The world has turned upside-down with COVID-19. See how quarantine habits will help you keep your physical and mental health in check during this pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our world in a matter of only a few weeks. People are suddenly finding themselves in wildly different work situations or not working at all. Finances are a pressing concern. Kids are home from school. Everything has shifted.
This kind of stress and disruption can be the catalyst for a change in habits and health, both mental and physical. Sleep schedules are thrown off, stress eating has ramped up, day drinking isn’t uncommon, and exercise is the last thing on anyone’s mind. While it’s understandable that you might have slipped into a perpetual weekend mentality to cope with the state of the world, it isn’t sustainable. In this post, we’ll explore how focusing on quarantine habits will help you regain a sense of normalcy, maintain your health, and help you actually do those hobbies you now have time for (instead of watching Netflix all day).
Why Quarantine Habits are Important
If you are a non-essential worker who is either working from home for the first time or off work for the time being, then you suddenly have a ton of unstructured time on your hands. Depending on who you are, you might find this stressful, fun, or some mix of the two. It might be nice to relax for a bit and have an extended weekend — after all, the world outside is stressful, and you want to decompress. There is nothing wrong with that.
But if you continue like that for long, it will take a toll on your mental and physical health. I know that I personally have already started suffering the effects of this quarantine, and I’m a veteran of working from home. I find myself eating more comfort foods that are calorie-dense, losing interest in my hobbies and passions, and feeling a general sense of dread due to the world outside. No matter how much I wrap up in a blanket and watch TV, I can’t avoid the fact that my mental health has taken a serious blow.
Luckily, there are steps that I can take to fight back against these negative forces. I can force myself to do activities that I know will be good for me even when I’m feeling lethargic and depressed. That is why I created a set of quarantine habits for myself and hung them on my wall. I want to take an active role in promoting healthy habits during this shutdown. For all we know, this shutdown might last for months. The earlier you start setting your quarantine habits and seize control of your daily schedule, the sooner you’ll adjust to a new normal.
What are Quarantine Habits?
Quarantine habits are just normal habits that you want to emphasize while you’re stuck at home. Normally, in my habit tracker, I’d set some loftier habit goals to encourage myself to reach higher. However, for quarantine habits, you can set the bar a little lower. Your world was turned upside-down, so it’s normal to struggle with basic tasks that may have been easy before.
If you’re finding yourself struggling to eat healthily while you’re stuck at home, you can set a goal of eating one serving of vegetables a day. If you’re having a hard time getting out of your pajamas, you could set a goal of getting dressed in real clothes every day.
The goal of quarantine habits isn’t to encourage yourself to grow — the goal is to stay afloat and take care of your core needs in a troubling time. You may have days where doing basic things like feeding yourself seems like an insurmountable chore. During those tough days, focus on the habits you feel like you can achieve, like brushing your teeth or showering. With predetermined quarantine habits ready to go, you’ll be primed to tackle a few good habits every day — even on the days where everything is difficult.
Quarantine Habit Ideas
Here are some good quarantine habit ideas to get you inspired:
- Taking a walk
- Writing in a journal
- Unplugging from news and social media for an hour
- Tidying up
- Doing the dishes
- Getting dressed (in something other than sweatpants)
- Drinking water
- Getting 7-8 hours of sleep
- Brushing your teeth
- Eating 3 meals
- Playing with pets
- Avoiding junk food
- Avoiding alcohol
- Working on a hobby
- Socializing (calling, texting, or video chatting)
Track Your Quarantine Habits
Once you’ve selected 4-12 quarantine habits, it’s time to figure out how to track them. If you have a bullet journal or other type of planner, you can pretty easily add in a habit tracker with your newly selected habits. You can also grab my habit tracker printable from the Fox Den Resource Library for free and tape that up on your wall to track your progress.
I’m doing something a little different to track my quarantine habits. I created space for three months of tracking on a large piece of paper and taped it up in our living room. Jon and I are both participating in tracking these new habits, so we can check-in and support each other on the heavier days. He’ll use blue to fill in his habits and I’ll use pink. When we both accomplish the same habit on the same day, the colors will create purple. This way we can fill our tracker with positivity and color as we make progress.
Tip: The point of quarantine habits isn’t to necessarily to do each habit every day. Instead, aim for about 50% of your selected habits on a daily basis. That way you can flex and allow room for mistakes without feeling like you failed.
Take Care of Yourself
There will be some days where you just can’t hit those basic needs, and that’s okay. Everyone is experiencing a whole new level of stress and trauma from recent events, so don’t be surprised if things that were once easy become a challenge. Establish some strong quarantine habits now and regain control of your day-to-day life. The best thing you can do is be kind to yourself, allow yourself bad days, and try to make as many good days as possible while we all get through this together.