things i’ve been doing to stay sane during quarantine

These are weird, unprecedented times — so much so, that we’re often reminded of the fact that we’re currently living through a future high school history book chapter. With social distancing being one of the top trending phrases on the internet, stores lacking any toilet paper, and misdemeanors being handed out to those who leave their houses for unessential reasons, this is a daunting and (dare I say it?) scary time. As we’ve all been becoming accustomed to a national and worldwide quarantine, we’ve all had to find ways to adapt to our new “normal.”

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that one of my primary concerns during this quarantine was my mental health. As an extrovert-introvert, I rely on a mix of social interactions and “recharging” in order to be happy and feel stable and grounded, but since being confined to my house for work and school, I’ve had to find ways to keep my mental health in check in order to promote my well-being and happiness during this time.

As most other online articles have pointed out, keeping a routine is necessary when working and staying at home. I wanted to offer you a few specific examples of how I’ve been 1) keeping a routine and 2) simply staying sane during the quarantine.

Doing my makeup on weekdays.

I recently had someone ask me: “Why are you doing your makeup for online classes?” My answer was simple and how it’s always been: I’m not doing my makeup for anyone but myself. By doing my makeup, changing from my pajama leggings to different “daytime” leggings and shirt, I’m able to feel a little more normal. By keeping my weekday morning routine, I find it easier to do my homework and be attentive in my video classes. I also just feel good when I’m wearing makeup, and that’s a whole other serotonin boost in itself.

Practicing daily yoga.

Yoga has been a part of my life for nearly eight years now, and with the extra time at home, why not amplify my practice? I’ve talked before about how important yoga is to me, and I’ve found that it helps with my attitude profusely. Yoga forces me to focus on deep breathing, meditation, self-reflection, and most of the practices I do are also good workouts as well. It’s important to exercise right now — it increases our endorphins, boosts our immune system, and helps us to get moving after sitting in our house all day.

Right now, I’ve been following along with Yoga with Adriene’s 30-day challenges on YouTube, but Waynesville Yoga Center is also offering virtual classes as well as two FREE classes a week on their website!

Reading both new things and old favorites.

If anything, I’ve tried to find ways to embrace this time at home — and one way I’m doing that is by reading. I’m trying to finish up The Shining, which I started back in August, and I’ve started a new series called Nevermoor which my cousin and I have started weekly discussions on. I’m also doing weekday readings of my favorite book on my Facebook page, which you can access the videos to here.

Reading has always provided an escape for me and if I’ve ever needed an escape, it’s definitely now. By escaping to old, familiar worlds — like Narnia — as well as new, odd worlds — like Nevermoor — I’m able to be completely overwhelmed by something other than the Coronavirus for a while.

Having virtual dates with friends.

This is super important for me: social interaction, but without leaving my house. While I enjoy the extra cuddle time with my cat, my mind craves interactions with friends. By having virtual wine nights or Netflix parties (here’s a great Google Chrome extension for Netflix dates), I’m able to get that social time I need to stay mentally balanced.

Buying a hammock.

This can be replaced by literally anything you might’ve been thinking of buying for a while now — for me, it was a hammock. With the warmer, spring weather coming in, I finally caved and bought this hammock on Amazon and am loving it. I’m able to safely use it in my yard to read, do homework, or just relax, and it also gives me the necessary Vitamin D that my body needs to thrive.

Writing letters.

I realize that writing letters can be a little controversial right now when considering germs, but acquiring a couple of penpals can be a great way to increase your social interactions in a more thoughtful, unique way. I’ve been keeping up with my regular penpals, as well as, writing friends that I would normally be seeing on the daily. As a note, I’d like to add: if you have friends born in the month of April or May, I’d really suggest sending them a note or card for their birthday!

Journaling and practicing holistic self-care.

Journaling is a crucial part to my mental health as it allows me to process and compartmentalize my thoughts more thoroughly. I’m also doing more frequent face masks and baths, sleeping with my essential oil diffuser going, burning a lot of energy cleansing incense scents like frankincense and dragon’s blood, and am even practicing a bit of meditation. These small steps have made a huge difference in my daily life.

Note: holistic self-care should not replace medical needs. Baths and face masks will not prevent you from getting COVID-19.

Finding a new hobby.

A lot of memes have been circulating on my social media about using this time to start a new hobby and, well, they’re not wrong. Between my blog, my business, and school, I told myself, “Mia, you don’t have time for any new hobbies,” but I ordered a deck of tarot cards and am loving them. They don’t take up a lot of my daily time, they allow me to self-reflect on situations in my life, and they’re allowing me to enrich my mind with something new, and learning is never a bad thing.

Now is the time to pick up those knitting needles, practice your interior design, learn how to roast a duck, or whatever else you’ve been putting off because you just “didn’t have the time” before.

Working on my small business.

I’m fortunate that my small business operates from my home, so I’m able to fuel a lot of my extra energy into finding patterns, releasing new products, and crocheting/knitting beautiful items for other people. This has also been a wonderful way to work on promotions and business models, as well as, pay my phone bill. If you have a side hustle that you’ve considered monetizing, now’s the time.

Supporting other small businesses.

I’ll scream this from the rooftops: SMALL BUSINESSES NEED OUR SUPPORT NOW MORE THAN EVER. Many small businesses are offering online or curbside ordering, so please consider supporting them over corporate stores. Not only are you helping them pay their bills and stay alive, but you’re also putting money back into your local economy, which will be much needed after all of this is over.

Here are some blogs I’ve posted highlighting local businesses in Haywood County:

9 Waynesville Businesses to Purchase from this Christmas

9 Waynesville Businesses to Purchase from this Christmas (2017)

8 More Waynesville Businesses to Purchase from this Christmas

While we’re currently on week three (? — I’ve lost count) of quarantine, these are just a few things that have helped me stay grounded during this time. What are some things you’ve been doing? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Photo Courtesy of: Elizaveta via Pexels

This is an unsponsored blog. All opinions are my own.

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