4 Tips to Get Through Quarantine (with your sanity intact)
Let me just go ahead and make the understatement of the decade: these are crazy times we’re living in. With COVID-19 swooping in and shutting down the world, we are all facing a surreal reality that is fit for a movie plot. With sickness, self-isolation, and job losses, many of us are experiencing unprecedented struggles. I’ll be honest…as an extreme introvert, quarantining actually started off as a bit of a paradise (don’t hate me). However, as time progressed, I barely had any real (non-texting) conversations with anyone and things really started to take a toll. I was sleeping upwards of 11 hours every night and the days started blending together. I was just starting to lose my sense of purpose and ambition when…I decided to snap out of it.
How did I do that, you ask? I know you wanna know.
Here are 5 things I did to get myself back on track:
1. Establish a new routine
Sleep is super important and I’ve always been religious about getting at least 7.5 hours a night. However, when quarantining first began and my classes moved online, I no longer had to commute to campus; not to mention, I no longer had to worry about picking outfits, putting on makeup, doing my hair, packing lunch…I was literally saving HOURS each day. Throw that alarm clock away, no one needs that anymore! Just kidding, who even has an alarm clock anymore?
When my semester ended, my daily responsibilities dwindled further and Netflix and snacking took over my day. It was truly fabulous…for about two weeks. I then found myself oversleeping to the point where I was constantly tired and I started feeling kinda…useless?
I realized that I needed a new routine, where I could get the rest I needed but still accomplish things in the day. So I started intentionally setting an alarm to wake up at a reasonable time, even though I didn’t have anywhere to be. I made daily to-do lists and checked things off as I finished things. Even if it’s just showering or prepping food, add it to your list! For me, it helped create a momentum that fed into the other things I’ll talk about next.
2. Get outside
Since I was no longer commuting to campus, I realized that my daily number of steps were looking quite abysmal. To mimic my typical movement, I started going for walks. It started off short, but as I got into the habit and realized that I loved it, my walks got longer and longer. Weather and health permitting, I strongly recommend that you get outside! Go for a stroll or a jog around the block (while social distancing of course). Walking is an extremely underestimated form of exercise. Even if it’s just for 15 or 30 minutes, I swear you’ll feel better after you do.
Growing up, I was obsessed with reading, but as I got older, textbooks and research papers were pretty much the only things I had the time or energy for. With my newfound gift of time, I decided it was time to get back into reading for pleasure. I ordered a book from Amazon and much to my own surprise, I devoured it within 24 hours. It was a psychological thriller and it turns out, creepy stories are my JAM. Speaking of jam, I also discovered that I love baking (was that a good segue?). And true-crime podcasts. And going for looongg walks. Truly, this has been a time of self-discovery!
4. Relax (guilt-free)
Finally, I reminded myself that I’m allowed to enjoy my free time. For the last 3 years, I have been overloaded with school work, jobs, student groups, and numerous volunteer commitments, to the point where I had felt like my mental health was barely hanging on by a thread. For the first time in a really long time, I have the opportunity to take it a little easy and you know what? Ain’t NOTHING wrong with that!!
Now, I understand that these tips may or may not all apply to you and your individual circumstance right now…you may have kids and pets and jobs and spouses and work and many other pressures and things to deal with. Nonetheless, I hope there were some useful nuggets that can help you nourish your day just a little bit better!