5 Ways to Stay Sane at Home

This year has already been very different from how many of us might have pictured as we find ourselves under stay-at-home orders to stop this COVID-19 pandemic. After moving out of our dorms and moving back home, it can be hard to navigate this new normal. Since class instruction was suspended for two weeks after Spring Break, we had to find ways to stay busy; however, after a few days or hours in some cases, we are all dying to get out of the house. Now that online classes have started again, we each must find a way to deal with this new normal or we will all go insane. If you are having trouble finding ways to spend your time at home, check out these five ways to stay sane while we are at home.

  1. 1. Connect with Nature by Taking a Walk

    While we are staying safe at home, it can be nice to chill and not have to go outside; however, after a few days, getting out of the house is all we can think about. While we practice social distancing, and we limit the contact we have with other people, we are still allowed to go out and exercise during stay-at-home orders. It doesn’t have to be a ten-mile run, but a stroll around your neighborhood can greatly improve your mood. It may not be as fun as being in Athens, but a little time outdoors is better than nothing! While we may be tempted to put on earphones, try just listening to the birds outside and the ambient noise of your surrounding environment. During these stay-at-home orders, we may turn to technology and occupy our time scrolling through Instagram or streaming TV shows and movies. This is fun for a while, but by going outside you realize how disconnected you have become with nature. These walks allow you to clear your mind of all of the social media posts and storylines of TV shows and just be thankful for your health and count your blessings during this time in our lives.

  2. 2. Regain Control of Your Diet by Avoiding Unnecessary Snacking

    Sure we don’t have access to all of the dining halls, but it is still easy to snack when you are bored at home and the pantry is only a few steps away. At school, getting up to go to the dining hall was a task in itself. When you find yourself hungry, think, “Am I hungry or just bored?” If you can’t answer the question, grab some water and find something else to do. When you mindlessly snack you usually reach for the foods that aren’t providing energy or nutrients and can leave you feeling bloated and “hungry” ten minutes later. Watching TV or movies can be perfect with popcorn and, while you are studying, you may feel like you need brain food. If you do find yourself hungry between meals, go for a fruit or a healthy snack that will keep you energized and feeling great. You don’t have to cut out unhealthy snacks all together because, let’s be honest, we all have cravings for something sweet now and then, but instead, try and decrease your consumption of these snacks and soon you will realize you don’t even need them.

  3. 3. Sweat it Out with At-Home Workouts

    One way to stay happy and sane on a normal basis is to have time, or multiple times during the week, where you can get some exercise. Each time you workout can help reduce your stress levels, improve your sleep, give you more energy and improve self-esteem. Although we love having the luxury of a huge fitness center with tons of different equipment and an Olympic-sized pool, we can’t just walk or bus to Ramsey as we used to when we were on campus. Fear not, we don’t have to give up our workout routine—we just have to modify our workouts. Whether you have a home gym, some piece of equipment or nothing at all, you can still stay active during this time. Many fitness bloggers post easy workout charts on Pinterest and short videos on YouTube making it easy to follow and workout at home. When you search at-home workouts on Google, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube, you can see how short each workout can be and which part of your body it targets so you can continue leg day or arm workouts or cardio like you would at Ramsey without the equipment or time commitment. YouTube channels, such as MadFit, post short workout videos for women that are easy to follow and can be done in a few minutes, making it easy to work into your daily routine.

    If yoga is more your scene you can easily do yoga at home because it doesn’t require much space or equipment and many resources are available online to help you learn new yoga techniques. Shakti Power Yoga in Athens is a yoga studio near campus that posts on Instagram and has classes online making it easy to stay active from home.

  4. 4. Spend Your Free Time with DIY Projects

    If you are the crafty type or are looking for ways to create your decor, Do-it-Yourself or DIY projects might be the perfect way for you to stay sane at home. The best part of DIY is that they can be done with minimal supplies and still turn out looking like you bought the pieces from a decor store. Since we had to move out of our dorms and have to move back home for the rest of the semester, this can be the perfect time to spice up your room with your decor pieces and make a place you wouldn’t mind spending extra time in. Drew Scott, the DIYer behind Lone Fox, posts new projects on YouTube every week that add character and style to your living space without costing an arm and a leg at a high-end home decor store. Some of his subscribers send in inspiration pictures of pieces that retail for $70 and up from stores such as Urban Outfitters, and Drew recreates pieces that are identical, or better, for a fraction of the price. If you are a veteran DIYer you will have many of the supplies already around your house, but if you are new to the activity or find yourself needing some supplies, you can see where Drew gets each of his materials. Some are from Amazon and can be delivered to your house without coming in contact with people, or you can go to Home Depot and quickly get the supplies needed by following the procedures put in place at the store to maintain social distancing and keep you and other customers safe and healthy. If you plan on making many projects that require something like cement, you can pick up a large inexpensive bag of cement from Home Depot that you can use for many projects and prevent you from having to make many trips to the store and coming in contact with multiple people. Check out Lone Fox and other DIY projects that you would like to make so that you can create a list of all of the materials you will need. You can go to the store and pick everything up in one trip or order the products online so that you don’t have to come in contact with surfaces and people who may transmit the virus and germs to you.

  5. 5. Find Your New Normal With a Routine

    With this new normal of online instruction, you may not need to wake up as early as you used to catch the Orbit bus and make it to class on time. Your professors may not require you to log in at a certain time every day so you may be able to stay up a little later watching Netflix because you don’t have to worry about your 8 a.m. lecture. While this extra few hours of sleep or leisure time may feel great, it will be beneficial for you to try and find a good time to wake up every morning and go to sleep every night. This will keep your body from feeling groggy in the morning or exhausted during the day. One way to achieve this is to use the bedtime setting if you have an iPhone. This feature allows you to set the time you want to wake up each morning and how many hours of sleep you need to find your bedtime. Fifteen minutes before your bedtime you get a reminder that your bedtime is approaching so that you can wrap up your tasks and prepare to go to sleep. Once your bedtime approaches your phone automatically turns on Do Not Disturb and silences all notifications. Don’t worry you will still see every notification in your notification center. This prevents you from falling into the black hole of social media and messing up your sleep schedule. If you are worried about emergency calls, you can go to your settings and edit whose calls and messages appear when your phone is on Do Not Disturb so you aren’t missing any urgent messages.

    Aside from your sleep schedule, try doing other parts of your routine at the same time each day such as eating breakfast, devoting study time to your Spanish online work, working out, etc. The sooner you can get in a routine, the better you will feel. We are all navigating this new normal differently and, we may be out of sync with our normal days. If you feel unorganized, try formulating a schedule devoting a specific time block to each class you take. Make a calendar using the dates listed in each new syllabus for online classes and coordinate the assignments with colors that match each class. For example, all finance assignments can be highlighted in blue and all marketing assignments can be highlighted in yellow and so on. When the time comes to work on marketing, you can look at the calendar and see exactly which assignments are due when and use the time to do it. You can use a paper calendar, your phone’s default calendar, a calendar on your laptop, download a specific app or do a mix of different types. Make a habit to check the calendar regularly so that you never have to feel like you are forgetting something and your mind can be at peace.

This mindset is the most important way to stay sane at home. Don't think of it as being 'stuck at home' and instead think of it as being 'safe at home.' Help protect yourself and others by finding ways to spend your time at home.