Here we are stuck home for who knows how long. What are we going to do and how are we going to stay sane during these coming weeks of the Shelter in Place and Social Distancing orders? We’re all feeling a bit (or very) stressed, anxious and scared of what’s to come due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on other countries’ trajectories, it looks like we’re going to be isolated at home for a few more weeks or even months. The bad news is that loneliness and isolation for an extended period of time are bad for our health.
We can turn everything that happens into fuel.
The good news is that while we can’t control what happens, we control how we respond. And, we control two keys factors that impact our mental, emotional, and physical wellness. We control our mindset and our use of time. If we embrace the right attitude and use our time wisely, we can come out of the Safer At Home & Social Distancing Orders stronger.
We have a choice between alive time and dead time. Which will it be?
The Stay Home order can actually be a blessing in disguise – if you decide to see it that way – and that’s all up to you. Whether you live through the Shelter in Place order as an obstacle or an opportunity is up to you. You control your mindset. What else do you control? Time. You decide how you want to spend it. And once you’ve spent it, it’s gone forever. You can never get it back. You can always make another dollar, but you cannot make another day.
So, here’s what I’m suggesting: use your time wisely while under the Shelter in Place & Social Distancing Orders to exercise your brain and body and to work on your dreams – if you weren’t already.
How many times have you wished you had more time to do that personal project you’ve been wanting to get to for months or years? That thing you’re constantly putting off because life gets in the way.
The world is now on time out. And the time to make your dreams happen is now. This is it. There will never be another time with so few distractions to have time yourself and to work on the things you are truly passionate about. And, if you don’t make it happen now, it’s unlikely you ever will.
(Note: I’m aware that parents who now have to homeschool their kids are in a very different space and may not have a whole lot of time to spare).
“Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities” – Aristotle
You could binge watch Netflix, play hours of video games, and eat microwaveable food straight from the freezer and bum out for a few weeks or months.
Or you can put yourself in a state of joy and claim the Stay at Home order as “me time” to create joyful meaningful memorable moments out of these uncertain times.
But being stuck home is not an excuse for killing time. I won’t let these weeks or months of social distancing be for nothing. I have decided to spend my time as productively as I can. And for me, that means making up early to work on my dreams before I start working from home.
Get a Quarantine Routine, also known as Quaroutine.
It’s essential to get a quarantine routine or “quaroutine” to make sure time doesn’t slip away and to have a sense of direction. Figure out the things that are important to you and set time aside for them in your morning quaroutine. While it may be difficult to wake up earlier than you’re used to or want to, early mornings are the best time of the day to work on your dreams – before you start your work day. Otherwise, you’ll most likely never get to it. It’s much harder to be productive at the end of the day when you’re tired and mentally checked out.
Here’s my quaroutine:
I am not an early bird, I naturally wake up around 8:00am and go to sleep around 1:00am. This is a big change of pace for me. But, there’s now no excuse to stay up until the late hours of the night.
5:30 AM wake up (I’m a night owl so this is a really big deal for me, I usually wake up around 8:00am)
5:35 – 5:45 AM brush teeth & make tea (ginger, Manuka honey and lemon to boost immune system)
5:45 – 6:00 AM foam roller & basic stretches (gently wake up my body and muscles)
6:00 – 8:15 AM work on personal projects (for me it’s my blog, vlog and photography)
8:15 – 8:30 AM get ready & freshen up
8:30 – 9:00 AM get fresh air (only if you can do this while social distancing eg. bike, run, or stretch in your yard or balcony)
9:00 AM start work from home
11:00 – 11:15 AM
breakfast (usually an açaí bowl, here’s my recipe
12:30 – 1:30 PM
1 hour yoga session (with Yoga Glo
4:00 – 4:15 PM eat lunch (a nutritious, healthy, filling salad)
6:30 PM stop work from home
6:30 – 7:00 PM yoga / handstand session (I’m not doing this yet at this hour yet, I’m still trying to find the groove)
7:00 – 7:30 PM get fresh air, watch the sunset (beach clean up)
7:30 – 8:30 PM dinner
10:30 PM sleep (I’m currently going to sleep around 11:15pm-11:30pm but my usual bed time is 12:30am-1:30am)
Whatever your quaroutine is, make sure to incorporate physical activities to stay (or get) in shape. Your mental and physical health go hand in hand.
Be kind to yourself.
Remember, it’s all about progress. It might take you a week or two to find your quaroutine. As long as you’re getting up earlier, giving yourself time to work on your personal projects before you start work, you’re on the right track.
Take time to acknowledge the progress you’ve made – congratulate yourself for waking up even 30 minutes earlier than you normally would. If you don’t acknowledge your growth, no matter where you are you’ll remain mentally stagnant. Acknowledge your accomplishments no matter how small you feel they are. Someone out there is still wishing they had half of the motivation and determination you have.
Ultimately, you’re faced with a choice. A choice to use this time or not. To Make something of it or not. The answer determines the course of your life, whether what you face is an obstacle or an opportunity.
If I can leave you with one last thing, it would be to start today: set your quaroutine now.
Tomorrow is not a day of the week and later is not a time of the day.
Time has been handed to us on a silver platter. Take advantage of it. Take this time and give it all you got to do the things you wish you had more time to do “normally”.