With so much time to ourselves stuck indoors, at times it can feel too easy to just let ourselves go. When all the days start to blend together, it can be extremely difficult to find motivation to do something with the day. I believe that if we can shift our mindset on our time in isolation, we can actually use it as an opportunity to grow and better ourselves. Here are five tips to help us stay on track and come out of this challenging time even stronger.
Creating a plan for yourself is such a great way to set and achieve goals. Setting aside specific times of the day for certain activities gives the day structure, helps you stick to a schedule, and elicits a feeling of accomplishment when the day is done. Especially with navigating all online classes for the first time, planning is key for blocking out times of the day to dedicate to school work. It doesn’t have to be a complicated schedule; I put even the littlest things on mine (like waking up or making breakfast) just to give the feeling of a more structured day! Tip: Also writing down little things you are looking forward to is a great way to keep your head up. Birthdays, warm weather, being outside, or seeing friends are some ideas.
2. Check in with yourself
The reality of today’s world situation can be extremely alarming and difficult to process. Constantly hearing terrifying news updates, or worrying about loved ones is very scary, so it is super important now more than ever to check in with ourselves and our mental health. This can mean journaling to jot down thoughts, talking with supportive people, taking a few minutes to close your eyes and take deep breaths, or practicing other forms of mindfulness and self care. In a worrisome world, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves – let’s make sure to not leave us behind. Tip: Write down three things you are grateful for each day. These can be extremely small (like your morning coffee) or larger (like your health or family). This is a great way to put large worries into perspective, and keep positive during this challenging time.
3. Get moving
Physical activity is a proven mood lifter, and a great way to feel better each day. If you are able to get outside in a non-public area, taking a quick walk or run around your neighborhood in the fresh air makes you feel invigorated and boosts your energy all day (while maintaining social distance)! If you are unable to leave the house, there are countless ways to ensure your body gets moving each day. At home workouts are a fun way to challenge yourself by exercising. Maybe it’s time to learn that TikTok dance you always wanted to try!? The sky’s the limit.
Tip: Play music while you move! Listen to your favorite songs, songs that remind you of certain times, or songs that make you excited for the future. Music is a great way to switch your attitude!
Finding new hobbies is arguably one of the best things that has come out of the self-isolation period. We have been handed so much time, so why not use it to either pick back up on old forgotten hobbies we never had time for, or use it to discover new ones! Tip: Some great activities I have seen a lot of are:
- Playing an instrument
- Cooking or baking
- Altering old pieces of clothing to make something new & creative
- Organizing or redesigning old spaces (like your bedroom!)
- Writing, or starting a blog
5. Reconnect with loved ones
Humans are social beings. We crave interaction with others, so in a time of isolation it can be extremely challenging to fulfill this need. So, it’s time to get creative! If you are reading this, it means you have access to the internet in some way. Zoom is a great (no cost) platform that allows us to video call with multiple people at once – schedule a Zoom hangout with friends that you miss! Now is also a great time to call loved ones and check in on them. Reaching out to others means so much, and can really make a difference in their lives and yours. Get to it!
Tip: Never hesitate to reach out first to someone. Seize the moment and check in – you never know what others are going through, especially now, and being kind to others has never been more important.
Now is a time unlike anything we have experienced before. People are in crisis and handling such hard situations. It is a time where we are all learning as we go, and what we make of it is up to us. These are some tips that have helped many people I know, and I hope they are helpful to you during this time. Stay safe, stay positive, and wash your hands – we are all in this together!