While it isn’t too much trouble at first, self-isolation can start to wear on both the mind and the body after a while. Not being able to get a change of pace, as well as the shift from your normal routine, can quickly lead to feeling more sluggish, frustration, and overall irritability if you let yourself become too sedentary. This is why it is important to develop a new healthy routine to keep yourself energetic and productive. There are a few things that are essential to keep pushing yourself forward through self-isolation.
Maintain Healthy Sleep Habits
Usually, the first thing to start to slip when stuck at home with nowhere to go is your sleep schedule. Without anywhere to really go, you slip into the mindset that you can either sleep in or stay up late since it’s not like you’re going anywhere the next day. Keeping a healthy sleep schedule is important for maintaining a healthy routine. Try to set a schedule so that you are going to sleep and waking up at around the same time every day. This helps set up a healthy pattern to form the rest of your weekly routine around.
Get Dressed As You Normally Do
The psychological effects of long term isolation can be devastating, causing you to further withdraw and become even less active. Keeping yourself in the mindset that you have things to do and that despite being in self-isolation you still keep your daily routine can help counteract the psychological effects of isolation. Something as simple as dressing the way you normally would when going out of the house can help give yourself some purpose. You don’t have to dress in a suit or tie, simply dressing in a nice pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, or anything isn’t your PJ’s is enough to help keep you in a better mental state during the isolation.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important even in the best of times, but it is even more important in this time of self-isolation. The psychological effects of isolation can also have physical side effects, and it can be just as physically taxing as it is emotionally and mentally draining. It is important that your body has the nutrients and energy it needs to get you through the day, and keeping a healthy and routine diet is the best way to do that. Schedule your meals to be around the same time each day, making sure to get in three meals per day. Try to stick to home-cooked meals over takeout and fast food for most of the week, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself from time to time either.
Keep Some Spontaneity
While keeping to a routine is important, it should be there more for giving you an overall structure to your day. Being too rigid with your routine could end up doing more harm than good, so it’s important to be flexible and a little spontaneous. Give yourself a day off to work on personal projects or just spend the day doing things you enjoy, or treating yourself to a nice meal ordered in.
Get Some Fresh Air
Depending on where you are, you might not be able to go out for a walk or go for a drive. It’s still important to get out and get some fresh air though, as even just going out in the backyard for a little sun can help improve your mood and overall outlook drastically. If possible, walk down to a local park or down the boardwalk at a beach, or even just around the block in your local neighborhood. If you really are completely quarantined at home though, simply getting out in your backyard is enough to lift your spirits. Basking in the sun for a little while can help you feel energized and refreshed, ready to tackle the rest of your day.
Work Around Your Mood
Isolation can affect people differently. Some people can power through it and use the lack of distractions as a way to get a lot accomplished. Others can find the lack of structure disorienting and get a bit lost as to what they should do with their time. From an emotional standpoint, people’s reactions to isolation can vary as well. If you’re having a day where you are more irritable than normal, try to stick to more mundane and less mentally taxing tasks like laundry, cleaning, and more mindless tasks. This will help both be a useful way to work out any adrenaline building up thanks to the frustration as well as keep you from overtaxing yourself and just shutting down.
It is incredibly important to keep active during self-isolation. Exercising regularly will help you feel motivated, improve your mood, and also increase your energy levels. You don’t have to bust out any heavy weights or order an in-home gym setup either. Simply doing exercises from your living room or in the back yard is enough. If you are the more active type with a lot of energy, cardio, and high-intensity workout programs could work well, while yoga might be suitable for more subdued and relaxed individuals. Whatever you decide, the important thing is to get some form of physical activity in your weekly routine.
End Your Day With Relaxation
Winding down is important, especially in stressful times like these. Isolation can wear on you more and more as the days go by, so it’s important to cap off the day with an activity you enjoy that helps you relax. This can be anything from doing jigsaw puzzles to watching TV or catching up with friends on an online video call. Whatever you decide to do to end off your day, make sure it eases you into a restful state so you can get a good night’s sleep to wake up refreshed and ready for the next day.