Most of us have been bottled up indoors for weeks now, trying to make sense and wrap our heads around this crazy pandemic. Our schedules have been stirred, our routines have been shattered, our income has dwindled, our stress levels have skyrocketed, and our motivation to even get dressed in the morning has pummeled. It feels impossible to stay sane while we await the demise of COVID-19!
In this post, I want to share some personal hacks I’ve learned how to stay productive during isolation.
I recognize that this strange situation makes it easy to fall into a negative, never-ending thought spiral, where you feel trapped, and it feels impossible to escape. It’s definitely a scary time, but I want to do whatever I can to stay sane, So I thought maybe my routine and habits will inspire you somehow, someway.
What have I been doing to stay positive and productive during this pandemic? Let’s get into it.
Journal and Talk About the Positive Things
First things first: Think positive thoughts… that’s the most important. Discuss them with your isolation mates and family members or with your friends via FaceTime. Journal them.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your negative feelings too. It’s okay to not be okay! Discussing or journaling the negative and letting it out may help to break down walls, resulting in more positive thoughts. For me, I’m not a person who’s comfortable discussing my feelings, so I definitely prefer journaling!
Journaling can help to boost your mood, reduce stress, and help you to become more aware of your inner needs. Start with five minutes a day and see where it goes. We have all the time in the world to try new things (indoors)!
When you’re journaling (or discussing), try to think about all the positives in your life. Are you in a comfortable home? Do you have enough toilet paper to last at least two weeks? Do you have food on your shelves? Are you isolating with family or friends? Start with marvelling over the little things.
One positive thing for me? It’s now way easier to be productive because of the lack of social events.
Now, I have much more time to get my shit together, to focus on things I care about, like writing more articles for this blog.
But that’s not all!
One way that has also helped me to stay relatively positive? I’ve been sticking to my same routine.
Stick to Your Routine (Or Create a New Routine)
I’ve found that it’s super beneficial to stick to my normal pre-coronavirus schedule. Just think: what do you usually do when you wake up? If you scramble to get to work, you can use this time of slowness to develop a new routine.
Or if you value a few more minutes of sleep more than the quiet time before your day starts, you can still scramble to get out of bed to make it to your computer on time if you’re working from home now. So life can feel relatively normal. Maybe you do personal things in the evening instead.
Either way, whatever your routine is, try to stick to it.
If you have more time on your hands, you can create a new personal schedule, one that includes time for your favourite indoor-friendly hobbies, a slot for exercise or meditation, and a few hours set aside to learn new things. And of course, when the day ends, don’t be afraid to let Netflix take over!
So what have I been doing routine-wise while isolating?
I’ve stuck to my morning routine of waking up early, enjoying my lemon/ginger-infused water and a steaming cup of coffee before the whole house wakes up. (Apparently, lemon/ginger-infused water can be super beneficial for you during this time, so why not pick up the habit? Right?)
And for those of us who exercised heavily as a part of our daily routine, don’t worry! You can still do this at home.
Before the outbreak, I did Hatha Yoga twice a week before increasing it to four times, but I had to stop going due to the coronavirus. So I took it upon myself to find an appropriate time for me to exercise for at least 30 minutes if I couldn’t do a full hour, four days a week.
But hey! You do you, whatever your exercise routine is, practice it, or at least some of it. You can find numerous exercise-related videos on YouTube, making it easy to keep exercise a part of your routine.
Introduce New Hobbies to Your Daily Routine
What have you always wanted to learn? Or do? Or practice? Guitar? Singing? A new language? How to make a certain delicious meal? Write a novel? If you’re stuck at home, without a job or have less working hours, now’s the time to introduce new hobbies.
I usually push these hobbies to the side, but now I’ve found more time to:
Social distancing will not feel as awful when you give your mind the pleasure of experiencing the world through words. Books take you to beautiful places. The best part? You will always learn something new about different cultures and emotions, whether you’re reading an informative book, an easy-going fiction or a romance novel. It’s crazy when you can feel what a character feels or learn more about your life through the story of someone written in pages. Your flight may have been canceled, but at least you’ll feel like you’re abroad when you’re reading. Right?
Basically, reading can help to distract and enhance your mind at the same time!
I’m quarantined, but my mind is free. Think about it.
Consider developing an online business!
If you ever thought of starting an online business or maybe you’ve had this crazy idea, but you haven’t found time to develop it—well, now’s the time! I’ve been working on my blog since December 2019, so working online is already a part of my routine. I’m taking this time in quarantine to positively strengthen my commitment to the time I spend on my work and to develop a better work schedule—one that I can stick to after all of this is done. You will never get bored if you’re always pursuing to make yourself better! Try to make the best out of the free time you now have. There are also plenty of opportunities online. You can look into starting your own thing from scratch. After all, you have the time to research it!
For example, I’ve decided to start a push my blog further and work on my marketing skills. My goal became to make my blog my business and I’m treating it as such. It takes a lot of my time and the productivity really makes all the difference.
Over the last short while, I’ve also enjoyed trying out these two new hobbies:
Creating DIY remedies!
Play with some DIY to pass time and learn to make unique creations, such as cleaning products, beauty products, crafts, a bookshelf, and whatever you fancy. It’s worth it. And it’s fun!
I usually play with face masks and lip scrubs. You can find so many things on YouTube, just make sure you know what you’re putting on your face, so you don’t unintentionally harm your skin.
Cooking new and simple recipes!
Okay. It may be hard to find the right ingredients due to the general public sweeping the supermarket shelves clean, but use whatever you can to cook or create new recipes! I also find that my kids love to try out new recipes, too. Just turn on music, dance away, and cook a scrumptious meal!
My daughter Val keeps making delicious chocolate chip cookies, but I begged her to stop! For obvious reasons—hehe! But she still explores the kitchen and makes snacks that are sometimes healthy and sometimes not so much.
What have you been doing to pass the time during isolation?
It’s definitely a huge change for everyone, making it important to practice positivity (but recognize and acknowledge when you’re feeling down), to stick and add to your routine, and to get back into old, healthy habits, and even better, develop new ones.
Until next time…