The coronavirus has sent us reeling in ways most of us never anticipated. Sure, there have been serious epidemiological scares in the past. But this is a once-in-a-generation event. It has upended our entire way of life and all “norms” have been thrown out the window.
We are all adjusting to a new way of life for the time being. To help keep your sanity in check, here are six things to do every day whether you’re quarantined in an apartment alone or if you’re with your family.
1. Make Your Bed
There is a litany of excuses for not making your bed in the morning, especially during quarantine. But the benefits far outweigh the downside of spending two minutes pulling up the covers and fluffing a pillow or two. Doing so will establish a routine and you’ll silently tell your body you won’t be going back in–at least not for a few hours.
Making your bed can be the first task you check off, leaving you feeling accomplished. It can kickstart a chain reaction of good decisions during the daylight hours. And, pulling back those covers at the end of the day will be a reminder to you of everything you’ve done on your to-do list.
William H. McCraven, a retired U.S. Navy Admiral SEAL and author of the book Make Your Bed: Little Things Can Change Your Life… and Maybe the World, said in a commencement speech at UT Austin that it can set the tone for your entire day.
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” McCraven explained. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
The ambiance of our living spaces is extremely important during the quarantine. A messy room can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed at any time, but now it’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy living space. A calm space can reduce stress and lift your mood.
Plus, a survey by Sleepopolis revealed that people who make their beds have sex three times per week compared to two times per week for those who don’t make their beds. Maybe it’s time to conduct a personal study?
2. Write Down Your Goals and Plans for the Day
The days seemingly fly by and, at the same time, move at a glacial pace. Many have lost their jobs, have stir-crazy children at home, are working from home while simultaneously trying to juggle homeschooling, and more. Some have all the Netflix shows memorized at this point. But everyone’s life has been upended in some way. Writing down you and your family’s plans and goals for the day or week can help create healthy boundaries. Everyone will be on the same page and you’ll be better equipped to manage the chaos.
Setting a plan for the day and creating goals for yourself can also be powerful in triggering the release of happy hormones. It will give you the space to evaluate what you want to accomplish for the day whether it’s for your job or housework. You can jot down a couple of things on a sticky note or create a shared digital Note, if you want to get fancy. Every time you check something off your list, you’ll smile at yourself. Just watch.
There is so much noise in the world right now that finding a silent space for meditation could be all that your body and mind needs. Between the explosion of content on social media, the 24-hour news cycle featuring stress-inducing headlines, and the fact that we’re sheltering-in-place for the foreseeable future, it’s no wonder that we find can ourselves going a little batty.
Whatever your style is, find time for a calming and relaxing meditation. It could be nature therapy or a guided meditation. You could try all kinds and find which one you enjoy the most. Calm has incredible daily meditations and bedtime stories read to you by celebrities, such as Matthew McConaughey. There are also thousands of free meditation videos on YouTube to get you started.
4. Pick a Fun Daily Activity
From painting to online gaming and beyond, people are becoming resourceful and creative when it comes to their at-home entertainment. If you’re working from home, it can feel strange to not have separation from your personal life and professional world. But, adding a fun daily activity to your plans for the day (see above), can give you something to look forward to when you’re done with your work duties.
We recently posted this list of quarantine-friendly activities on our Instagram to give you some inspiration:
- Have a bake-off with your roomie
- Plan your next vacation while pretending that money is no object
- Make an indoor fort and have a movie night
- Meditate to our nature therapy YouTube videos
- Learn a TikTok dance
- Play “Simon Says” or “Follow the Leader” on FaceTime or Zoom
- Host a video game tournament
- Give yourself a mini spa night
- Organize a virtual book club that meets every day
- Teach your old dog a new trick
- Get dressed and have a virtual dinner party
- Start journaling
- Play a new board game
- Paint an accent wall or a portrait of your partner
- Practice Kama Sutra
Let us know if you have other activity ideas in the comments below! We’d love to hear about what you’re up to.
5. Limit Your News Intake
No matter which news outlet you prefer, the sole topic of conversation seems to be the coronavirus. We understand. It’s important to keep the public up to date on the status of the pandemic and how it concerns you. But, it’s easy to be consumed by the news and find yourself in a rabbit hole if it stays on for too long.
Try to limit the news screen time for your sanity. If you can, stay away from it altogether. And when you feel the need to, scan the headlines on Apple News or wherever you get your news from. Use this opportunity to learn something new and positive every day that isn’t related to the coronavirus.
If there was one good thing that could come out of this disastrous time, it is how much we have connected with our friends and loved ones since the outbreak. We may be physically distant from one another, but it seems as though the number of moments that we connect has skyrocketed. From Zoom parties to daily FaceTime calls, people all over the world are finding more opportunities to reach out and cheer each other up.
Send a text or video message, give your friend a call, or start a dinner party on Zoom. Join a virtual book club or do a workout with a friend on FaceTime. Set out chairs in the driveway in your neighborhood and do a “block party” while maintaining a 6-foot distance from one another (we recommend further apart, to be safe). Host a virtual game night with friends or dance party. There’s even a Netflix Party extension available on Chrome browsers that lets you host a long-distance movie night with friends from afar.
Whatever you do, we hope that it brings you joy at this time.