These past few months have certainly been trying. But they’ve also taught us a great deal about ourselves. We have learned that we are resilient, strong, adaptable, and we’ve also gotten the opportunity to look at what’s most important in our very own lives.
Here are a few habits that you may have picked up in quarantine and while social distancing that may be worth sticking with as we transition back to our former schedules with patience and grace.
Being at home 24/7 may have messed with our sleeping habits and made early mornings a little challenging. But getting to bed early and therefore getting up the next morning a bit earlier, can set your day up for success. Setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it is one of the best and easiest ways to achieve your goals. The more well-rested you are, the better you will feel in the morning and throughout your day. To help achieve this, get the suggested amount of sleep and turn off all electronics at least an hour before closing your eyes.
A really good way to set the pace for the next day is to take some time each night or first thing in the morning to plan out your day out in detail. Make a list of everything that needs to be done, starting with your highest priorities and working your way down. We suggest taking it to pen and paper; crossing tasks off will automatically make you feel even productive and motivate you to finish what you planned for yourself.
As our “return to normal” slowly begins, it is important to take inventory of what truly matters to you so you can continue to prioritize your values, starting with yourself. Even if just for a few minutes, block off some time to journal and write down your thoughts, without focusing on problems you can’t control. If you live with someone else and/or you have kids, enforce daily quiet time in your household, during which everyone takes a break from screens and each other. Take time to stretch, make herbal tea, check your posture, and take deep breaths. Create a ritual for yourself and your family so that, even when the world picks up its pace again, you can still slow down and start/finish your day with a peaceful mind.
As creatures of habit, it is always too easy to fall back into our old ways. During this time of self-isolation, we have enjoyed taking walks, doing at-home exercises, or trying new ways to get our bodies moving. Why not continue this routine even when we have to go back to the office and gyms reopen? As we should all know by now, taking even ten minutes away from our work or stressors can naturally relieve your mind and body. Your daily workouts don’t need to be long and you don’t even need to break a sweat, just get moving.
Several of us have enjoyed becoming students again, learning how to bake, speak a new language, or even relearn an old skill. Hobbies that used to get thrown to the wayside have become bright spots in our days of quarantine, serving as a form of self-care. Don’t let them slip through the cracks again once the world reopens. Think of these hobbies and learning experiences as a rewarding break in the middle of your day, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
Yes, it will be so great to finally sit down in our favorite restaurants again. Even so, hopefully you have used this time to hone your cooking skills, learn new recipes and techniques, and appreciate the art of a home-cooked meal. So, yes, as soon as it’s safe to do so, get your fix of your favorite local spot, but don’t let your kitchen go back to being unused. Cooking at home is healthy, rewarding, and budget-friendly, so keep it up when you can!
It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and unintentionally lose touch with our loved ones or go longer without catching up than we’d like. If there’s something that this time at home has taught us though, it’s to surround ourselves with familiar voices and faces, even if we can’t be with them in person. Staying in communication with relatives and close friends helps us mentally, spiritually, and helps to keep us as grounded. Once life picks back up again, don’t forget to keep regularly checking in with loved ones who you may not live near.
Lately, many of us have enjoyed spending our free time in the company of loved ones at home. Whether it’s playing cards on a Saturday night, writing handwritten letters to friends, or hanging around the dinner table have meaningful conversations, we should be relishing the moments we have right now and do our best to keep them as a part of our daily routines. Making a habit of truly enjoying even the smallest events in our lives will keep our spirits up and make us appreciate it all a lot more.
Even if you haven’t adopted all or any of the above habits, there is still time to do so! Make a short list of a few tasks or habits you want to implement and get to work on them while the world is still practicing social distancing.