Social distancing & quarantine is challenging - staying away from family and friends, not being able to attend class or go to the office, being at home for weeks at a time is difficult and can take a toll on our mental & physical health. With all of the uncertainty that looms over our heads, it is easy to become frustrated with what’s going on in our world. Implementing simple habits can help us stay positive, keep ourselves occupied, and have some fun while social distancing. These are useful tips that have helped me find my groove in the last month or so and have kept me busy. I am not perfect by any means, and I occasionally find myself slipping away from the tips we will discuss in this article, yet when I follow the tips, my days become more productive and I am substantially happier.
1. Get yourself on a sleep schedule
Setting a time to go to sleep each night and sticking to it is not easy. Something that has helped me stick to bedtime each night is to set a time-frame to get in bed. My window to get in bed and go to sleep is at 12 am-1 am each night, and the time I wake up is at 9 am. The window I set for myself is not super early, and it is not too late, where I can’t wake up in the morning. Being consistent with my sleep schedule as well as keeping myself from going to sleep at 3 am has boosted my energy throughout the day, and has been crucial to finding a balance during the quarantine. Everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you. If you are someone that has to wake up early, then set the time-frame to get to sleep earlier. If you need to stay up later in the night, then set a time frame later in the night. Consistency is key. Here’s a screenshot of what my day looks like. Every day consists of Grind Time to get work done, GyM Time to exercise, and also time blocked out to read a book. If I skip an activity or don’t follow something exactly as I planned, I do not beat myself up or start judging me. Judging ourselves is one of the worst things we can do. I do reflect and ask myself, why didn’t I read today, or do we need to switch things up?
2. Set times to look at the news
With new developments occurring every minute of every hour, it is challenging to not read the news throughout the day. As someone who likes to stay on top of current events, the more I read and watch the news, the less hopeful and productive I become. There is only so much that can possibly be done during the uncertainty we all face, and following the guidelines set out by the Government is our responsibility. At some point, the amount of news I consume becomes overwhelming and difficult to deal with. During breakfast, and before I have dinner, is when I look at the news. Setting specific times to look at the news has helped me tremendously from constantly checking it throughout the day. My favorite place to get the news is Apple News, as I can read many articles from a ton of different sources. Other places where I get my news are Twitter and Youtube. Both of these platforms keep me up to date and help me stay in the know.
Breaking a sweat and staying physically active is imperative during the quarantine. Not doing so can make this difficult time even more challenging than it already is. The WHO says, “Staying at home for prolonged periods of time can pose a significant challenge for remaining physically active. Sedentary behavior and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being, and quality of life of individuals. Self-quarantine can also cause additional stress and challenge the mental health of citizens. Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time” (Stay physically active during self-quarantine). From the same source as the quote above, here are exercises that you can try at home without any equipment required. You can try to play around with different times to workout during the day. Some people like to workout first thing in the morning, while others like to do it at night. Find what is right for you. Start by working out 3 times a week, and on the off days maybe run or walk outside (if you can). The goal is to get moving during quarantine!
Creating healthy habits has increased my overall happiness during the most uncertain of times. I find myself becoming more productive and staying positive in the midst of what is going on in our world today. Staying on a sleep schedule, setting times to look at the news, and getting exercise are ways that have helped me stay positive and be productive while we face uncertainty. Now, what works for me may not work for you, but if you take anything away from this article, it is that you are in control of your thoughts and actions. Let’s remember that we will get through this together, and we can use this time to become a better version of ourselves.