17 Self-Care Tips to Keep from Going Bonkers in Quarantine
The emphasis on self-care has picked up steam in recent years, but it’s never been more relevant than the present, here in the age of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. We are all facing an unprecedented situation, but students stand to lose out on milestones that they’ll never be able to get back.
Think Junior/Senior Proms, graduation ceremonies, spring sports or competitions that have had to be canceled outright. Adding insult to injury is the fact that you’ve got to miss out on all these great times while being urged or forced to stay home and avoid physical contact with your friends. In the following article, we’re going to give you 17 things you can do to break the monotony and keep yourself from going bonkers in the process. Let’s begin!
1. Read for 30 Minutes
Thirty minutes of reading per day isn’t a lot to ask. Considering that reading a long novel can take up to 10 hours, that means you could get through eight lengthy books in a year. A lot more than that if you can incorporate audiobooks as well.
That’s because audiobooks can be “read” at a faster pace if you adjust the playback time. Listening at a 2X speed, for instance, can get you through a 10-hour novel in five. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to read more books, this is a good time to start!
2. Take an Online Course
Making yourself more marketable requires time, peace, and quiet, and there is no time like a quarantine to get access to all those things. The only other thing you may be missing is a computer, Internet connection, and list of free courses that can get you up and running in a hurry.
While we can’t help you with the WiFi and computer situation, we can guide you toward this handy guide of more than 130 free courses. Get started learning something that will make you a better employee in the future or brush up on some existing skills that you feel comfortable doing. Either way, you’re heading to a better place after this whole thing is over.
3. Work on a Second Language
Translation software has gotten pretty decent in the last few years, but it will never replace the ability of one to fluently speak and understand a language. That’s where applications like Mango and DuoLingo can come in handy.
These apps allow you to learn virtually any language there is on-the-go, little-by-little. Choose a language that is prevalent in your area and start chipping away at it. Get good enough at it, and you’ll soon be able to put it on your resume, opening up a world of new possibilities for your job search.
4. Stay Properly Hydrated
Drinking water, especially early in the morning, is a good way to wake up your brain and get your mind thinking about more productive endeavors. Of course, you don’t want the cup of water you drink at the first of the day to be the only intake all day. It’s recommended that you drink at least 64 ounces per day (and probably more for larger people).
But that morning gulp sets the tone. And once you’ve got it down, you can do some simple math to see how many of those particular containers of water you need to finish before midnight. We always prefer drinking out of larger containers to make it feel like we’re doing less of it since we’re not the biggest fans of the taste. If you are, more power to you!
5. Revisit Your Financials
We get it. Now may not be the best time of your financial life. But there is a nice reset button coming for many Americans through receipt of stimulus checks amid the pandemic. While $1,200 may not be a whole lot to some, it’s better than nothing and could really help students struggling to make ends meet.
However, you should be thinking beyond the stimulus at this point. Let this be a moment where you reexamine all your purchases and all your income (and income-earning potential). Sit down and develop a game plan from here for how you will get your show back on the road. It can be energizing even if your current situation isn’t ideal.
6. Organize Your Room or Workstation
Got a lot of time on your hands? Now could be a good time to look at your room or workstation and start making some positive adjustments. Yes, it’s time to get organized and develop the kind of place you’d like to have if only there wasn’t so many other obligations getting in the way.
If the entire living space is a little much, start with the smallest contained area. This could be your desk. Get it in shape and let that momentum guide you to do the rest of the room, house, or apartment. Work at it a little each day, and you’ll be happy with how it transforms.
7. Do a Puzzle
Puzzles can be overwhelming and frustrating if you just look at the sheer number of pieces. But when you start looking for edges, and then you start grouping the rest of the pieces into groups based with colors and designs that they share with each area of the border, everything starts falling into place.
A 300-piece puzzle — simple enough — can take several hours of work to get right. Try a 1,000-piece puzzle if that’s not good enough for you. It’s a great way to make the hours pass quickly and take your mind off the fact that there’s nowhere else to go.
8. Find an Online Meetup Group
You can’t very well meet up with people at a coffee shop in the middle of a pandemic. However, you can look for groups online where people share your same interests. Go exploring. Strike up conversations. You never know where some of these online relationships will go once you’ve established that common frame of reference. You may even find a new best friend or a future spouse with the time you spend exploring and conversing during the pandemic.
