How to Thrive During Quarantine
Ahhh noooo… It’s that time again when Victoria’s coronavirus cases skyrocket alongside our second peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The time when stringent rules are being reimposed upon Melburnians. The time when students and teachers clear their lockers in preparation for the re-commencement of remote online learning. Amidst this turbulent period filled with constantly changing circumstances and challenging curfews, you may feel overwhelmed or claustrophobic more than ever before. Considering this, I have formulated seven key tips that will help you push through these days of ‘lockdown’:
1.Look after your body!
THIS IS KEY – As you Beliebers may know, a wise man once sang “you should go and love yourself”’. Self-care is crucial in our day-to-day lives, especially during this quarantine season. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day – drinking water helps you sustain focus and relieves potential headaches. Exercise regularly – moving and getting your blood pumping enhances your immune system and releases endorphins. But most importantly, get plenty of sleep – keeping a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time will help you sleep better and feel more rested during the day.
Pro Tip: Water Daily is an app that tracks how much water you drink per day. It allows you to set targets for the amount of water you want to drink, so that you stay hydrated the whole day. Staying hydrated = better general health.
2.Good tunes = good times!
Set the mood for your self-care staycation by putting on your favourite cosy music. You can go to Spotify’s Top 50 Charts and place it on shuffle, or even create your own quarantine playlists to relax and enjoy listening to. This will not only lift your spirits, but also make you smile and ease you of your worries. Remember, don’t let those disheartened emotions bottle up! Listen to songs that tug at your heartstrings; they will help you clear out the cobwebs.
So… kick the music up a notch and break up the monotony of self-quarantining!
3.Cleaning-up your space!
A lot of the time we find excuses to put off cleaning, but now that you’re stuck at home, you can make your environment spick and span! A clean environment is an INSTANT mood-booster. If you’ve ever played Virtual Families or The Sims, your virtual people and Sims become upset when they are surrounded by filthy environments (we are no different!). So…get started with cleaning! When the world outside feels out of control, focus on the things you can control, and you will find yourself feeling calmer and happier.
Pro Tip: If you don’t like cleaning, try setting up a timer for 10 minutes. If you give yourself only 10 minutes to clean, it’ll be much more doable. And you might end up finding yourself wanting to clean for much longer!
4.Treat Yo’ Self!
Even in quarantine, you MUST keep this in mind – you need to take time out to recalibrate on the finer, richer things in life. Give your skin some extra love by doing a face mask for deep hydration. Relax your muscles with a well-crafted bath paired with a good book and a candle – enjoy your moment of bliss! Host yourself a movie night, simply pick a flick, bring over the popcorn and enjoy. Taking time to make some yummy goodies could be worth hours of study time later.
As the old saying goes – if you don’t love yourself, who else will? It’s the little pleasures that get you through the everyday grind!
The best thing you can do to calm your mind and anxiety is meditate. Even though the outside world is crazy, you can work to stay grounded and peaceful in your inner world. Start by simply closing your eyes and calmly breathing for 5 minutes. You could also try deep breathing techniques or guided meditations, even with relaxing music playing in the background. Meditating can help you become more aware of your repetitive thoughts, alleviating any irrational worries. Tuning into yourself will bring you closer to your centre and compass. Meditation is one of those things that may feel difficult initially, but with consistent practice, becomes more and more rewarding!
Pro Tip: Calm is a mindfulness app with breathing exercises, meditation and calming nature sounds that help relax your mind. It is free to download with plenty of content, including more than 20 soothing visual/audio nature backgrounds, guided meditations and trackable timed sessions.
Journaling can be an outlet to release thoughts, ideas and emotions onto paper. It’s incredibly liberating and therapeutic to see a page full of your own words and reflections. It’s an amazing tool for working through your thoughts and can be incredibly helpful during chaotic times like these. Remember, all your feelings are valid and it’s okay to express them. Your journal is a safe space for you to do so – to help you understand what you’re going through. If you journal your gratitude every day, it will help shift your mindset from fear to appreciation and love, changing for the better!
7.Schedule and manage your time!
Since we are now all working/studying from home, continue to do your best on the job! It can be tempting to become lazy and procrastinate, especially when lounging around at home. BUT RESIST! Establish a time schedule for when you’re studying – having a study routine at home can help keep your mind off the other things happening around you. The feeling of being productive not only alleviates stress but also stimulates motivation so that you look forward to each coming day. There is less to worry about when you can get everything done. If you manage your time effectively and complete daily tasks, you’ll have more time to undertake activities that you truly enjoy.
COVID-19 has definitely thrown a wrench in 2020. It’s safe to say that it’s been intense these days and the pandemic has altered our lives to varying extents. Regardless of all this craziness going on around the world, remember that YOU are in control of your own mind and body. DO NOT LET THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS CONSUME YOU! Continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, take care of yourself, and keep in mind that this drastic change won’t last forever.