new routine for me and my family. It helped me regain a sense of control, which was enhanced by sticking to our former schedule as much as possible.
Another thing that helps me stay sane during quarantine is meditation. Starting the day with ten or twenty minutes of meditation sets the rhythm and the tone of the entire day. It’s a routine that changes how you feel about yourself and the world in general. For the past couple of years, I had almost quit this morning routine of mine due to lack of a good night’s sleep. Now it was the best time to return to my good old habits and I can tell you that the difference between days that started with meditation and those who didn’t, is huge.
4. Workout in nature
With closed gyms, most of us found alternative ways to workout. To be honest I don’t like working out at home as much as I enjoy exercising in nature. Therefore, I go running in the woods almost every morning. When the weather is rainy, I work out from home with the videos of my gym in Paris, CMG, they offer many live training videos online (you can also find them on their Facebook). Those who follow me on Instagram know that I used to go to the gym every morning, so keeping regular exercise on my new schedule gave me a great sense of normalcy.
Growing up, we gradually forget the importance of playing. We get so caught up in our jobs and various responsibilities, that we forget the benefits of playing and how much joy it used to give us back in our childhood. I am so grateful that thanks to my son Maxime I reinvented the joy of playing, which is now my favorite time of the day. Quarantined or not, I love playing with him, something that mostly takes place out in nature and playgrounds. But since we have to spend most of our time at home now, we had to extend our creative activities and that’s what we did. Our favorite activities include playing the piano, making homemade playdough, toddler puzzles, big castles with building blocks and animals, hide-and-seek and many more. But you don’t have to have kids in order to play games and get silly.
Practicing self-love can be difficult, especially during such a challenging period. However, it’s times like this when we need to practice it as much as we can, and get in touch with ourselves, our well-being and happiness. Remember that self-care will mean different things to you at different times in your life. No one else’s way is necessarily the right for you, you just have to find out what works for you. For me, aside from meditation and working out, self-love means cooking my favorite meals, being mindful about my choices, doing beauty rituals and long baths, filling my body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive, finding things to be grateful for, writing, and letting go of past trauma and wounds as well as toxic relationships.
7. Cleaning & organizing
Aside from the traditional spring cleaning of the house from top to bottom, this year the lockdown gave me much more time to take it to another level (there’s a valid reason why my close friends call me Monica Geller). That means extensive cleaning starting from my contacts list on my phone, to closets, drawers and everything in between.
8. Fix things
I collected all broken things from our house, like Maxime’s toys, books with torn pages, clothes that were missing a button, and generally things that needed repairing. Ok I may have not created Kintsugi pottery (although I will definitely try it), but fixing and mending things gave me a sense of accomplishment and felt more in control of my life.
I spent most nights reading new and old favorite books. Nothing feeds the soul like traveling and a good read, and since the first one is now out of the picture, reading it is.
10. Online learning
I always enjoyed online learning as I find it very convenient working at something at my own pace (same goes for online shopping). Currently I am improving my French through Babbel.com which is a great platform, available in various languages. If you’re into foreign languages and online learning, give it a try and let me know what you think!
11. Video calls
I am not the best in keeping in touch and quarantine was a really good chance to fix that. Keeping in touch with my friends and family during lockdown relieved the feeling of loneliness and truly helped me stay sane during quarantine.
12. Let yourself get bored
But why would anyone want to make themselves bored? Boredom allows the brain to perform important functions like being creative, connecting distant ideas with each other, problem-solving, and to engage in “autobiographical planning” (a function that allows the brain to formulate one’s life into a coherent narrative and plan for the future). And all these functions are necessary for creating your New Plan A.
13. A New Plan A
I always believed that having a plan B is like setting yourself up to failure, I never had one, thus I will call this the New Plan A. For many of us, life plans have changed in ways we never imagined after covid-19 pandemic. It’s important to remember that this is temporary. It might take longer now to achieve any goals we had set prior to the global outbreak, and the detours we need to take might be full of new challenges that we have never faced before. But if we start by brainstorming and setting new goals, we might be able to welcome new possibilities and find creative ways to achieve what we want in our lives.
What about you? How are things in your country and how do you take care of yourself during this time? Let us know in the comments below, I would love to read all about it!