We are on day four of working from home and social distancing. This feels like it is going to be the new normal for a while. I have the tendency to get a little down when I am cooped up in the house and not socializing with people. Here are the top 9 ways that I am staying sane.
Set a Schedule
My life was wholly scheduled out with clients, meetings, and social events. That has all come to a screeching halt. I have still set a schedule for myself. I still wake up by at least 6:30 and use my calendar to schedule tasks and things I want to work on during the day. It is important to remember what day it is!
It is so important to stay moving. Exercise has always been key to staying healthy, mentally, and physically. There has never been a better time to get free or inexpensive fitness online. A lot of us are out of work and using mediums like Instagram, FaceTime, and Zoom to teach classes. As of now, you can still move freely outside in Boston. So go for a run or walk every day. I ordered a mat and a magic circle from my apartment to make home exercise easier. I use an extra thick Pilates Mat, like this one by Prosource.
Stay social. I miss my family, friends, and clients already. I have never talked on the phone, Facetimed or Zoomed more. Take the extra time you may have because you aren’t working and keep in touch. For those of you with kids, I know this is a harder step, but the kids love it too. I Zoomed with my family for my nephew’s birthday. We all sang to him, and it was an adorable moment. I plug my computer into my TV with an HDMI cord; it is like they are there with me in my living room.
Seasonal Affect Disorder can be a problem for me during the long New England Winter. There is a string of lights up in my apartment to add some extra cheer. Rumor has it, people are putting up Christmas lights again. I am not sure if that is true, but I like the idea! I also have a happy light on my desk when I am working to provide me with the full spectrum of light that I don’t get from the sun. This is the one I use.
I know that people have mixed feelings on essential oils. I am not going to tell you to use them to clean everything. (although they may be the only cleansers left on the shelves right now). I am going to say to diffuse some beautiful scented essential oils. My favorite right are a combination of grapefruit and spruce. I have tried all the major essential oil companies, and I love Vitruvi. This is my diffuser but they also have a new cordless one. If you are uncertain which oils you like, I suggest getting a variety pack and try out a few.
Preparing food is very calming for me when I have the time to do it. I am trying to keep things as comforting but healthy as possible. Healthy is different for everyone, but for me, that means I am keeping processed food to a minimum and trying to get as many vegetables as possible.
I started pulling a tarot card and journaling about what I see back in January. It is so helpful to journal and can bring a lot into focus. This is the perfect time to start a journaling habit. Just light some Palo Santo, take some deep centering breaths, pull a card, and then journal. Journaling doesn’t have to be done with this method. You can do what feels organic to you. If you are into Tarot cards, The Light Seers Tarot is my favorite set I got for my birthday this year. I use Luna Sundara Palo Santo, and LOVE LOVE it.
Catch up on movies, tv shows, and books that you haven’t had the time to read. I am being careful with this one, so I don’t become a permanent part of my couch. However, there is nothing wrong with using the entertainment that we have during this time. (I am talking about you, Tiger King) I have already asked my movie loving friend if he wants to pick a movie to watch and have a Zoom date to chat about it.
This advice comes from my Grandmother. She was always grateful, and she lived through some of the most challenging times in US history. I know it can be hard when you are facing a loss of income or health risks like COVID19. I do have much to be grateful for, and I am keeping track of it every day in my slightly less full calendar.
I hope this list helps or inspires some ideas for you. This isn’t to say that I haven’t had moments of weakness. I have definitely veered from my schedule, had a night (or two) where I’ve had too many glasses of wine or bickered with my husband. However, I think having a plan or ritual is going to be essential to get through the rest of this time.
What are you doing to stay sane? If you have any good ideas, please comment. I would love to hear them.