So this is week 2 of the Stay-At-Home order here in California. I wanted to check-in and tell you a few ways I've been staying sane. I know it's not easy, not even for a socially-introverted homebody like myself. Although I work mostly from home, I still normally go to the gym every day, hit up the grocery store at at least 2x per week, see/photograph clients most evenings and weekends and head to LA to auditions whenever those come up, usually 1-5 times per month. So this is definitely not the same as my usual life, although I like to joke that it is. So I can't imagine how everyone else must be feeling! Most of you with regular jobs, kids, commutes, routines, etc., I get why everyone is going nuts and feeling anxious. I wanted to share some ways that I practice self-care during the quarantine that have saved my mind and, let's be real, probably my husband's life too.
10 ways to practice self-care during this quarantine:
1. Keep a calendar and mark off the days, just like before iPhones and Google Calendar. This helps keep a visual reminder that the days are, in fact, passing and also to keep track of what day it actually is! This sounds super simple, obvious and possibly unnecessary, but as the days go by you'll be glad you did this and will keep you from going crazy.
2. Set your alarm to wake you up at the same time every day. It's okay to take this time to rest and sleep in, but try to keep some sort of routine. If you wake up at 9am some days and 1pm other days, it's probably because you've stayed up late and this will completely throw off your sleep patterns which will really hurt you when "real life" starts again. Try to set a time to go to bed and one to wake up, even if it's later than usual.
3. Set aside 1 hour per day for house work. Remember, you live in your space 24/7 now. If you let it get too messy for a long period of time, this will add to stress and anxiety. Likewise, you don't want to spend every day deep cleaning and stressing out over a sock on the floor. A little every day will help to not feel like you're drowning but then move on to something else.
4. Make a list of little things you've always wanted to do or learn that you didn't have time for and give it a go! It doesn't have to be anything fancy, it can literally be just learning to paint your own nails. If you have the means to order a language course or painting supplies to give watercolors a go, why not?!
5. Develop a morning and night skin-care routine. This doesn't have to be lengthy, tedious or expensive. For example, in the mornings I cleanse, moisturize and apply sunscreen (yes, even for just around the house) or I apply a face mask. My favorite cleansing mask is Purity by Philosophy. I love that it's a mask that turns into scrub when you start to wash it off - goodbye dead skin cells! Then at night I cleanse, apply serums (retinol and vitamin C), eye cream and night cream. I love the StriVectin SD wrinkle cream and have been using it since I started my weight loss. It was initially just for stretch marks but I noticed it works wonders on my face too so that's what I use ever since. But honestly you can just use whatever you have at home, the key is to actually use it!
6. Read those books you've purchased but never actually read. Or order a new one from Amazon. Or download an audio book! I'm all about Audible these days, I love listening to books being read to me as I cook, clean or get my steps in!
7. Try a new recipe! Even if you're not big on cooking, you'd be surprised how therapeutic it can actually be to follow a bunch of steps and watch it become something delicious. It doesn't have to be fancy just try something new! You know that dish you love so much from your favorite restaurant? Google a recipe and go for it!
8. Get some exercise! Go for walks (just stay at least 6 feet away from people), use a jump rope, do some jumping jax, or even a yoga class in your living room! You can find beginners yoga on Youtube or download an app. I love the Gaia app for guided yoga classes of all levels.
9. Try meditation! No, it's not just for yogis and hippies, meditation is for anyone! From learning to calm the mind to sitting in complete stillness, meditating is something we can (and should) all benefit from, and what better time than being stuck at home for an unidentified period of time? I like the Calm app for guided meditations and relaxing sounds.
10. Take a hot bath or shower when you start feeling stressed. Use bubbles if you'd like! This is the time to unwind, relax, de-stress and re-group. I know it can be hard with young children and needy spouses, but when possible, especially if feeling stressed or anxious, jump into the shower and literally wash it off. It's something that I've always done when anxiety starts to creep in, I just go in the shower where it's quiet and envision washing off my anxiety and stress. Cry it off if you have to. As an HSP (highly sensitive person), I feel the weight of the world deeply in my soul. The news, the media, the memes, the articles, the seclusion... it can all be too much for people in general, let along an HSP. Simple things like just a moment to regroup really help and also keep me away from the snacks.
I want to wish everyone a safe and healthy time of quarantine and hoping this all blows over soon. I'm sending love to all the essential workers who do not have the luxury of staying home with their loved ones. These are scary and uncertain times and I of all people know what a toll uncertainty can take on the mind. Whatever your circumstances are, make sure to take this quarantine seriously and act carefully. Most important practice self-care, because it's ultimately what we will present to the world when this is over. Sending love. <3