We are officially in the 7th week of quarantine. While for some, this means having made peace with our circumstances and settled into a routine, for others, this means increased restlessness, anxiety, and a lack of motivation.
But for a lot of us, it’s a mix of both.
As the days go by, they seem to be blending together, and it can feel like we’re just going through the motions.
We miss our friends, our families, our jobs, and going outside. It feels claustrophobic in a way to know that we probably won’t be seeing any of those anytime soon.
But it’s not the end of the world, as much as it might feel like it sometimes. While there are so many things we can’t control right now, it’s soimportant to focus on the things that we can.
I know that this is a lot easier said than done, but here are some things I’ve been doing to stay positive:
1. Have a Bedtime
I think one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard this entire quarantine is a lack of a normal sleep schedule. A lot of us are going to sleep late into the early morning, and waking up past noon, including myself.
But this becomes a problem if you still have day to day responsibilities you’re expected to perform at home. For me, this is work and school, which I’ve overslept through more times than I’d like to admit.
That’s why I took it back to grade school and assigned myself a bedtime.
Not only does it make you feel productive and on top of it, but it also maintains that sense of purpose we usually get from performing these tasks in the outside world.
Pro-tip: Put your phone/alarm far away from you while you’re sleeping. That way you’re going to bed without distractions, and are forced to get up in the morning to turn your alarm off.
2. Have a Morning Routine
Another way to create a sense of normalcy is to have a morning routine.
Wake up, brush your teeth and wash your face, change from your night sweats to your day sweats, or put on a full on outfit if you’d like, make some breakfast, drink some coffee, and get to work.
I promise you will feel so much better about getting up and taking on your day.
Pro-tip: Have a work space separate from your “rest” space, ie. your desk and your bed, to change up the scenery and train your mind.
3. Open the Blinds or Get Some Fresh Air
Something else that’s made me feel better through all of this is opening up my blinds first thing in the morning, and occasionally going out on my patio to get some fresh air.
Sitting in a dark room with no natural light can make us feel depressed, stagnant, and unmotivated, but opening the blinds and getting some fresh air reminds us that there’s a world out there.
Even though we can’t go outside and do the things we enjoy right now, that feeling of the light coming in from the blinds, or the taste of sipping coffee on the patio, even if just for a moment, can bring us back, and give us just what we need to keep going.
4. Split your Tasks into Days
Right now, every task can feel like it takes a million years to complete. Even the smallest ones feel like they take everything out of me, and I find myself distracted by every single little thing.
With everything going on right now, it’s not a surprise that the lack of motivation is real.
Because of this, I’ve been trying to plan ahead and split my tasks by days so I can complete a little bit at a time.
I know it can feel tempting to procrastinate everything until the last minute, but splitting up your work into realistic and digestible sections takes the pressure off of trying to do everything at once.
There’s so many things to be overwhelmed with right now. That’s why it’s so important to do what it takes to limit the stress that you’re putting on yourself.
Pro-tip: Limit distractions by turning off everything you don’t need while completing tasks to help yourself focus.
5. Take Breaks when you Need Them
Something else you shouldn’t do right now, is force yourself to be productive every minute of every day.
I know in normal life we thrive off of being busy, but right now, it’s so important to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to take breaks when you need them.
Don’t be afraid to take naps between tasks, or take as much time as you need to recharge and refocus your attention. Now more than ever, the world understands.
While it’s important to stick to your obligations, what’s also important right now is you and your mental health. You can’t pour out of an empty cup, and you can’t give when you have nothing left.
I promise no one’s going to be upset with you for taking care of you first.
Pro-tip: When planning out your days, try to limit yourself to 2 or 3 tasks per day, that way you can ensure that you can do them effectively and in a timely manner.
6. Do Something for Yourself at the Beginning and End of Each Day
In the world’s current state, it’s so easy to become consumed with everything going on in the news; the rising and falling death rates, economic hardships, and an ongoing conflict about what to do next can really take a toll on us.
That’s why it’s so important to do something daily to channel your energy elsewhere
This can include (but is not limited to)
- Working out
- Listening to music
- Watching your favorite netflix show
- Working on a craft/passion
- Working on a personal project
Do whatever you need to do to work out your feelings and frustrations, or to escape from reality, even if just for a little bit.
Releasing tension through self-expression, physical activity, and/or mindfulness, can help you get out of your head, take your mind off of everything that’s going on, and make you feel better.
7. Take it One Day at a Time
It’s so easy to feel stuck when it feels like the world around us is falling apart. The uncertainty of the future can make us feel anxious, but the truth is, we don’t know what’s going to happen next.
All we can do is control what we have control over, and that is right now.
So take it one day at a time, allow yourself to feel, be gentle with yourself, find joy in what you can, and remember that whatever you’re feeling right now is valid.
Whether you’re unmotivated, your mood is up and down, or you’re feeling nostalgic for simpler days: you are not alone, we’re all just doing our best.
Have faith in knowing that this is temporary, we will get through this, and one day we’ll look back and this will all be a memory.