4 Small Steps to Staying Sane in Quarantine

On April 6th, I went outside for the first time in 2 weeks. I walked up and down my block for 30 minutes, my step counter blinking to life to keep up with me. My legs, sore from the recent lack of activity, had almost forgotten the simple pleasure of walking long distances. I relished in the feeling of a cool afternoon breeze hitting my cheeks. For a moment, as I strolled down the block, it seemed like any other spring day. I felt like things were normal. 4000 steps later, I was feeling both elated to have gone out and the most tired I've been in a while. I hadn't done so much as open my front door in over 14 days, and that was driving me to the brink of insanity. I knew I had to shake up my routine, and thus this post was born. 

In these trying times, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips I have on keeping busy and most importantly: keeping healthy. The obvious handwashing and 'stay at home' advice aside, there are lots of small things you can do to improve your daily routine. Surprisingly, I've kept my alarm from when I was working, meaning that my alarm still rings at 6:30 every day (whether I'd like to acknowledge it or not). As much as I've enjoyed indulging myself with sweets, lazing around in my pajamas and sitting in bed doing nothing until 3 pm, it's beginning to wear on my physical and mental health. If you're anything like me, I hope these tips will help you out as to giving you some inspiration on what to do at home. 

Give Yourself Some Time Alone

The great and sometimes not so great thing about being stuck at home is that everyone is stuck with you. If you have a lively family like myself, the company can be really great when you find your social meter getting low and want a chat. However, I think it's really important to value personal space especially now that everyone is under one roof 24/7. There’s nothing wrong with sometimes needing a little time alone, and making that time productive can not only help the time pass but also improve your mood. I suggest having a casual hobby that you set aside some alone time for every day. For me, that's been my recent French studies. Since the beginning of the quarantine, I've thrown myself fully into studying French resources I've gathered online and I've been seeing some great results! By giving yourself a little time each day to be alone and think things over, you’ll be able to process your thoughts much better and ultimately be more productive during the day. I like to set aside an hour or two, close my door, and just be. Play music you're into, do some spring cleaning, light a candle, etc. If you’re not in the habit of providing yourself with some personal time, change that.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

At this point, I think we are all guilty of not sleeping enough or sleeping way too much. Not only that, but my bed has become a place where I sleep, rest, lay down while watching Youtube, etc. As for waking up and staying up, it's surprisingly tough to find a middle ground if you don't have any set obligations during the day. I mentioned previously that I keep my alarm for the same time, which helps partially because it sets me into the first phase of waking up. 

Usually, by 9:30 AM I'm fully awake but struggling to get out of bed. The real trick is sleeping at the right time and getting enough sleep for your body, which is something I feel each person needs to figure out on their own. I'm not a morning person and find myself most productive at night, so sleeping in until around 10 AM works for me if I'm diligent about sleeping before midnight. Everything from irritability to hunger pangs and bad skin can be caused by not getting enough sleep, and I've seen some serious changes in my skin since the quarantine began, and not for the better! Don’t fall into the trap of running on empty each day, it will only make you feel worse as each day passes and won't correct itself without intentional sleep planning!

Fix Your Diet, Make Health a Habit

While stuck at home, I've made cornbread, risotto, brownies (pictured), and some amazing chocolate chip cookies. If you read that sentence successfully, you'll see that most of those foods don't have high essential vitamin content, and most of them are buttery nightmares for the skin. There are lots of supplements out there like vitamins for hair growth or energy, that can help you feel more balanced if you're someone that wants to get vitamins that way. I personally don't take any supplements currently but I'm very much working on my skincare and diet. 

Despite barely wearing makeup and staying indoors, my skin has been having the worst flare-up of its career. I've been double cleansing, using a night oil, using masks every 4 days, and still, my skin is unhappy. It could be a million things: the lack of sun, not enough water, bad quality sleep, eating 3 chocolate cookies in an hour-- BASICALLY anything. With this in mind, I try to have at least one full recommended serving of vegetables per day with one of my meals. Today I had garlic hummus garden pasta with broccoli for lunch and a piece of homemade cornbread with jam for breakfast. There's nothing wrong with a cookie here and there, but my body is clearly showing me signs that no walking, no water, and no veggies make my skin very, very sad. No matter what problems you’re experiencing on a daily basis, there’s more than likely a vitamin out there that can help you with that.

Enjoy Little Moments

Let yourself laugh a little more often. Put on a full face of makeup just to wash it off. Dance around your room playing old songs from when you were a kid. Make a cup of tea and put it in the cutest looking mug you own. Try a DIY hair mask you found online (or read my Keratin treatment post). Take photos of you wearing an ugly sweater with no pressure to post it. It sounds like joy is the simplest thing but it’s something that gets neglected and lost in the monotony of each passing day. We wake up, we eat, we work, we sleep. Each day of the week slowly bleeds into each other to become one long day where we never feel the fresh air or realize the gifts we have around is. That shouldn’t be the case. 

I found myself feeling miserable at 2pm on Wednesday, and for what? I got up and took a shower to reset my attitude. In the shower, I saw a lemon potted scrub I had sitting on the counter. I smelled like lemon for the rest of the day, and that little thing alone was enough to make me smile! And that's enough :) Stop trying to pass your time and focus on enjoying it. Every moment you spend at home is just as valuable as one you'd spend outside. I kept trying to fill my time with hours of Youtube content, mindless scrolling and sleeping. Our lives are to be lived! If you're feeling down and hopeless in your home, release yourself from the things that aren't fulfilling you. If you’re looking to feel more positive each day, it starts with consciously reminding yourself that this is temporary. 

Stay home, stay safe :)