It’s been over a month of quarantine and most of us are, if not already, starting to lose our minds. The highs and lows are slowly creeping up on us and dealing with the uncertainty of this time is challenging. Whether distractions are impeding on our WFH efforts, our life structure feels off or we’re consumed by the pandemic, feelings are mutual amongst most of us. We’re not alone. Take it day by day and keep in mind that this is temporary, it’s not forever so let’s make the most of our time at home and appreciate the change of pace. If we’re ever feeling blue and need some encouragement, here are some ways to reinforce positivity and help our mood during isolation.
1. Develop and maintain a daily or weekly structure.
It’s a time when we’re all struggling to feel motivated, but the upside is that we have the freedom to develop new habits and switch things up. Find a routine that works best for you and change it up every day, by incorporating different workouts, activities, goals, movies to watch or learn a TikTok dance, find old and new hobbies, and reconnect with your creative side. Create a schedule for yourself before you go to bed. This will automatically help you feel more productive and live a more fulfilled, engaged and meaningful life during the quarantine. Insert little things like coffee or a 10-minute walk throughout your day. Structure during quarantine is the foundation upon which we can enhance our overall well-being.
2. Find your inner chef and try to eat clean for the most part.
Having a balanced diet affects your mind, body, and gut. During this time, it’s easy to find comfort in food, and naturally, most of us get bored and want to indulge but this leads to mood deflation and unbalances your equilibrium. Processed food and refined sugars lead to migraines, fatigue, bloating, upset stomachs and negatively impact your gut and hormones. Diets can also be stressful, so just try to be mindful about what you’re putting into your body. The 80/20 approach is a healthy mindset and teaches you balance and moderation without guilt. Look at food as fuel and focus on eating for health. Eat your fruits, veggies, quality meats and stay away from anything processed. It’s the perfect time to try new recipes and appreciate the ingredients that you’re ingesting. Not only will you feel better mentally and physically, but a clean diet will also boost your immune system.
3. Plain and simple, get Fresh air.
We all know how crucial the outdoors is for our sanity. Try to get outside before midday. Even a 10-minute walk can do you wonders. Fresh air helps you feel energized, clears your mind and will automatically brighten your day. It’s oxygen for the brain. Go for a bike ride, make a running playlist, get in touch with nature. Often when we feel like it the least, is when we need it the most. It’s the easiest way to lift your mood, and a natural way to absorb vitamin D. Find a new park or path and set an adventure for yourself.
There are myriad ways to nourish you during this time. Take a bath, do a facemask, journal before bed, pay attention to your thoughts, track your emotions, focus on cultivating self-awareness and emotional intelligence, and light a candle – they always improve your sense of living. Self-care will not only brighten your day but brighten your relationship with the world as well. Be open-minded to meditate, a 3-minute body scan can calm you down and make you feel less anxious and less stressed – I recommend the app “Headspace.” Cleanse your mind from thoughts and feelings that are overwhelming. It’s a beautiful opportunity to recognize, reflect and redirect feelings, thoughts and emotions that you’ve been storing. Think about all the positive qualities you’d like to cultivate, and most importantly: Find peace with solitude. If you can achieve this, you can discover a reality and richness of the mind that cannot be destroyed. Be comfortable with your own solitude and the ability to confront loneliness. Knowing that your life doesn’t revolve around someone else or feeling the constant need to be doing something or finding a distraction can be liberating. Freedom from the pain of loneliness will help you understand that there’s no need to escape – a rare quality amongst people. Not feeling the need to run from your thoughts is a luxury that is timeless. I guarantee this deeper level of understanding will help your mood not only during quarantine but will enhance your sense of living for the rest of your life.
5. Take time to accomplish things you haven’t had time for.
I’m sure there are tasks that have been hanging over your head. Now is the time to tackle these. Clean out your closet, throw out or donate things you haven’t worn in a couple of years, re-organize, clean out drawers and declutter your living space. Keeping your place tidy and clean improves your mood, productivity, and overall satisfaction. Always make your bed when you wake up, and clean up before bed, so that you have a fresh space to wake up to.
6. Minimize/limit Social Media and phone use.
We all know that excess social media usage can hinder mental health. Bring awareness to your screen time and give yourself space. In addition, think about how you can make your social media engagement more effective. For example, think about the accounts you follow, try not to get caught up in other people’s lives, and keep in mind that social media causes delusional thinking. Attract your attention to accounts that motivate you and spark your creativity. Reduce your phone use, put it away and take this time to focus on yourself. Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical. This will help you feel more positive, worthy, and free from the toxicity built up in the mind. Remember: your mind, body and soul are one.
7. Engage in wholesome Activities.
Visit the list of books you’ve been wanting to read or the list of movies and TV shows you’ve been wanting to watch. For example, watch “Schitt’s Creek”, it’s a great diversion as it’s light and entertaining. Bake something new, or something healthy you can store for the week such as energy balls. Read self-development books or take a virtual class online. There are free online ivy league classes!
8. Listen to music.
Always listen to music. I cannot stress this enough, but music will brighten your day, no matter what. Music is reliable, stable and a companion that will never let you down. If your mood is low, there are plenty of curated playlists on both Apple, Spotify, and Soundcloud to explore.
Get those endorphins! Try to work out in the morning or midday. It doesn’t have to be a long workout either, 30 minutes can be equally effective. For example, Hot Pilates with Alexis Fischer leaves you energized, toned and motivated. It’s such a blessing knowing you can get your workout done before the evening since you’re not stuck in an office. It’s a beautiful opportunity to connect with fitness on a global scale. There are endless live streams, studios and fitness regimes to try, including dance! Learn a new physical skill, there’s no need to feel embarrassed or judged, no one is watching you!
10. Keep in touch with family and friends.
Even if you don’t feel like talking, having a facetime date or simply talking to a friend or family member can leave you feeling happier. Do this once a day. Sometimes when you’re blue, the isolation causes you to distance yourself even more, but connecting is always comforting.
And don’t forget to drink water! Always stay hydrated 🙂