This self-isolation scenario has been a bit of a curveball.
I’ve noticed a shift in my behavior the last few days…weeks…is it months yet? I’ve developed questionable eating habits. Exercise walked out the door and caught the first bus out of town (it’s the only one that can, to be fair). Sprinkle on a little stress and the loss of social connection, and I’ve found my mood deteriorating by the day…month…is it years yet?
The uncertainty is understandably unsettling. Even answers lead to more questions these days. I won’t go so far as to call this another self-help article. It’s certainly not a ‘New Pandemic, New You!’ post. Those are a dime a dozen these days.
I’ve been over here celebrating the simple act of dragging myself out of bed in the morning. I’m a sloth by nature! I’d hazard a guess that’s a lot of us at the moment. I can’t change this. None of us can. Instead, I’m focusing on ways to better deal with all of this while it’s here.
What follows are the small steps I’m taking to save off cabin fever…
…while we’re all locked inside avoiding that *other* fever.
Maybe you’d like to follow along?
I’m trying to stay active in my (relatively) small space
I didn’t know I had it until I did!
I’ll admit…when I first heard we’d all be staying home, exercise wasn’t on the top of my list. Don’t get me wrong. It was on this year’s to-do list. But so were a lot of things that just aren’t going to happen while we’re living this new normal.
Group fitness classes are the only way to get me moving. The music. The people. They give me a level of motivation you’ll find mysteriously absent from my home life. But group classes are a no-go. I also suck at coming up with an exercise plan. I couldn’t tell you *what* I should be doing to save my life…literally.
So I’ve turned to the internet in an effort to find the next best thing. It’s cliché, but I’m feeling better. Mentally, more so than physically. I find a little exercise – even if it’s low impact – helps me clear my thoughts. That’s especially important right now given I’m stuck at home with them for so long. I’m also mindful not to beat myself up if I just…don’t feel like it on any given day.
Surprisingly, you need very little space to get active.
Even *my* apartment was (just) big enough.
Here are a few of my favorites.
The Body Coach by Joe Wicks
Joe Wicks – The Body Coach – is my favorite online PE Teacher so far. The service offers free workout sessions on YouTube, as well as a full 90-day transformation program. They’re fun, and easy to do at home. Find out more about The Body Coach here.
The Nike Training Club App
For the time being, Nike Training Club is offering free premium access to all users. It’s a great initiative for users like me looking to stay (a little) healthy. Nike Training Club provides expertly designed workouts for all fitness levels. Check out the Nike Training Club app here.
Centr by Chris Hemsworth
Ok. So. Disclaimer. I won’t be looking like Chris Hemsworth when this is all over. Still, Centr is one of my favorites. Centr’s 7-day free trial allows you to get a feel for the program before you commit. The extensive range of workout programs includes HIIT, boxing, strength training, yoga, and much more. Plus, there’s little to no equipment required. Sign up to Centr’s 7-day trial here.
I’m eating new foods (snacks included)
Foot traffic may be down…
…but it’s well up in my kitchen.
Around the pantry, to be specific.
I won’t say I haven’t dived into the snacks, comfort foods, and all manner of treats. I have. And that’s totally fine! Any shred of comfort you can find in the world these days should be savored. And oh, I’ve savored it.
But I’ve also been cognizant of the fact that I…don’t actually feel all that great when my diet consists of chocolate for breakfast, fries for lunch, and leftovers for dinner. It was fun while it lasted, but I also started to lack energy and felt flat a few weeks after all of this started.
Since then I’ve attempted some simple recipes I’ve been wanting to try for ages. I’ve started making a list before I shop, to cut out the impulse purchases. I prepare the odd healthy snack of fruit and vegetables when I can (i.e. when I remember), and I listen to my body a little more.
Turns out I was eating out of boredom 90% of the time.
Who would have guessed?
(I still haven’t attempted to make sourdough bread…yet…)
I’m staying connected while apart
Isolation is tough.
Humans are inherently social creatures and, right now, that’s exactly what we need to avoid.
I’ve always been more of an introvert than an extrovert, but even I’m feeling the lack of interaction. Those awkward silences when they call the wrong name for your coffee order. Replying with a ‘Same to you!’ as the cashier tells you to enjoy the movie.
In all seriousness, I’m missing friends and family that are outside of my bubble. And I know they’re missing me too. Loneliness, sadness, and even depression are pretty common emotions right now.
In times like these, I’ve started relying a lot more on technology. I couldn’t tell you the difference between ‘Save’ and ‘Save As’, but I’ve managed to wrangle my phone into cooperation so I can recharge with friends and family. Skype, Zoom, Messenger, FaceTime, and other apps have all helped me keep in touch and make self-isolation a little easier.
I’m recognizing when stress is weighing me down
I’m not sure about you, but isolation has me waking up feeling stressed most days.
While it’s a natural response, it doesn’t feel great.
It’s affected my mood, my hormones, and my ability to think rationally. I’ve been more mindful of how I’m feeling recently, being ok with not being ok, and when I have the energy, working on ways to help myself feel better.
The first step has been limiting my exposure to the news. I like to be up-to-date. But there’s no need to check the latest headlines every fifteen minutes, or endlessly scroll through social media. It does more harm than good!
I’ve also started practicing mindfulness as much as I can. Most of that just involves thinking of snacks and then getting up to eat said snacks, but it’s a start. I’ve tried a few mindfulness apps – this list includes some of my favorites – and while they haven’t changed my life, they’re helping a little. And that means a lot right now.
Finally, I’m keeping a journal. It isn’t anything fancy. It won’t be turned into a novel ten years from now. But putting my feelings down on paper helps me cope. I jot down how I’m feeling, what the day’s been like, what I’m grateful for and what I hope tomorrow brings.
Looking back in a year or two, it’s going to be odd to think we were ever in this position. Did it really happen, we might ask, as we sit around laughing with friends. Until that time, it’s important that we take care of ourselves. Remember, like all tough times, this too shall pass. We’re all in this apart, together.
This content is brought to you by Robert Jacob.
Feature Photo: iStockPhoto