It’s a Weird World Right Now
Society as a whole is in a really weird situation at the moment. The current pandemic has caused an enormous amount of change to our daily lives. Our communities and local businesses are experiencing an unprecedented pause that has certainly shifted our perspective on just how fragile the things we take for granted really are.
The COVID-19 situation is in no way a positive happening, as a significant amount of people are ill and even losing their lives, businesses are struggling, and many individuals are out of work. Even those who are still able to work find themselves under more stress and anxiety than ever before, particularly our health care workers.
Ironically, if most of us were told we would be instructed by government officials to stay at home and avoid going to work six months ago, we would probably be joking about how great that would be. However, as we are now several weeks into this voluntary quarantine, a lot of people are beginning to realize the situation is anything but optimal.
As humans, we are inherently social creatures. We function best when able to get out of our homes, mingle around the community and spend time with our friends and family. Although the current pandemic has not caused complete isolation from these people, the ability to fellowship and enjoy each other’s company has been significantly reduced.
If isolation and boredom weren’t bad enough, the fear and tension looming over our heads about the unknown outcome of this health crisis can compound the mental and emotional problems we are now more prone to.
When something is wrong, we usually feel better when we can do something about it. As a matter of fact, even FEELING like we are doing something to help the issue still resolves some of the mental stress.
The magnitude of the situation we now find ourselves has caused a lot of people to feel overwhelmed and worried, asking themselves how they could even begin to make this situation better.
Even though this may not be something you want to hear, you need to consider something. As bad as these quarantine and self-isolation requirements may be, if this is the BIGGEST problem you are facing during the pandemic, consider yourself extremely lucky.
You can be certain that anyone who is critically ill and dying from the virus or those watching their loved ones go through it would trade places with you in a heartbeat!
That being said, it is still important to maintain your sanity during this lengthy period of isolation.
If you do nothing but sit around and watch the latest news reports detailing how bad things are or may eventually be you risk becoming overwhelmed, very stressed, possibly depressed and certainly wasting previous time that you can use for self-care, getting things done, personal growth and a wealth of other much more productive activities.
The Bright Side
Optimists and positive thinkers know there is always a bright side to everything, even times of global crisis. Consider that you may never have a chance like this again, to be at home with likely a lot of time on your hands.
You cannot control that work has stopped, you cannot control that everything is closed BUT you CAN control what you do with your time, your attitude and your outlook.
What is the Bright Side?
Well for one, you may never have more time on your hands than now, since for most of us time is a previous gift, this is the time to utilize it properly. Try to look past this situation and picture yourself on the other side of this crisis.
This can be a period of self-deterioration or improvement – the choice is totally up to you!
25 Habits To Stay Sane During Pandemic Times
To get you started on how you can make the most of an unfortunate situation and avoid going totally insane while spending so much time at home, here are 25 habits you can implement that will make you feel like your time is not going to waste.
1| Reconnect With Immediate Family
If we’re being honest, the craziness of everyday life keeps most of us from spending as much time as we would like to with our immediate family members. This is one of the main facets of life that most would list when thinking of things, they would like to do better.
The situation at hand is inarguably the perfect time to make this happen. While you are stuck at home together, use this time to nurture and reinforce your relationship with your significant other and/or children.
When you reach the point where it feels like these people are only driving you even crazier, celebrate that! Time with these people is invaluable and life rarely allows us to get enough of it. Don’t take this gift for granted.
2| Video Chat With Friends & Relatives
One of the hardest parts of this quarantine is the inability to spend time with loved ones that we don’t live with. While nothing can replace face-to-face interaction, technology has provided us with many ways to experience the next best thing.
Plenty of smartphones and computer apps allow video chatting, usually with a decent sized group of people. Take advantage of this by scheduling regular video chats with friends and family members you are unable to spend time with right now.
3| Spend Time Outside
One extremely fortunate aspect of this quarantine is that we are not locked indoors without any sunshine or fresh air for the duration. A great way to take care of your mental health is to spend as much time as possible outside.
Luckily, this pandemic is taking place during one of the best time periods to enjoy the outdoors. What you choose to do outside isn’t nearly as important as simply getting out of the house in general! When the weather allows, take advantage of every pretty day, appreciating the fact that you are healthy, not stuck at work and able to enjoy every ray of sunshine.
