Updated: May 20
Whether your job is to stay home or go to work right now, the COVID-19 outbreak is taking a toll on all of us physically and mentally.
We could all use a little bit of advice and help with taking care of ourselves right now!
I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home, however, motivation has definitely been lacking when it comes to taking care of myself. So, I’ve figured out some habits that help me stay sane.
Here are some ways I’m taking care of myself during the pandemic that I hope can help you!
1. Move Your Body
I’m going to be honest, there are days where I wake up and I ask myself, “What’s even the point?”
It’s hard to stay motivated to exercise when you know you’re going to be confined to your home for the foreseeable future. For many of us, exercising is motivated by the desire to look great. If you can’t leave your house, what’s the point in putting effort into how you look?
Because I fell into that hole for the first couple of weeks, I’ve tried to shift my thinking to a mental health standpoint when it comes to exercising. Rather than revolving my workouts around the way I look, I try to focus on what’s fun for me and what feels good.
Easy Daily Adjustments
To make sure I’m moving every day in some way, I’ve tried to make small adjustments like:
· Going for walks each morning, even if it’s just a short one
· Going on family walks with my husband and dog
· Having dance breaks throughout my workday (you’ll feel silly but who cares?)
· Setting a small workout goal. For example: “I’m going to do 50 squats throughout the day”
· Getting up each hour as I work to do little chores around the house
Instead of overwhelming yourself with the idea of an hour-long workout, just start out small until you’re ready to step it up a bit!
My Preferred Exercises
YouTube has seriously been a lifesaver for me during the quarantine.
I had just started going to the gym again before they had to close, so YouTube has been a fun way for me to feel like I’m working out with other people.
I’ve also found that doing yoga each day has not only helped my body feel great, but my mind stay clear amidst all the uncertainty and panic.
Zumba and Pilates have been my other go-to workouts besides yoga.
It doesn’t matter how you move your body. Try to make it a point to get moving throughout your day in some way while you’re stuck inside. It helps tremendously!
2. Find Hobbies
This is way easier said than done… for me at least!
I can’t emphasize enough the complete lack of motivation I’ve had to do literally anything. To be completely honest, just getting up and making breakfast seems like a chore to me sometimes. I think a lot of people are starting to feel this way at this point in quarantine.
I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t have something productive to do, I’ll sit on social media all night. Staring at Instagram or Twitter all night is a terrible thing to get in the habit of if you’re already feeling unmotivated!
So, I’ve tried to find hobbies to occupy my free time. My husband and I have been working on projects around our house since we just moved in a few weeks ago. We create mood boards around the furniture we want for each room, the paint for each room, and any renovations we want to make.
While we aren’t trying to run out to the store every other day to gather supplies, it gives us motivation so we can order furniture and supplies online as we knock each project off the list!
We’ve also gotten really into cooking recently! We’ve been ordering meal kits and having a great time making them together. It’s been a great opportunity to talk, laugh, and just enjoy each other’s company before we do our own thing for the night.
Plus, the food is delicious!
3. Try to Limit Your Social Media Use
When I’m bored or I have extra time on my hands, my go-to is to scroll through social media for hours.
Not even joking, I would scroll through social media from the time I got out of work until the time I went to bed the first couple of weeks of quarantine. Using social media can be a great way to stay in touch with others during quarantine, but it can also be a sure-fire way to make yourself feel like s***.
I would see other people working out like crazy, eating healthy, planting gardens, knocking out chores, and cooking delicious food and I would think to myself, “Wow, I’ve really been slacking while everyone else seems to be thriving with all the free time.”
In reality, everyone shows the highlights of their lives on social media. Nobody’s going to post a picture of themselves in their pajamas at 4 PM with the caption, “haven’t showered in two days and haven’t left the couch in 8 hours. Also, I ate an entire box of mac and cheese for breakfast!” insert thumbs-up emoji.
The way people use social media to portray themselves is just asking to feel insignificant after spending hours looking at it.
So, the social media habit is a habit I’m trying to break, and quarantine is giving me the perfect opportunity. When I get the urge to spend hours on social media, I try to find other ways to occupy my time. I’ll put my phone away and get some chores done that I’ve been putting off or try to set up a Zoom chat with some friends or family.
I still get on social media more than I want to, but it’s something I’m trying to work on to make quarantine easier for myself.
4. Try to Keep a Normal Routine
When we stray too far from our daily routine, whether it be work, school, or anything else, we start to develop poor time-management habits.
This is a habit I’m starting to slip into as I’m tempted to sleep in during the weekdays lately. To nip it in the bud, I’m trying to create a routine for myself that allows me to do everything I need to.
I try to wake up at the same time as I did before the quarantine. Also, I’m trying to get in the habit of exercising and showering before I start working. When I’ve finished working (after a timed break) I start doing housework the way I normally would.
If you have kids at home that you’re trying to homeschool, you may find it helpful to keep their schedule similar to when they were attending school.
Keeping a sense of normalcy amidst all the craziness is important, but it also helps us maintain our motivation to fulfill our responsibilities.
5. Let Yourself Have Self-Care Days
While it’s important to try to move your body, keep a schedule, and avoid soaking in too much social media, don’t beat yourself up for those days where you just can’t deal.
Even if your only job right now is to stay at home, the amount of stress we’re all feeling about COVID-19 is a lot. We’re worried about our jobs, our family, and our own health.
Taking an entire day to do whatever you feel like to relax is important. Play video games all day for a day, or binge Netflix and eat all the snacks your heart desires. Or, read that book you’ve been wanting to read while you enjoy some wine.
Take a day to sleep if that’s what you want to do!
Every day doesn’t have to be productive, even though it may feel like it with all the free time you have right now. Recharging your batteries is not only okay to do, but a completely necessary part of taking care of yourself during the quarantine.
Getting Through the Pandemic
All of us have roles that we need to play right now.
Many of our roles require going into work to serve the public, while the rest of us need to stay home to help those essential workers. Whether you’re at home or at work, all of us are facing our own unique set of concerns.
I hope these tips are able to help you take care of yourself or your family during the pandemic.
Stay home when you can and let’s work together to flatten the curve!