Raise your hand if you haven’t exactly been your best glowing self during quarantine. Let’s face it- we’re not keeping our usual sleep patterns, we may or may not be sticking to our typical diets, home workouts aren’t the same as the gym, and rules for personal upkeep and appropriates times of the day to intake alcohol have gone out the window. This “new normal” smacked some of us in the face out of nowhere and we’re just trying to get through it with our heads above water. If you’ve been all of whack lately, here are 10 tips for finding balance during these trying times.
Clean your living space.
Not having company to entertain can make you comfortable real fast. But the longer you let one or two things go instead of regularly tidying, the bigger of a disaster you’ll face when you attempt to start straightening up (I say this from unfortunate experience). Clutter will get to you. As boring and not fun as it may sound, carving time out of your day to organize can do wonders for your mood (when it’s done, of course, not while you’re doing it).
Set a bedtime.
I know this is counter-intuitive to your teenage self who vowed to live your best life after escaping the tyrannical rule of your parents and all, but it truly is what’s best for you. Your body needs to set into a rhythm and sleep recharges your bodily battery. If you don’t get enough, you’re prone to masking the exhaustion with excessive amounts of coffee and energy drinks, which only make you jittery and agitated with a possible sugar crash later.
Get all dressed up with nowhere to go.
If you look the part of a bum, that’s how you’re going to feel inside. Don’t put yourself in a rut by moping around with sweatpants and a bun every day like you just went through another bad breakup. A little makeup and regular clothes can make you feel more “normal.”
Limit alcohol/coffee intake.
There are better ways to perk up in the morning. Try some green tea instead. It still has the caffeine fix you’re looking for and it can help with your metabolism as well. Alcohol is also a depressant and, depending on what types of drinks you’re making, can lead to weight gain.
Go outside as much as possible.
You need natural forms of Vitamin D in your life, aka the sun. The sun makes you happy and you know it, so get out and clap your hands (unless someone is looking, then do this in your mind). But seriously, unless you have strict stay-inside orders, try to take a walk, or just soak in some rays from your patio/yard at least once a day.
Keep track of the day/time.
It’s pretty disorienting when you’re just going through this blur separate from time and space. A simple grounding exercise for the day is to check on what day/date it actually is. We’re usually so defined by our work/school/holiday/social life schedule that it can be hard to keep up when everything is the same every day and some of us are mostly just home.
Set small, reasonable goals.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by putting all this pressure on yourself to achieve greatness during this time. But having tangible things to cross off a to-do list is empowering. Depending on where you’re at mood-wise, your list can be as simple as writing down things you have to do to take care of yourself/get through the day like “brush teeth” “shower” “make lunch.” The more you’re up for it, the bigger your goals. Just being able to say you set intentions and complete them can be a morale booster.
Throw comparison away.
We’re all collectively faced with the same chaos, but our lives are still being affected very differently. Stop worrying about what other people are doing or how they’re handling things. Focus on doing what you need to do to cope and maintain your well-being.
Treat yo self.
Just be kind to yourself and accept that things are a little different right now. But don’t go overboard. If you add one extra cheat day to your normal diet, you’ll be fine. We’re all stressed, so cut yourself some slack in some areas. You may need to use paper plates at home for a bit and save yourself an extra chore of washing dishes. Maybe you can spend a few extra dollars and have your groceries delivered instead of braving the store with a mask. Or you can support a local small-business restaurant by having food delivered from them. Bend your regular rules for yourself if that’s what it will take to keep you even-keeled.
Maintain regular contact with people.
You may need to make a concerted effort to reach out to people right now. Most of us had some form of social interaction automatically built into our normal routines. You make need to be intentional about making it happen now, but we all need adult conversation. Definitely make sure you ask for help if you get into a bad headspace, whether that be from a trusted friend, family member, or the national crisis hotline (if you’re in the US, you can call 1-800-273-8255 text “HOME” to 741741 -also works in Canada- to connect to a crisis counselor 24/7- don’t be afraid to use this service!).
Limit media intake.
There’s not much positivity that can come from obsessing over the news or arguing with people over their political posts right now. Take some breaks from it all.
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