Being stuck in your house is not really fun for anyone. The recent self isolation or stay at home orders have really wreaked havoc on our routines and daily living. If we aren’t practicing intentional self care, our mental health can deteriorate rapidly. It’s only been around a month for most of the country, but seems more like a year, lol!
So here are some practices that you can implement that might help alleviate feelings of depression, isolation, and mindlessness.
- Stay in a routine. So your specific routine has changed drastically over the last month or two but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have A routine. Start by getting out of bed at a specific time each day. While working at home is great and being home with kids more, it does tend to allow you to sleep a few extra winks. And while that may sound like a good idea in the groggy early morning hours, it will ultimately lead to being more tired throughout the day. Setting a specific time to rise and shine is always a good practice and specifically in times like these! So up and at ’em with a smile. Ready to face your day!
- Make your bed! It’s been said that making your bed daily is one of the best practices that you can get into and will start your day out right. Just ask U.S. Naval Officer William McCraven. This is such a good watch that is well worth your time. And will get you super motivated, not just to make your bed, but to make your life!
3. Get out of your pajamas and leggings, take a shower and get dressed! Sitting around in your pajamas or leggings all day just makes you feel lazy. This time spent in isolation or “quarantine” can be a time that you can be super productive or it can be a time that you choose to make a temporary vacation. And while vacations can be a lot of fun and very relaxing, it’s always good to come home! So as you establish your routine, make sure that it includes getting out of those p.j.’s and into something suitable for your day. Treat it as if you were not in isolation. Dress in nice clothes as if you were going to see people other than your family during the day. Put your make up on, fix your hair and definitely brush your teeth! Oh and wash your hands…again ;)!
4. Get Moving. Moving your body will not only produce the feel good endorphins that help your brain, but will also help you to stay healthy physically during this down time. When we are stuck in one place for long periods of time it can cause mental deterioration if we aren’t intentional with our health. We can also find ourselves in periods of boredom which can cause overeating and overindulgence in other areas such as Netflix binging. I’m always up for a good episode of Grey’s anatomy. But don’t get in the habit of making a day out of it.
5. Find and learn a new hobby or read that book that you’ve been too busy to find the time for. Taking up something new, reading a book or learning something new is good for brain health and growth and can also help decrease the chances of Alzheimer’s disease, believe it or not. Here is a great presentation by Noelle Pikus-Pace that gives us some ideas of what we can do and how to make learning something new fun and rewarding. This is also a fun watch and very motivating in getting you excited to do something you’ve never done before.
6. Take up meditation or yoga. Learning how to stay grounded can be so significant in surviving this “Stay home, Stay safe” order. One of the most important aspects of learning how to meditate or participate in yoga is to stick with it. It may be difficult at first to feel like you are getting anything out of it. But the more that you can make a practice out of it, the better at it you will become. It will quiet your mind and bring your anxiety and stress to a controllable level. And you can do it almost anywhere. So when we do get back to our stressful, busy lives, it will be a tool we can use effectively.
Let’s face this head on and make the most out of the time that we have on our hands now. It’s not going to last forever. It will come to an end. And when it does, let’s be ready to jump back into our lives, healthy, happy and hopefully not (Covid) 19 pounds heavier!
Have a wonderful weekend all. Keep your distance, stay at home, and stay healthy!