Dec 3rd, 2020, 09:11 PM

How to Stay Sane and Schedule Your Quarantine

By Sarah Farr
Image Credit: Peacock Photo Reserve
A 5-Step Plan from Morning ‘Till Night

1) Hold yourself (and others) accountable

Personally, when I don’t have something to get out of bed for, chances are I will find myself making that first cup of coffee at 3 PM. During quarantine, when lectures are recorded, it can be easy to bypass mornings altogether. Usually, this doesn’t end up feeling good and one can screw up one’s circadian rhythms like no one’s business. The solution? If you have the means, sign up for an exercise class, and GO to it. I find that when money is involved, I am more likely to jump out of bed, slap on some clothes, and rush to that exercise class before I lose $15 to an hour of different kinds of squats. And if you don’t have the means? Form a Zoom exercise group with friends every morning. Hold each other accountable, and you also get to see your friend's lovely faces every morning. Try and go to bed at the same time, too. It’s been said that a regular sleep schedule is more important than the actual number of hours of sleep you get each night.  


2) Create a morning routine that you actually like

If like me, you are more inclined to become a night owl in pandemic times, it may be important to create a morning routine that is something you actually can look forward to when you hit that snooze button. If that’s an espresso or two, and you have the means, invest in a small Nespresso machine and play your favorite Christmas tracks while it pumps out your morning bean juice. Sit by a window, soak up some sun, and draw something. Look at yourself in the mirror and instead of beating yourself up about that extra swath of mask acne covering your chin and cheeks, compliment how lovely your hair is growing out. Sit on the floor and think about what and who you’re grateful for. Snuggle with your pet. Read a chapter of a book. Whatever your ideal morning looks like, invest in it. It’s a weird time, and for night owls it’s an even weirder time to be a morning person. Whatever you do, try to avoid bombarding your brain with a million Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook notifications right off the bat. Give your mind some time to wake up, too; you probably wouldn’t jump out of bed and do CrossFit as soon as your feet hit your bedroom floor, so give your mind the same chance to wake up and come to terms with the day.


3) Keep a planner...or don’t

For some people, it can be incredibly helpful to have a visual plan for the day. Make this a part of your morning routine and jazz it up with stickers and colored pens. For some others, like myself, a planner is just a discouraging reminder of all the things I didn’t accomplish at the end of the day. And that’s ok. Unless you were around for the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, chances are you haven’t experienced something like COVID-19 quarantining. Be kind to yourself if not everything on your daily check-list gets done. Perhaps adopt this mantra at the end of the night, “I didn’t get this done today. I’m doing the best I can and I’ll pick up where I left off tomorrow."


A post shared by Stacy (@stacysplans)


4) Dress up 

There’s something about doing a full face of makeup, putting on a chic turtleneck and your favorite pair of jeans, or just wearing a nice pair of boots around the house. The truth is, no matter how disorganized, chaotic, or impulsive you are, we as humans need a basic level of stability or routine. Getting up every day, brushing your teeth, taking a hot shower, and getting dressed and ready can help to restore some sense of normalcy. But if this doesn’t happen every day, it’s ok. There’s always tomorrow.  


A post shared by Gigie (@glamlustre)


5) Eat a tasty meal. Now do that 3 times a day

“You are worth twenty minutes out of your day to cook a simple pasta dish and some vegetables,” my therapist once told me. He was right; for some reason, I expect myself to get 200% more work done with all this “extra time” during quarantine. Sometimes, I end up neglecting my most basic needs in this manic, ambitious state of mind. There is a pyramid picture that psychologists like to use, that orders a person's needs from most important, to the cherry on top once the things on the bottom have been accomplished. We all require our basic needs to be met — food, shelter, water, connection — before we can focus on more complex tasks like writing a good paper, being a good friend, playing an instrument, or learning a new skill. Schedule in your self-care like you do your final exams, and your final exams might become a whole lot easier this season.