Due to the tragedy of COVID-19 many of us have been forced to put our lives on hold. Whether your pre-quarantine life was hectically busy or already in a “funk” of its own, the entire country has been forced into stillness. Though this pandemic could have really taken a toll on mental health, it could also serve as a great way to pause, reflect, and bring change. As restrictions begin to lift throughout the United States, one might wonder how to go about this new life. Here are a few tips you can use to modify your day-to-day life post quarantine.
Make sure to establish a good morning routine− and then stick to it.
Your morning routine will be the foundation of your day; it should be your most vital focus in order to have a good start to a good day. Morning routines help us prepare our minds for what is ahead, and without a solid morning routine, our brain will not have a trigger to get to work. This sacred time of day is meant to awaken the nervous system before getting busy. Morning routines should not be disregarded!
One modification you can make to significantly improve your morning experience is to cut off social media access for a certain amount of time. Whether you choose to restrict social media usage during the first thirty minutes or within the first hour of waking up, breaking the habit of checking social media as soon as you wake up will keep the focus on you while you remain in the present and gather yourself. Studies have shown that excessive social media usage can be linked to depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
Excessive social media usage can sometimes promote negative experiences such as feeling incompetent about your life or appearance, fear of missing out, isolation, and in some cases even cyberbullying. Let your morning time be your very own “me-time”. It is best to start the day off on a more positive note by restricting social media usage during your morning routine.
Instead of scrolling through social media shortly after waking up, it might be beneficial to listen to a podcast as you get ready. Podcasts continue to grow in popularity and serve as a great way to make tasks in your morning routine more enjoyable. You can listen to a podcast as you brush your teeth, make your bed, etc.
A podcast can be engaging enough to activate your brain into critical thinking as you listen to a conversation of your choice. There is a vast variety of podcast types, ranging from narrative storytelling to an informational interview-like setup. For some positive podcast recommendations and descriptions that can be used to compliment any morning routine, check out this list.
In the midst of daily diligence, remember to dedicate time for yourself.
The most significant lesson that quarantine has taught us is the importance of valuing our time for ourselves. It is okay to work hard and play hard; setting aside time for yourself is not a selfish act. Society encourages us to push ourselves to our limits as we strive to constantly remain productive, and while there is nothing wrong with being hardworking and productive, this extreme mindset can also lead to us sacrificing our own emotional needs, which can then lead to us sacrificing our sanity.
We can often lose ourselves in this “go, go, go” mentality. This mindset quickly places a dependence on our achievements to prove our self-worth, rather than allowing us to pause and experience what it is that makes all the hard work worth it for us.
Additionally, if we do not take time for ourselves and are not in sync with who we are and what we want, we can fall into the habit of making sacrifices that do not only impair our wellbeing but can also negatively affect those around us. If we do not practice self-care to get our needs met in a healthy way, we tend to have less energy, feel more resentment, complain more, and criticize ourselves and others. All of which can impair our overall performance and be very draining for others to be around us.
So, when you decide to dedicate time for yourself, make sure to spend that time doing something that makes you happy. When we spend time doing the things that we love, we are able to re-charge and re-set. We are able to do this through the practice of being mindful, which is the basic ability to be fully present and to not be overly reactive and overwhelmed by what goes on around us.
Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Self, greatly depicts ways in which we can practice mindfulness. Whether it is going to the gym and getting a good workout in, reading a book, or watching a new Netflix show, spending time mindfully doing something that you love can help to keep your emotional needs met.
With quarantine slowly coming to an end, and as you begin this slow return to normalcy, be open to listening to what this quarantine might have taught you about your day-to-day life. What changes can you make in your pre-quarantine life that you would like to see post-quarantine in order to improve your happiness? We may not be able to control situations around us, but we can always control the way we react to situations around us.
If you like this article and would like to keep reading, check out another routine related article: Is Your Fitness Routine Broken? Tips To Reset When Exercising Feels Harder Than Ever