This year is definitely not the best year ever. People are getting sick and sadly some die. Every part of the world has social issues that are surfacing. This pandemic is exposing failed systems in our society, making us feel helpless. And having nothing to do at home definitely does not help this feeling. This blog is a guide on what to do daily when you’re stuck at home. After reading this, you can surely make your own quarantine routine!
Quarantine Anxiety and Depression
Everything that is happening around us can be overwhelming. Whenever we try to connect outside our homes, through television, internet or social media, we always see disheartening news, and we cannot do anything about it. We are forced to follow strict health protocols such as home quarantine and social distancing to ensure the safety of the people around us. In this time of crisis, we are in isolation, which can worsen anxiety and depression.
When we are feeling blue, it is always nice to get fresh air, hangout with friends, or just change the scenery, but we cannot do this especially when we live in the city. The four walls of our place are suffocating us. The lack of activity is, ironically, draining our energy. Scrolling through our phones makes time fly so fast or so slow. These cause emotional burnout.
Many plans and events got cancelled. We cannot plan ahead because we are uncertain when the normal is coming back. Everything seems out of control that all we can do is hope that all these will end soon.
The Importance of Routine
During quarantine, our normal routine got disrupted. Instead of waking up early to take a bath, eat breakfast and travel to work, we can just wake up ten minutes before our class or work, do a little touch up, and then open Zoom. This may be fun at first but later on, this lessens our motivation to actually work. Experts suggest to follow a routine for the following reasons:
1. To make us feel in control
We cannot do anything about the things happening around us, and this can make us feel helpless. But, we should not focus on something that we cannot control. What we can control is how we should spend our time, what we can do daily. This can lessen anxiety since we already know what we should be doing.
2. To have a sense of achievement
There is a surge of pride and a little boost of happiness everytime we check off something on our to-do list. This gives us motivation to do the next one on our list and so on. After-all, children aren’t the only ones who get excited everytime they get a star!
3. To keep us occupied
When we have nothing to do, our minds have this tendency to worry and think of the unimaginable. To keep our mind from overthinking, we should distract it by having a healthy routine.
Guide on What to Add on your Quarantine Routine
When we do not have a plan on what to do daily, there is this tendency that we will just scroll through our social media, or binge-watch tv series the whole day. This is okay, we cope up with this new normal in different ways. However, this can be unhealthy, and we know that we should start having a healthy routine.
1.Wake up and sleep at the same time everyday.
Waking up and sleeping at the same time everyday sets our body clock or our internal clock. Our body has its own time when to sleep, digest, release hormones, and other important processes. When we set our body clock, we are going in the same direction as our internal processes. This makes us active at daytime, and rest well at nighttime.
2. Have a morning routine.
Mornings can be gruesome but having a morning routine helps us start the day on a happy note. What we do in the morning sets our mood for the entire day. Without a routine, there is the tendency to wake up late, and do something in a hurry before work which can drain our energy fast leaving not enough for the day.
3. Attend online classes or do your work.
Set a time when you will work. Working or studying at home means there is no boundary between home and workplace, and this can add more stress. The place where we used to rest becomes the place where we work. We can lessen the stress by limiting ourselves to work on a certain time boundary.
4. Do not forget to have a break.
Eat your lunch. Have a snack! Do not forget to take a break. You are still at your home and when it is break time, you take a break.
5. Workout everyday. Gyms are close.
It is not safe to jog where there are many people. Let this not stop you from working out. There are many ways to workout at home such as YouTube tutorials, workout Zoom with friends.
6. Keep a me-time.
After your working hours, leave your working area and start doing what you want. Watch a movie. Bake. Read books. Dance. Clean your apartment. Cook. Try hobbies. One great thing about staying at home is that you’ve got more time for yourself. Do things you cannot before because you have to travel, socialize with other people, and so forth.
7. Call your loved ones.
Calling people lessens that feeling of loneliness. There are many ways to connect with your loved ones, or socialize with other people. Host a game night. Netflix party. Or just talk to them. You are not alone.
8. Limit screen time.
Our phones can be a source of enjoyment but when used too much, it can be a source of anxiety. It can’t be avoided to know what is happening outside our homes. It is good to be aware of what is happening around, but we should limit it especially when it is not good for our mental health. If it is the reason why we can’t sleep immediately, stop using it an hour before bed time. It distracts us from our work, so do not look at news in the morning.
9. Have an evening routine.
Evening routine helps us fall asleep faster, and sleep is really important for our immune system and mental health. When we set an evening routine, it tells our body that it is sleeping time. This relaxes us and gets us ready to fall asleep.
My Quarantine Routine
Starting a routine is not easy. It will be challenging at first. Even I still have difficulty following my routine shown above. But, when we get used to it, our body will automatically follow this routine. Our body and mind loves routine!
Take one step at a time. Maybe for a week, start waking up at the same time. Next, do the morning routine. One routine at a time until our body adapts to it and then we can start another one.
Remember that it is completely normal not to do all these immediately, and that is okay! The important thing is we continue to train our bodies to adapt to a routine.
I hope this guide helps and motivates you to start one. I’d love to hear how you are coping with this lockdown so don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
Rooting for you,
Meredith Blaise ♡