Updated: May 26, 2020
Self-Care During Quarantine...well, there are four words I never thought I'd write. As a work-from-home business owner, I'm used to the idea of seeing very few people and locking myself away in a room for eight hours. However, now that I don't have the option to see people in the evening, go to my favorite restaurants or attend any of my exercise classes, I'm starting to feel cabin fever set in.
Living in the Midwest, you get used to the idea of occasionally being stuck in your home. Frigid cold temps and the occasional blizzard will do that to you, but it's the uncertainty of when social distancing and quarantine will end that has me in a tizzy. I'm home alone all day, and now I'm home alone, besides my husband, all night. Anyone else struggling?
If these anxious "all cooped up" feelings don't benefit me, then something must be done. It's time to re-evaluate my self-care to see what needs to be improved so I feel better. Do you need to look at yours, as well? What's lacking? What do you need more of? I'm going to break down the changes I'm making so my mind, body and spirituality still feel good without risking illness to myself or others. COVID-19 is not on ANY of our self-care lists.
1. Get Off Social Media
It's easy to get overwhelmed when our social feeds, the news and conversation circles around only one topic. I don't want to talk about the coronavirus, but at the same time, what else is there to talk about? On all my social media newsfeeds, it's COVID-19 this and that, and half of it doesn't feel legitimate. There are no sources credited. The "advice" sounds like bullshit. People are mad. People are scared, and some seem totally nonchalant. There's too much to process, and when that becomes the case, we need to shut it down. Obviously, we can't quit hearing about the virus everywhere, but I'm stepping back from Instagram and Facebook. I'm checking my notifications and that's it. No scrolling. If I need news about the quarantine, I'll go to a reputable news source, but Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are out for the time being. Take a break from social! You should do this anytime your anxiety is high or you feel FOMO setting in, as well. Social is great, but it also causes a lot of negative feelings, so unless it's bringing you a lot of joy right now, limit how much time you're spending on it.
2. Move Your Body
I love group fitness classes. Right before the coronavirus hit the news, I started taking new classes at the YMCA. I had Zumba on Tuesday and my husband and I hit up the gym two to three times a week. This is my time to be social, to decrease my anxiety, build my back strength and get out of the house. That's gone. We've paused our gym membership and all my classes are cancelled, understandably so. However, I hate working out alone, especially in my house. Anyone else with me? If you do love your solo runs or working out in your home gym, awesome. You're set. Keep going and moving your body. Exercise boosts our mood, helps our muscles, increases strength and more. I love joyful movement, but for those of you who need somewhere to go to do that, we feel sort of screwed. Here's a few ideas.
Play in your yard. If you're in your yard, you don't need to worry about other people. When's the last time you played catch or hit a volleyball around? Push your kid on their swing or do lunges across the lawn. You don't have to do an intense work out. Just move your body!
I don't have a yard, but I do live near many different walking paths and parks. Walks outside get me into nature, away from people and into fresh, open air. If I do ever run across someone, they stay on their side. I stay on mine. We haven't hit full quarantine yet in Wisconsin, and I'm taking advantage of the fresh air as much as possible. Walks help with my back pain and being outside helps tremendously with my mood (even if it is freaking cold).
If you do want to work out inside your home, you're in luck. The internet has a TON of resources. On Youtube, you'll find dance routines, yoga stretches, weightlifting tips, and more. You can find classes for various levels of mobility, various levels of space and instructions on how to use furniture as workout tools.
3. Learn a New Skill
My go-to activity for when I'm stuck inside is TV or video games, but that really isn't helping my mind or body. It does at first, but I get bored with my television real fast. I can only stare at it for so long, so instead of binge watching for another night in a row, I'm going to learn how to do something new. When we learn a new task, we also get a sense of accomplishment and pride. Those feelings are beneficial! They give us self-worth, which is something that all the Marvel movies on Disney+ have not been doing for me. Maybe I'll watch a belly dancing class on Youtube. Maybe I'll check out Skillshare. The options are pretty limitless, but I think I'll start by making cloud eggs for dinner. They look so fancy and fluffy!
BONUS TIP: Brit + Co is offering all their classes for FREE through the end of March. Use the code SELFCARE at check out. Learn about cake decorating, taking travel photos, or even investing in the stock market. I signed up for several watercolor classes and digital illustration.
4. Find Quiet Time
Children are off school, partners are home from work, and your entire house is full of people. Are you even able to hear yourself think? Despite the scheduling chaos, it's still important that you find quiet, alone time. This is your chance to unwind, reconnect with your thoughts, reflect back on your day, and breath. If it feels like finding quiet time is an impossibility, let the other people in your home know that you need 20-30 minutes of alone time. Take a bath or long, hot shower. Meditate in your bedroom. Paint a picture. It could be anything. Ask your family to respect your alone time. If there's no way the rest of the house can be quiet during this time, throw on some earbuds and play your favorite music or relaxing spa/rain forest/ocean sounds. You need to check in with yourself!
5. Find Time for Prayer or Devotions
If you're religious, going to worship right now is a high-risk situation. You're relationship with God doesn't need to falter, though. Take 5 minutes at the start or end of your day to pray. Head to your church's website to find devotional materials. Email your religious reader and ask for resources. It's important to stay spiritually connected to your faith right now.
6. Get Into the Sunshine
Vitamin D. We don't nearly give it enough credit. Vitamin D helps fight diseases like the flu and heart disease. It regulates mood, which is why Seasonal Affective Disorder gets gnarly in the winter. It helps fight hypertension, and it's good for your bones. You can get Vitamin D from supplements, food and the sun, but I prefer the sun. If you're out in the sunshine, go somewhere with few to no people. Use this as your alone time or as your social time by chatting with friends and family on the phone. Being outside also improves sleep quality and improves your brain function. Should we go full quarantine, I hope you have a patio or porch you can hang out on.
7. Declutter Your Space
I hate clutter. I know what it does to me, my mood and my focus, and I do what I can to keep it at bay. However, when a lot of people are home and stuck inside, spaces can build up with clutter really quickly. Clutter competes for your attention and wears down your ability to focus, it increases stress, it contributes to procrastination and can worsen allergies. Those don't sound like self-care attributes. If you're inside, this is the perfect time to declutter your home. If you don't know where to start, start small. Pick a drawer or a shelf in your bathroom. Then from there, tackle a closet or a desk. If you work in small steps, eventually you'll have a whole room done before you know it. As Marie Kondo says, if it doesn't bring you joy, toss it. (And if you're looking for another way to spend your quarantine and you're not sick of binge watching TV yet, I highly recommend her show on Netflix).
Feeling any better? Less cabin fever, more cloud eggs and quiet time! Being at home can be a blessing. Let's look at it that way, and remember to take care of ourselves during this tumultuous time. These are all great ways to modify your self-care routine, and I hope they help you keep your mind, body and soul as peaceful as possible.
When our self-isolation is lifted and you're ready to interact with people again, let's celebrate with a boudoir session!