How to stay sane during quarantine
We were only a few days into quarantine when I realized I had lost my mind. I longed to peruse the aisles of Winners. I wanted to touch the rugs at Home Sense. I wanted to look at the farmhouse décor at Michael’s and visit two stores to use the daily coupon twice.
But alas, lockdown took all of those things away from me, then came back and snatched my sanity.
I realized that as much as the closure of all things that brought me joy sucked – there were quite a few perks to being forced to stay home. And there were quite a few ways to stay sane.
Here are some ways to I’ve kept my brain, joy and life intact.
Keep a structure
I am a person that thrives on structure and organization. I have to-do lists, highlighters, planners, bookmarks, you name it. So I can’t help but feel like I’m on an unsolicited extended holiday over the last few weeks.
The thing is - I’m still physically going in to work. Newsrooms are considered an essential service. So everyday I wake up at three a.m. and drive into work, and believe me, it’s a welcome staple of what life used to be. It’s when I get home that I find I don’t know what to do with myself and I don’t know what to do with my toddler.
Luckily, I stumbled across some extremely useful tips from Joanne Dominico, a learning strategist based in Toronto. Using them to help keep my daughter entertained and to emulate the daily flow of daycare has been useful for the both of us.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to recommit myself to reading. By December, I’m hoping to have read six books for 2020. I’ve got a bookshelf full of novels, self-help and old English literature. And with all the extra time on my hands and nowhere to go, I’ve found reading to be an enjoyable past-time that adheres to all the rules and restrictions of physical distancing.
Indulge in self-care
Rather than squeezing in a quick shower, a lot of us actually have the time now to take a nice, relaxing bath. If you decide to jump in, really commit to it. See if you’ve got any bath bombs lying around. Drop in some essential oils. Have a cucumber? Cut them up and put them over your eyes. And no matter what you do, don’t bring your phone with you!
Reassess your finances
One undeniable benefit of the quarantine is the amount of money you can save with everything being closed. Personally, I haven’t stepped foot in a mall (or an online shopping platform) since before the lockdown began. The only thing I buy now is groceries and gas.
It’s a great time to take a look at the financial commitments you may have made in January, or better yet, make some new commitments now. Set up pre-authorized savings contributions, or pre-authorized credit card payments to get your balances down before the summer…in the event we have one.
Get back in the kitchen
If you feel personally attacked by this suggestion, please don’t. If your credit card transactions have been strictly Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes or whatever food delivery service you prefer, that’s okay! For people who are too afraid to go outside right now, those who are in self-isolation and those who just prefer to have their meals delivered, these services are more valuable than anyone on the outside looking in might ever realize.
But if you’ve got the option and ability to stock up on some groceries, it can save you a lot of money and allow you to try out recipes you’ve been wanting to as well as have your meals last longer than takeout might. Pinterest is always my go-to for new food ideas.
Work on your fitness
Working from home is great for the convenience, but it can cut your daily physical activity levels down significantly. Plus, sitting in the same position for hours on end can be really bad for our posture and our overall health, and without the proper ergonomic set up at home, our wrists and backs can suffer tremendously.
If you’re working from home, try to set aside some time to get up and do a lap around the house. If you’ve got a balcony, step outside for a few minutes and breathe in some fresh air. Take a walk to the mailbox. Do some jumping jacks. Anything that will keep your blood flowing and get your body stretched. You don’t have to run a kilometre, a simple walk around the block can do the trick.