As some of you may have noticed, I’ve missed the last two weeks of my upload schedule. It hasn’t been because I haven’t wanted to post, but more that I haven’t been in the right mindset to sit down and create anything. Due to everything going on in the world right now in regards to the pandemic, many people are falling out of their regular routines and are finding themselves in a sort of ‘rut’ or ‘slump’; myself included. I haven’t had any motivation or drive to do the things I was before, and nothing sounds appealing to me. I was doing pretty good for a while, but lately, I find myself wasting my days away while sitting on the couch binge-watching Homeland (which is a great show, by the way!).
This global pandemic is going to go on for a while (unfortunately, because people are not following the guidelines), and I know I cannot keep up with my current daily “routine”. I need to get back into a regular daily routine, with a schedule, and significantly less snacking. After thinking, and consulting with others, I’ve compiled a list of twelve things you can do to help during this time. Some may work for you, while others may not. Do what you think is best for your mental health and sanity during this time.
1. Stick to a routine
If you’re anything like me, this is easier said than done. It’s tempting to lay on the couch, binge your favourite shows and eat everything in sight. But as you probably know, this isn’t good for you, and it’s not helpful to your mindset. Try to go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time each day. Bonus points if you can keep your regular sleep schedule from when you were going to work every day (if it was a healthy one, of course). Try to create a daily schedule for yourself; this should include healthy meal times, fun hobbies, and self-care.
2. Get out at least once per day
If you can get outside for at least 30 minutes per day, you will be amazed at the benefits it has on your mind. Getting out doesn’t have to mean going to a public place; in fact, the opposite is recommended. If you can go for a walk around your neighbourhood, or even sit in your back yard, the fresh air will help bring a sense of calm and clarity to your mind. When you go back inside, you’ll feel much better.
3. Move your body daily
With the gyms closed down, some people may have stopped exercising altogether. This is not the time to become sedentary. Going for a walk around the block is a great source of exercise. If you don’t feel up to going for a walk, or you live in a crowded neighbourhood, there are several online options. YouTube has several workout videos for a wonderful range of abilities.
4. Stay hydrated and eat well
This is something that many of us (myself included) have not done well thus far. I’ve eaten more snacks in one day than I would eat in a week, and only drink water after I’m thirsty. Although it may be hard not to eat out of boredom, you must try to continue on a healthy pattern of eating. Everyone has different eating habits that work well for their bodies. But try to eat your regular healthy meals throughout the day, along with a few healthy snacks if needed. Also, don’t forget to hydrate with water. With everyone staying in, and the liquor stores staying open, some are likely tending to hydrate with liquids that aren’t water. This is fine in moderation, but make sure you’re still drinking your water!
5. Treat everyone with kindness
With us all being cooped up inside, it can sometimes bring out the worst in us. Everyone will have moments when they won’t be at their best, or may even ‘snap’. But it is important to continue to be kind to everyone that you do come into contact with. Something as simple as a smile can make others feel comforted in this difficult time.
6. Lower your expectations of yourself
During this time, many of us are trying to do too many things under fear and stress. Because of this, the results may be not up to our regular standard of acceptance. However, during a time like this, it is necessary to lower expectations of ourselves, and what we are capable of doing. During this time, it is important to understand that you cannot fail at anything right now. We’re all doing the best we can in an impossible situation. Give yourself grace during this time.
7. Limit social media and pandemic conversation
You can find tons of information on the current pandemic. However, due to the nature of the pandemic, very little of it will be positive. Everything is changing minute to minute, and it is often presented in a sensationalized, negatively skewed and alarmist way. You should find a few trusted sources (news or government) that you can check in with occasionally. It’s also best that you don’t continuously check it.
It is important to remember that everything on FaceBook and Twitter is not always factual information. Many people read something that alarms them, and then write in a panic and publish it without fact-checking their sources. If you want to continue reading the pandemic information on FaceBook, take it with a grain of salt until you’ve checked the sources.
8. Now is a time to notice the good in the world
Right now, there is a lot of negative, scary and overwhelming information being published daily in regards to the pandemic. However, if you’re willing to look, there are just as many stories about people rising and trying to do good in this time of uncertainty. It is important to balance the heavy and hopeful information available to us during this time.
9. Help others when you can
Many of us never expected to live through a pandemic in our lifetimes. However, now that we are, we should be doing our best to help those around us. Due to social distancing, this does not mean we have to be nearby others to help them. You can help and support others by shopping small when available, offering to grocery shop for others (and leaving their order on their front step), or even checking in with elderly neighbours.
10. Finding things you can control
If you know me, I’m a bit of a control freak. I need to plan things, and get incredibly anxious when I feel like I can’t control my daily activities and schedule. I don’t like change, and don’t always react the best to it. During a pandemic, we have very little control over what happens. If you’re like me, it is important to find things you can control daily to give yourself a sense of normalcy. Organize your closet, spring clean, create a daily routine, and eat well. Do things in your day that you have full control over; it will help to ground you during the chaos.
11. Try to find light and humor in each day
During this pandemic, I’ve finally downloaded the app Tik Tok. I will be the first to admit that before I downloaded it, I thought Tik Tok was stupid. I was against it, and told myself I would never be part of it. While I still don’t think I’ll be making any dance videos anytime soon, I have come to enjoy it. I find myself spending time on it every day because it’s funny. People are being their true selves and their humor is coming out. It’s a great way to find a bit of humor in my days lately. It may not be Tik Tok for you, but try to find something that provides a small ray of sunshine or humor to lighten these difficult days.
12. Remember, this is all temporary
Although it may seem like this pandemic will go on forever, it is important to remind yourself it is only temporary. Better days will come again, and you won’t be in quarantine forever.