Self Care

Self Care During Quarantine

For many of us, self isolation and this time in quarantine has been HARD. Throw on top some mental health issues, stress, depression, anxiety and/or job loss, it makes this situation even harder. Trust me when I say, I understand this is hard. My boyfriend lost one of his jobs, he is still working his other two jobs out in the field and I’ll be providing essential mental health services in the community again starting this week. There is a lot of fear in the unknown, stress if you are struggling financially, waiting for the stimulus check, unemployment benefits and providing food and essentials for yourself or your family. I am right there with you, and I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy as we continue to shelter in place and stay at home, which is the safest place to be at the moment.

During this time, I figured I would share some ideas on activities you can do to promote self care and wellness, things that will keep you sane during this quarantine. Everyone enjoys different activities, but I encourage you to think outside the box; try something new during this time you never thought you would do! Whether it is starting a new workout routine, making a new dinner recipe, or calling an old friend to check in, using this time to try new things or spark new hobbies can help to keep yourself energized, motivated and in a positive mindset.

Some activities I have been doing on the weekends and in my free time for enjoyment include: reading, listening to music, writing (physically and in my blog), online shopping (can be therapeutic, but be careful to not overspend!), facetiming or video chatting with friends and family, working out (I love yoga, pilates, barre, some weightlifting), playing with my dog, working my side hustles, cleaning/organizing the condo, meditation, spa sundays, face mask mondays, and spending time with my boyfriend, whether it is making dinner together, playing games or watching a fun show or movie.

Exercise is shown to release endorphins in your body and helps to bring up your mood, so if you have not tried physical exercise during this quarantine, give it a try! There are so many options besides running or a typical HIIT workout, try something that you enjoy. For me personally, I love yoga, pilates, weightlifting programs and more recently, barre workouts! I love Beachbody on Demand and have been using it since July 2018. I use this membership to view hundreds of different workouts and it’s like Netflix for workouts! Perfect for at home workouts. It would be good to invest in some at home workout equipment such as resistance bands, a stepper, hand dumb bell weights, floor sliders, yoga matts, etc to make it easier to work out at home. Along with exercise, try baking or cooking! If you are not a cook or baker, maybe try spending some time in the kitchen to make delicious meals or desserts, you can also use this time to spend with your spouse or kids! If you are wanting to make delicious and healthy meals but more quickly (this is me, I HATE cooking lol, and I hate grocery shopping) perhaps try a meal kit delivery service! Aaron and I have been using Hello Fresh for more than a year and love the convenience of at home dinners delivered straight to our door. All the ingredients needed are included, along with recipe cards with step by step instructions to make the dinners. We also have tried Green Chef and I have heard amazing things about Home Chef! Do your research and try a service that will meet your needs (if you are Vegan, want Keto meals, low calorie etc, some companies are better than others).

Yoga, meditation, adult coloring, puzzles, reading, writing and listening to music have been my go to activities during quarantine to keep my mind clear and calm. As funny as it sounds, I try to schedule time in my calendar for “self care,” which will include one or more of these activities. On the weekends, I really take this time to step away from work, school and other stressors in my life and do things that bring me joy. What brings you joy? I LOVE getting to call my family, catch up with friends, post about my side hustles, shop online just a bit or just watch a good Netflix show. If you have a day or two in your week to really unplug, I encourage you to do so; it can do wonders for your mental health and overall well-being.

Something that has been almost therapeutic during this quarantine is DEEP cleaning and organizing my home. Seriously! You know that feeling when the dishes are done, laundry is folded, carpet is vacuumed and bed is made? It’s the best and SO satisfying. Perhaps when you have time, make a home to do list of at home projects you want to complete, whether you want to save up and purchase new home decor or appliances, organize your huge bookcase or rearrange your furniture in the living room. When you have a clean space to live in, you have a clear and more peaceful mind. I have been implementing making my bed every morning, and that truly has been setting the mood for the entire day! I’m currently working on re-organizing the laundry room with wicker baskets and I can’t wait to share here on my blog when it is finished!

Start a new skincare regimen. Yes, you heard me right. If you don’t wash your face regularly, first of all girl, let’s start making that part of your daily routine! You can explore my Arbonne and Monat pages for more in depth info on safe, clean and beneficial skincare products, but in general, start a morning and nightly skincare routine if you don’t have one already. Start off with using products that are to your needs (oily, dry, sensitive or combination skin) and use them consistently. I use: face wash, toner, a serum, eye cream and moisturizer or night cream. Also, make sure to use products that have SPF in them or purchase a good sunscreen to use before your makeup! Try new face masks! (My fave is the Rescue and Renew Detox face mask from Arbonne!) Have a spa night and treat yourself, going into your nightly skincare regimen. Your future skin will thank you.

Work on personal development. Quarantine should not be considered a “vacation,” even if you are lucky to not have to worry about work, school or bills. Use this time wisely and invest in yourself. Start the side hustle. Start working towards those dreams you have of applying for a home, a school, a master’s or PhD program or gaining a new skill. Read self development and self improvement books (start with “Girl, Wash Your Face,” and “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis. You’re welcome). Research something you’ve been interested in for a while. Reach out to that friend that offered you an amazing opportunity. Support a local or small business. Get closer in your faith or religion, if that applies to you. Read more statistics and data in whatever field you are pursuing and educate yourself. Use this time wisely, we will never get it back. Use this time in quarantine as an opportunity and not as a way to sulk in disappointment or self-pity!

Staying in contact with friends and family has truly helped me to remain calm, be less stressed and overall has increased positivity in my life. Just because events and public outings are cancelled/postponed, that does NOT mean the same for our relationships! We can still connect with our loved ones even as we are social distancing through the use of technology, so take advantage of it! Last week I caught up with some girlfriends and had a virtual happy hour! Let me just say, I know it wasn’t the same as in person interactions and a girls night out, but we gotta work with what we got. It also is fun seeing how everyone else in your life is doing, and I promise you, some of your friends and family are probably feeling the same way you are, lonely and stressed to some degree. Let’s remember to check in on one another; I promise, you will be glad you did and it’s nice to remind others that they aren’t alone.

If you don’t have a pet and have been thinking about adopting a pet, now may be a great time! So many animals in animal shelters are waiting for their furever home (haha, get it?) and now is a great time to adopt! I have a five year old yorkie named Archer, and let me just say; besides my boyfriend, Archer is one of the best things in my life. I love cuddling and playing with Archer, and he has been the best work from home companion. Archer has been there through a lot of tough times, and he is part of our family. Not even exaggerating. Pets help so many people to manage their depression, anxiety and even those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts due to circumstances or mental health issues. Pets are a reminder that there is joy and love in the world, and having a reminder to care for your pet will be a reminder to take care of yourself as well.

Last but not least, in this historical time, limit your social media usage. This is a hard one even for me friends. But for own mental health and well-being, don’t be scrolling Instagram ALL day long. Comparison is the thief of all joy. Follow people, brands and companies that only shower you in light, positivity and love and don’t let social media consume so much valuable time that could be spent bettering yourself and your future. With our current health crisis, let’s focus on the positive and limit the negative news media that we see on a daily basis. I promise friends, there’s so much good happening in the world that is not broadcasted on tv.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and let’s make quarantine a time that we all better ourselves and our future!

XOXO,

Madeleine

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