I don’t know about you but this month has been a bit of a roller coaster. I find myself easily slipping back and forth between contentment with our current situation and pure panic of COVID’s implications. One moment I’m thankful to be able to have some space to breathe and the next I can’t imagine what adjusting back to normal life will look like. Today, I want to share five practices that I implement in my every day to help me cultivate a sense of sanity!
As someone who already worked from home and shared space with another human all day every day, I can only imagine how much more difficult this new reality must be for those of you who need to readjust to living with family or working from home with roommates. In the past 30 days, I have driven the rest of my belongings from Phoenix to Denver to solidify my move to Colorado, launched Her Sorority Journey, and moved out of an apartment into a house. Amid all the newness, I have found that implementing these 5 things into my every day has created a new sense of routine and normalcy into my new every day.
1. Creating a To-Do & Gratitude List
Every night I prepare a to-do list for the next day to help me mentally prepare for tomorrow and what I want to accomplish. This helps me wake up with a plan of how I want to move projects forward, what chores I need to prioritize, and what I need to prioritize for my mental health. As I go through that day’s to-do’s, I list at the bottom what I’m thankful for as it happens! When it starts to snow, I’ll write down how thankful I am to be inside cozy with my coffee!! Or when my boyfriend makes me lunch, I make a note of how appreciative I am to be taken care of. Making a plan and finding gratitude in my days has kept me grounded.
2. Physical Activity
I have made it a priority to move my body every day to take a mental break from whatever stressors I’m experiencing. But I want to mention that my exercise does not look the same every day! Some days I take a full workout class online and others I just take a walk in the park next to our house. This is not about judging the intensity of your activity but allowing your brain space from screens and expectations either from yourself or others.
What types of movement feel good and boost your mood for the day? staying sane
3. Staying Connected
I’ve been making a point to reach out to my friends that I regularly spoke with during this new normal. One of my closest friend groups has been FaceTiming as a group every week or so - we even held a spirit week where we all dressed up according to a theme every day! At the end of the day, we hopped on Facetime to see what each other wore and caught up on our days :)
But I’ve also been prioritizing reconnecting with family and friends who I don’t normally talk to every week. In a recent podcast episode with Emma, we talked about how now is the time to check in on the friend who we always pick up where we left off with. Catching up with my grandparents has also been such a joy because a phone call with me might be the most exciting thing they do that day!
Think about the people you regularly saw, checked in with, or worked alongside during a normal week. Their world has been flipped upside down just like yours and I bet you will find so much solidarity knowing that they are adjusting to this new life and missing the routines you all used to share just as much as you.
4. Mindfulness Activities
Mindfulness is so important right now to check in with your body and the stressors on your mind. Some ways that I am mindful throughout the day are by journaling and listening to worship music in the morning and participating in the breath work portion of my barre online classes.
For you it might be downloading HeadSpace for guided meditation or breathing exercises, practicing your faith, or going on a quiet walk to be in tune with your body and nature.
Whatever allows you space to breathe and take a step back from today's craziness - do it. Reinvest and ground yourself! You need it.
5. Try something new or something you don’t do often!
I love baking and trying new recipes but don’t prioritize that activity without an occasion. My boyfriend and I have baked cupcakes and banana bread, and experimented with marinades for dinners this past month! It has been so fun to get creative in the kitchen three times a day instead of being stuck in our regular meal routine.
What is something you’ve been wanting to try or a hobby you’ve put off for a while? Maybe now is the time to learn guitar or start painting again! I challenge you to try something different from your regular routine to brighten up this unusual time.