4| Catch Up On Exercise
Exercise is another activity that ranks extremely high on the list of things you know you should be doing, but never have time for. It goes without saying that this excuse is no longer valid for the time being!
Furthermore, we are all aware of the physical and mental benefits available through regular exercise. A health pandemic is a fantastic reason to implement anything that can reduce stress and anxiety.
Not only can you emerge from this quarantine more fit and healthy, the extent of this situation is likely long enough to ingrain the habit into your daily life. Let this time period be the foundation from which you continue to make time for regular exercise moving forward!
5| Reduce Clutter
There is no better time to knock out some spring-cleaning than being stuck at home for weeks on end, in the spring! But seriously, most of our minds are already cluttered enough with worry and fear about how this situation will progress. Spending this quarantine is a cluttered environment will only exacerbate this issue. Make your space a place of order and cleanliness and you will definitely notice a reduction of your mental clutter.
6| Celebrate Meal Time
Sitting down as a family to enjoy a meal is something that, unfortunately, only applies to hallmark movies and black and white television shows. A large percentage of households rarely get to enjoy this experience, eating meals at different times and sitting in front of the television instead of having conversations with each other. During these trying time, it is important to find as many things as possible to celebrate. Family meals together should be one of these celebrations.
7| Avoid Excessive News Watching
While it is certainly important to keep yourself informed about the current pandemic, try not to become completely engulfed in the news coverage. As usual, news stations do a great job of filling you in on all the chaos and turmoil going on all over the world.
If all that you consume is bad news every day while being stuck at home, you are not doing your mental health any favors. Try to watch just enough news coverage to get the information you need and not a bit more.
8| Maintain Some Form of Routine
Our daily routines are basically sanity manifested into a physical form. Even for those of us who by no means consider themselves to be creatures of habit, a complete shift in day-to-day life can do quite a bit of damage to our sense of order.
Even though your usual schedule probably looks a lot different, it is critical that you adopt a temporary routine for the time being. Having things that you CAN control during such a period of uncertainty can be a great asset to your mental health.
9| Don’t Stay In Your Pajamas All Day
Piggybacking off of tip number 8, just because you can roll out of bed each day and keep the same clothes on until you get back in it doesn’t mean you should. It is safe to say that most of us though this was a great idea for the first few days of quarantine. However, for the sake of yourself and the people you live with, take a shower and change clothes every single day!
10| Complete Important Work From Home
Remember that just because work may seem like a distant memory at the moment, eventually your job is going to return to normal. Make sure that you are at least being somewhat proactive and getting as many important work-related tasks done as possible.
The last thing you want is to exit one stressful situation and immediately stuff foot in another, that being weeks of assignments piled on your desk when you eventually clock in again.
11| Go Old School With Board Games
Nostalgia anyone? Board games have been minimized to antiquity due to electronic devices and the relatively long amount of time required to enjoy them. In a situation like this quarantine, time is more plentiful than ever. Spending a night with the family playing a board game is a great way to connect with your tribe and give your mind a break from worry and being glued to a screen.
12| Enjoy An Interesting Book
One of the many great aspects of reading is that when your actual world becomes less than favorable, such as this exact moment, you can immerse yourself in another for a temporary reprieve.
We are all aware that regular reading is a great form of personal development, but this habit is also another luxury that time constraints usually do not allow. Find an interesting book and ride out this isolation in a literary world of your choosing!
13| Celebrate Short Periods Out Of The House
Although remaining at home as much as possible is the right thing to do at this point in time, there are going to be necessary ventures away from your residence here and there. You are still going to have to go to the grocery store, put gas in your vehicle, etc.
Why not make the most of these trips instead of taking them for granted as pretty much all of us did before? During times like this, the little things really begin to count. Need a loaf of bread or a few gallons of gas? Why not make a day out of it?
14| Don’t Drink (Too Much)
Another bad idea during this quarantine is to treat the entire experience like your last spring break trip to the beach. Consuming alcohol at noon is another one of those unique things right now that, although you can do, you probably shouldn’t.
