As a person with 10 days of experience socially isolating at home with my 2 sons (17 and 20), I have developed a list of 12 recommendations to keep yourself sane, healthy, and relatively happy during this unsettling time of Covid-19 unfurling in the United States.
1. Keep a regular routine of some sort to your day. This includes getting up and going to bed around the same time every day, preparing and eating meals around the times you usually would, and cleaning up afterwards, just like normal. Have a loose schedule of things to do, such as a mid-morning workout, and if you are working from home, assign yourself specific hours to do it.
Keep your evenings open to do something relaxing and pleasant: Netflix, reading, playing a game with others in your household, talk on the phone with friends, etc. Take advantage of all of these free live concerts and things entertainers are doing online in the evenings. Watch them while you’re on the phone with your friends – it’s like being at the movies, you don’t talk much, but it’s nice to experience it together and discuss afterwards.￼
2. Take naps whenever you feel tired. These are stressful times, your body needs rest to help cope with the ever-changing situation in the world right now. Treat this like a luxurious vacation! Lounge/sleep whenever your body feels the urge.
3. Eat healthy meals, and take your vitamins. It’s better for your body and stress levels to have regular nutrition rather than feasting on processed snack foods that will leave you feeling tired and stressed out.
4. Do some kind of regular exercise routine every day, even if it’s just doing 100 jumping jacks, running in place for three minutes, and running up and down your stairs 10 times. Keep yourself active! Your body will feel better, and you will be able to relax more easily if you have a physical stress outlet.￼
There is a lot of free online gym, yoga, and karate instruction￼ out there right now. Take advantage if it!
6. Exercise your mind! Sign up for an online course, download audiobooks and e-books from your local library, (you can download the Kindle app for your phone, iPad, computer, etc. from Amazon, and OverDrive is the app I use for audiobooks, it links right up to my library – I just sign in with my library card).￼
7. Do all the things you never seem to get to when things are normal. I write and paint in my spare time, but I don’t normally have spare time. Schedule it into your day to work on your novel at regular times, paint pictures, crochet or knit, write that screenplay, work on your music, organize your sock drawer, do those 27 online courses you bought 2 years ago…
8. Keep up with friends. I have been randomly shooting texts to people I don’t see regularly, just to touch base and make sure that they’re doing alright. It’s good for you, and probably also helpful for them to know that someone is reaching out and that they care.
9. Play. I have gotten hooked into Scrabble GO, where you can play with friends and strangers. There are a million apps to choose from, or play cards or board games if you are with others. ￼￼
It’s good to have mental recreational time.￼￼ Avoid bingeing though, because that just kind of makes you feel yucky, even in normal times, mentally vegging for twelve hours straight.￼
10. If you are going through this with others in your household, talk about things together. Ask how they’re doing, be social. Discover them on a new level. Play games, sing karaoke, prepare meals and clean up together, everybody get their instruments out and jam, etc.
11. Go outside from time to time to get some vitamin D and breathe fresh air, if you can. If the weather isn’t good, at least make sure all your curtains are open and your shades are up to let the light in. This will also help you stay on a regular sleep routine.
12. Do fun little things for yourself. Every afternoon, I have tea and a few cookies, just me. ￼
These things have kept me sane and feeling pretty decent. I have also been tuning in to the daily news updates, and praying. Establishing order during times of chaos soothes the soul.
Two weeks ago, I was worrying that I would get cabin fever, but now on day 11, I am feeling relaxed, rested, and am looking forward to the next week or so, when I can start to interact again with others who have also been isolating.￼ 👍🏻
This thing won’t last forever, People. Take advantage of the downtime while we’ve got it, and rejuvenate￼! 😊