by Celina Simmons
During my experience being in lock-down for the past few weeks, I’ve come to the realization that I should probably start learning how to take care of myself. Now, I’m not just talking about feeding myself and good hygiene, I’ve been doing that for about 18-19 years now. I’m talking about the scary stuff, being an adult.
*Duh, duh, DUHHHH*
In all seriousness, the things that I’ve noted in this article should be part of my common practice. But there are some things that you gotta learn the hard way, aka after 4 hours of sitting hunched up over a laptop feeling on the verge of psychosis. Some of these are ways to stay healthy and proactive, while others are simply things that have helped me.
If you’re having a hard or uncomfortable time adjusting to the online transition, try some of these habits and let me know how they work! Or better yet, tell me how you stay sane during this pandemic. All submissions can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GAPS & SPACES: This is a little workflow trick that I’ve picked up recently doing all of my work from home. If you are one of those folks like me with a hyperactive mind and sometimes just CANNOT sit still, working in gaps and spaces may be your golden ticket.
This workflow allows you to give yourself those needed breaks throughout the day without feeling guilty or pressured to stay put for hours on end. Essentially, gaps are the times you set aside during the day to get work done. Choose three to four different times of the day (12noon, 3 o’clock, 7:30, etc) to be a set in stone gap time. Side note: It is helpful to keep your laptop open and in a common area where you can float on and off of it.
Spaces are those periodic points in the day where you find your mind wandering or getting distracted. Set a timer for 45 minutes. This is your space time to go for a walk, make some food, play with your pet, or just space out. Whatever it is that you need to relax. Just make sure you commit to getting back to a gap time after the timer runs out.
STRETCHING: I mentioned this in a previous article about self care, however this is more important than ever!! Your body does not like being inactive for a long duration of time, and while we are stuck behind screens all day, give your body the movement it needs to keep the blood flowing and motivation pumping.
SPRING CLEANING: It is that time of year, afterall. The sun is warming us up more and more every day, so take one of these sunny days and do the biggest deep cleaning you have ever done. Go through your clothes, paperwork, or school/office supplies and clear out everything you don’t need anymore.
This was the first thing I did when I found out about an “extended Spring Break.” I wasn’t feeling productive in my work space, so I changed it and cleaned it out. If you surround yourself with a cluttered or messy environment, it will only make your head feel just as messy or cluttered. Give your body and your mind more room to live.
FACETIME / SKYPE: During this pandemic, it’s going to be really important to keep in touch with those you care about. I have been facetiming my friends and parents almost daily and I’ve learned so much more about the situation we are in and resources available because of this.
Not only is this a good way to stay up-to-date, but it can also be a good motivator. Just the other day, I couldn’t bring myself to start any homework. I decided to call a friend from Buffalo, NY to keep me company while I got to work. It helped so much more than I ever thought it would. I was actually able to sit down and have a good workflow going for at least five hours.
COOKING: I will be the first person to say that I am a TERRIBLE cook. However, I get bored of bagels, cereal, and pasta all the time. I’ve been having a lot of fun teaching myself how to cook new things. Nothing advanced, but some homefries, bell peppers, and eggs with the right seasoning makes my tummy smile.
Of course there are endless amounts of ways to cope with quarantine and not all of them work for everyone. It doesn’t hurt to try something new and see if it works for you. If not, no harm or foul, it’s all just a work in progress. Stay motivated and stay sane, my friends and send in what helps you cope with lock down!