Remember that you can STILL be productive even at home, but not if you are intoxicated for weeks on end. Furthermore, getting back to your normal life after a month-long bender is probably not going to be enjoyable.
15| Complete Overdue Home Projects
A funny thing happens when stuck at home for a long period time. This is the sudden awareness of how many things around the house are in need of some repair.
While most of the time we are only aware of big things that require some work, by the time this is over, you will be aware of every dim light bulb, leaky faucet and scuff mark on the floor! Show your isolation fort some love while you have the time and perform a little home improvement.
16| Take Advantage Of Restaurant Deals
As if anyone needed an excuse to order food more often, local businesses such as restaurants can really use our help right now. Unfortunately, these places lack any means of passive income. If no customers show up, no money is made.
However, most restaurants are offering really great specials right now available through a delivery or carry out service. Likewise, even purchasing gift cards to utilize when these locations are once again open to the public still goes a long way. Since you want to anyway, show your local establishments some support.
17| Netflix Binges Are Okay Now
Normally, when Netflix asks if you are still watching, you can be pretty sure you are procrastinating something else you should be doing. This isn’t necessarily the case during a home quarantine. To pass the time and get your mind off of the unfortunate situation at hand, enjoy a guilt-free binge of your favorite special.
Since you will be doing your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home and binging Netflix, consider yourself to be helping the cause. However, you may not want to go as far as adding “activist” to your resume.
18| Find A Way To Help Those Affected
Okay, maybe binging Netflix isn’t the most efficient way to assist in fighting the current pandemic. However, there are ways that you can actually make a difference and help those in need.
Several methods like this are already in place such as providing meals to children who depend on school being in session just to eat and groups of supporters providing protective equipment to our healthcare heroes.
There is no better way to improve your own mental angst towards this pandemic than by taking action to help those that are affected far more than simply being stuck at home.
19| Virtually Tour Neat Things
A really cool idea that several fantastic museums and other amusements are offering is the ability to virtually tour these experiences from your computer. This can be a wonderful and educational way for you and your family to enjoy yourselves while staying safe and isolated.
20| Splurge On Self-Care
Now is a great time to finally do more for your daily maintenance than taking a shower and brushing your teeth. For what may be the first time in a while, pamper yourself like the king/queen you are. Use that charcoal mask you got last Christmas. Maybe even put bubbles in your bath if you are feeling extra crazy!
21| Cut Your Own Hair
A true first-world problem that many people are experiencing right now is the inability to get routine haircuts. The way many of our ordinarily fresh hairdos are looking right now, it may be a good thing we are not in the public eye.
If you are up to the challenge, why not take a chance and attempt to cut your own hair? Consider this, if you absolutely fail, there is probably plenty of time to it to grow back before anyone is going to notice!
22| Quality Time With Pets
It is safe to say that the only true winners of the current situation are our animal friends. These guys have no idea what is going on, but they love their humans being home more than ever. Be sure to spend some quality time with your pets while you can.
Taking them on more walks than usual is also a great excuse to get out of the house anyway. Remember that our pets are pretty much always victims of quarantine in our absence.
23| Stop Assuming Everyone Else Is Thriving
As usual, social media is giving many people the impression that everyone else is having a fantastic time during this quarantine. Picture after picture of other families doing arts and crafts and your coworkers exercising at the local park may make you feel like you are in the minority for being bored and anxious.
Rest assured that this is not the case, everyone is adjusting to this strange situation and, if given the choice, almost everyone would prefer things to go back to normal.
24| Plan A Trip
Collaborating with your family in planning a fun trip post-quarantine may be a great way to ease some of the tension due to the situation at hand and reinforce the fact that this WILL get better at some point.
This doesn’t even have to be some grand vacation or international adventure. Simply having something fun to look forward to can do a lot of good right now.
25| Enjoy This Time For What It Is, Realize This Is Not Permanent
Often times in life, we fail to realize how much we actually enjoyed something until it is over. This crisis is by no means a positive experience, but as a healthy individual stuck at home, you can make it as enjoyable as possible.
Take this season in life for what it is. When the world goes back to normal and every second of your time is allocated to work and the usual responsibilities, you may just reflect back to the time you had nothing BUT time on your hands with fond memories.