Self-Care: Quarantine Edition

by Joei DeCarlo

I can’t be the only one stuck at home wondering how I can have fun and develop a routine that feels like I’m not trapped, right?  Over the past few weeks I’ve been working from home and realized a few days in that I needed to find normalcy inside of my studio apartment.  During my time at home I’ve developed a self-care list you can follow while you are stuck inside too. 

Wake up at a consistent time and get dressed in something other than pajamas- I can’t stress enough how much better I feel when I wake up at the same time every day.  It’s tempting to sleep in or take naps during your lunch hour (if you are working from home), but I try my best to treat the day as if I were anywhere else but at home. This includes getting out of my pajamas every morning and making sure I put on something that will encourage me to be productive. My go-to is a comfy pullover and leggings (fuzzy socks not required, but suggested for optimal quarantine mode). 

Put on your usual accessories- Pre-quarantine, I was obsessed with changing the band on my Apple Watch and choosing a fun pair of earrings. If you also enjoyed these daily choices, being at home should be no exception! Whenever I choose my outfit for the day I still put on my watch and earrings to feel like my usual self. 

Change your scenery when possible- I know this can be challenging in tight spaces, but even in a studio it’s possible! I try to work for a bit from my couch and then a bit from my desk. This ensures that I get up to stretch and change the direction I am staring at beyond my laptop screen. Also, pro tip: try not to work from your bed if possible. This is a trick I learned in high school and I’m a changed woman ever since! I had a hard time differentiating my bed from being a space for productivity and sleeping after a few days of working/studying from it.  Try to work from another space if you can so your body can wake up and be fresh for the day.

Re-visit your favorite hobbies or find a new one to enjoy- It can be hard to see the good in a situation so detrimental as a pandemic.  I’m finding solace in activities I love but don’t always have the time to do. Some of these include puzzles, organizing my clothes, reading books, and playing Spyro the Dragon on my PlayStation.  If you are sick of your usual hobbies, now is the time to try a new one! There are countless videos and posts on YouTube and Pinterest just waiting for you to discover.  You can try a new recipe, learn how to sew, or improve your skills on a musical instrument if you have one in the house. 

Stay fit- I’m not the best at exercising regularly after a full work day. But, it’s tempting to check out fitness videos to see what I can do from home! So far I’ve tried a few yoga, Zumba, and HIIT workouts all from the comfort of my living room. If you don’t have weights or a mat for the videos, you can make use of a blanket and those canned goods you stocked up on. 

Shop (responsibly)- When you are not out for essentials, now is a great time to take advantage of supporting small businesses online. Sites like Etsy are full of small businesses that make unique items you will love. I re-stocked on my favorite makeup and skincare, as well as treated myself to a new book.  Don’t forget to clean your package before you open it with a Clorox wipe or Lysol! You never know how many hands have touched it before it arrived at your door. Same with takeout. 

Spa day!- I’m obsessed with skincare products (not exaggerating). Drunk Elephant is a skincare line I’m trying to buy less of because my wallet will thank me later. But seriously, treat yourself to a day full of what you would use at the spa. If you are shopping for your essential groceries or you’re at the pharmacy, pick up a new bottle of nail polish or even a nail strengthener if a colored polish isn’t your style. If your nails are already in great shape (first, how? No, but really, tell me, because I’m struggling without the salon), you can try a face mask, letting your hair soak up conditioner for a few minutes longer, or simply meditate with calming music like you do when you are being pampered.  Simple body care ideas like these can help to boost your morale! 

Meal prep- It’s been so tempting to order takeout everyday for lunch because (1) it supports local businesses who are open and working hard to help keep us all afloat and (2) who feels like cooking mid-day when you’re not used to having the opportunity?

If you normally have time to cook your lunch moments before you eat, that’s awesome!  If not, I’ve found that meal prepping has helped me immensely. Some of my lunches this week have included avocado toast, grilled cheese, and smoothies.  I am trying to take advantage of the foods I normally cannot cook from my office as a midday treat!

Meal prep is also a great way to make the most of your food shopping trips. I’m one of those people who is used to running to Acme whenever I need three things. During the pandemic, however, I’m trying to stay home and reduce contact with others as much as possible. Knowing what I am going to make for lunch and dinner helps me to prepare my food shopping lists ahead of time. 

Video chat/stay in touch- Finally, keep in touch with those you love! If possible, FaceTime or Zoom your friends and family. With holidays such Passover and Easter approaching, it’s so important to keep up your traditions even in these difficult times. Little adjustments to your daily communications can help to improve your daily interactions even though they are now virtual. 

Let us know which of these you’ve tried and what you’ve been doing at home to keep busy during the quarantine. Be well! 

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