No gym, no problem. Take more time to run outside or go for a bike ride. If that’s too high-intensity for now, then just take frequent walking breaks. Walking more frequently, even at a slower pace, will make you feel better and enable you to take on more challenging feats at a later date. Don’t let yourself miss out on the opportunity to invest time and effort into your health.
10. Start a Blog
Many people use their social media pages as a blog, but those are limited in many capacities. Starting your own blog allows you to set the rules and determine the content, subject matter, and behaviors within your corner of the online world. It also gives you a way of connecting more deeply to your truly close friends instead of just the online acquaintances who want to sell you something.
What does your blog have to be about? It could be about anything. Choose to run it as a business or just a place to share your thoughts with the world (at least the world that’s willing to listen). Even if no one does, your blog encourages self-expression, and that’s usually not a bad thing.
11. Take Inventory of Your Life
Nothing like an economic slowdown and a giant government-sponsored grounding to get your affairs back in shape! If you find yourself bored out of your mind, sit down with a piece of paper in hand and go over all the things about your life you’re doing right as well as those that you’d love to change.
Which of those things do you have control over, and which do you not? The deeper you look into your life, the easier it becomes to scratch those itches that have been plaguing you for months or years.
There are many ways you can do this. You can focus on a single topic each day. You can time yourself and just do a giant brain dump where you write about your thoughts as they unfold. This is also called “stream-of-consciousness” writing. While much of you write needn’t be looked at ever again, some of the scrawling will open up new insights that can change the way you live.
Having trouble getting started? Treat yourself by investing in a sturdy notebook or a leather-bound journal. You’ll probably have to get them on Amazon if you don’t own something already. What you need is a format that motivates your thinking and makes the practice of journaling “fun.”
13. Do Something You Have Avoided
We all have things we like to put off because — well, let’s face it, some things just suck! It’s easy to avoid them when life is normal because there are always plenty of other distractions in place to steal your attention. Quarantines are different, though.
With a quarantine, you’ll eventually run out of things to do or grow so tired of the boredom that you might feel ready enough to take on one of those obstacles. Go for it! You may even discover the mountains you were afraid of climbing weren’t that big after all. Maybe even a little enjoyable!
14. Forgive Past Wrongs, Including Your Own
It’s so easy to get comfortable in your grudges and anger, particularly when there is some aspect of yourself that you’ve yet to forgive. When taking inventory of your life, don’t forget to look at the uncomfortable stuff, too. It’s not just for bucket list creation!
Repairing your relationships starts with you. Even if you feel you were wronged, what good does it do to hold onto the anger and continue to relive the past slights or humiliations? Start where you are and decide it’s time to be the best you can be. Forgive what others have done to you for your sake, not theirs. And forgive yourself for whatever guilt you’re carrying around. Decide now that you will come out of this thing a changed person and that the past will stay where it belongs.
15. Reduce Your Stuff
Part of the grief that comes with life enters when we put too much emphasis on our things and not enough on our relationships. So, while you’re repairing things and learning to forgive during this pandemic, take some time to really consider the things you need and the ones you can live without. There are many tricks you can find for de-cluttering online and through works like The Magic of Tidying Up.
Put those steps to use if they help you. The bottom line is this. If you haven’t touched it in a year or two, there’s a pretty good chance you don’t need it, won’t read/watch/listen to it, and you shouldn’t have it.
16. Practice Prayer or Mindfulness
No matter what your beliefs are, there is value in getting spiritual (yes, even if you are atheist). Whether you find peace praying to God or just enjoying some quiet moments of mindfulness, fit in as much of it as you can. It gives you clarity, peace, and comfort, and acts as a sort of charging dock for your life.
17. Catch Up on Your Favorite Shows and Movies
Okay, so this probably isn’t the most constructive way to get through a quarantine, but it’ll certainly give you a chance to cross off those shows and movies you’ve been wanting to see. We don’t recommend endless hours of binge-watching, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a little downtime to pore through the latest episodes of Ozark or Tiger King.
These Self-Care Tips Will Keep You Sane During an Insane Time
We hope these self-care tips will get you through these unprecedented times, for however long they might last. We also hope that you will practice social distancing and limit your times going out to the bare essentials.
This time of our lives has no doubt been an inconvenience and a seismic shift in what we expect from life. But let’s be responsible so we’ll have plenty of life left to live when it’s over. Best wishes to you all!
[Featured Image by Amazon]