2020 has been a strange one so far. Wrapping my mind around having to stay inside for several more weeks is still a doozy.
At first, I was okay with being home as it was initially said that everything will be on shutdown for 2 weeks. However, it became clear that this shutdown will be extended.
I am grateful that my physical health isn’t impacted but I cannot say the same for my mental health. Having to adjust to this “new normal” has been quite a challenge these past few weeks.
A big part of my routine (aside from work) included going to establishments that are now closed. I haven’t been coping well and found myself in a state of depression, which hasn’t happened to me in a long time. When you’re in such a low state mentally, it feels impossible to be optimistic. The ability to do the simplest tasks suddenly becomes a big challenge. Eventually (maybe 3-4 weeks in), I accepted the fact that I was no faring well and needed help. With my coach, we started tackling mindset and what I can do to get out of my negative state of mind. I came to the conclusion that I had to reassess and readjust to the current climate by creating a “quarantine routine”.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve slipped at times with my routine. Nonetheless, I get back up and try again. There may be a few of you who are also finding it challenging to adjust which is why I am sharing my experience and what I’m doing to get in a good headspace.
So here is the “quarantine routine”:
1. Start the Day With A Morning Routine!
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Whether you’re working from home or now looking for work, start your day off by taking care and centring yourself. What helps me is going for a walk around sunrise. That would be the time that I am getting ready and commuting for work, so I now use that time to walk and exercise. It’s also the only way I can get some air without anxiety. Another thing I did with my former routine is to listen to my favourite podcasts or curated playlists. Now I do that during my morning walk and workouts.
Something I dabbling more into is spirituality. I have more time to read and study different practices and finding a practice that suits me. In a nutshell, the morning is my time to get myself in a good headspace before I dive into any projects.
2. Watch What You Consume Online
This is a moment that we haven’t experienced before. It’s strange, it can be uncomfortable and for many of us frightening. With that being said, what I see online doesn’t always help the cause. I’ve also received some questionable videos and articles about this situation that only incites more fear and misinformation. While I took time in the past to curate my feeds and make sure I’m limiting the negative things I see, another step I took was to limit the information I consume about Covid-19. I get the information regarding precautions, closures and progression related to the virus; nothing more, nothing less. I’m not going to entertain propaganda nor those who are insensitive about this matter.
If you are finding what you see online triggering, take a look at your settings and see if you can limit seeing what bothers you. For instance, on Twitter, you can mute certain words. When you do that, it eliminates most of the content you see regarding the word. I say “most of the content” because if it’s a picture or video, you cannot mute it. However, there’s a setting that sets warnings if it’s sensitive content therefore it doesn’t play automatically. Another measure to take includes unfollowing pages. Bottom line, please protect your emotional and mental wellbeing!
3. Balance Work and Play
Some are working from home now, some are still working outside and some are out of work. Whether you’re working or looking for work, make time for leisure as well! It’s the same principle on an average day, but with everything that’s going on now, you may need to tweak leisure time. For instance, I would go to the gym after work or have date nights at our fave restaurants, but I can’t go to those places since they are close so I looked for alternatives. Doing those things indoors doesn’t have the same vibe lol but it can do for now.
I also call or video chat with some loved ones throughout the day and do some check-ins. One old hobby I picked up again was video games – well the Sims 4 to be specific haha. It’s oddly therapeutic when I need a break. And speaking of therapy…
4. Reach Out For Help: Online Therapy
I’ve been going to therapy however I never had an online session until quarantine left me no choice to use an online platform. It was odd to me since I value in-person sessions but hey I’m grateful I still have access to my therapist.
Online therapy has been around for a while and is a useful medium. I pay a steep price, $100 per hour to be specific. I know it’s a lot but it’s my fave therapist thus far so I make due and budget for it.
If you do need help that more cost-effective, talkspace.com is a platform I’ve been told was cheaper. I also have a blog post on ways you can save (link here). I’d also suggest looking at the options available in your community. There are community centres, practitioners, etc. who are offering sessions that are free or at a sliding scale.
5. Have A Night Time Routine!
Having a routine to start your day is great but a routine to end your day is equally important. For me, I read or watch something on Netflix/Youtube. And I always have a cup of tea; it’s soothing. I also go to bed earlier now since I wake up by sunrise to go walk (a good habit that came out of this ordeal. Never did that before! I was a night Owl!).
Overall I keep it simple. I have a routine that works for me and helps me operate in a healthier headspace. I’m not perfect so like I said, there are days where I slip however having accountability and setting tangible goals around my new routine gives me the push I need to keep working towards creating healthy habits. It allows me to get my tasks done while also having time to take care of myself and have fun.
I hope sharing how I am coping is helpful for some of you. For those who have a routine, what does it looks like?
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me! 🙂
All the best,