Unknown. Confusion. Worry. Panic. Lonely. Chaos. Toilet paper? These are just some words to describe what many people are feeling or thinking during our current climate. Unfortunately, most of those words are not super positive or uplifting. People have no idea what to expect so they can feel a little unsafe and insecure. Being cooped up in your home, leaving some of us with very little social interaction, can be overwhelming and scary. For the past few years, I have really delved into mindfulness. I’ve read books, listened to podcasts and have downloaded several meditation apps. There was an acronym I’ve learned that I have been practising every day since being in quarantine and I want to share it with you — P.A.C.E. Hopefully, this can help make your time in quarantine to be a little more peaceful.
Once a day, I try and do something that is consider fun for me. While in quarantine, I’ve been playing cards with my roommate, doing an online puzzle or word search, colouring, watching movies on Skype with friends using Netflix party, we even built a fort in my roommate’s room. Other ideas would include calling old friends to catch up, or keeping in touch with family that might be far away. There are also online games where multiple people can participate. Finding ways to have fun, either alone or reaching out to others, is something I try to do at least once a day.
I also try and achieve something everyday. Now this one is very relative to the person. For some people, an achievement can be reading 20 pages of a book. For others, it can be trying a new recipe. For me, I try and separate work achievement from personal achievement. Work achievement can be making calls, completing planning, catching up on marking or emailing coworkers, parents and students. Non-work related achievements can be reading, trying recipes, learn a new language using Duolingo, practice an instrument or keeping on top of cleaning. It doesn’t have to be huge, just a small attainable goal that can be achieved.
It is also important to do some form of self care once a day. This one is really essential for me because it also acts a way for me to take a ‘screen break’. It is also very personal to each individual because everyone has their own unique way of doing self care. For me, it's taking baths, doing yoga, meditating, listening to music, gratitude journaling, doing crafts such as scrapbooking, painting my nails, face masks or other skin care treatment that I don’t do everyday. For others, it could be reading, playing an instrument or baking!
Last but not least, doing some form of exercise a day is always really important for your mental and physical health. I’m not sure if other people agree, but I’ve noticed how beautiful the weather has been since we’ve been in quarantine and its quite frustrating not being able to go outside and enjoy it. Ideally, I would be going on walks, hiking, biking or jumping rope outside. Doing those things inside is not the same so I found some ‘at home’ alternatives. I alternate mini workouts between legs, abs, butt, back and arms. I try and pick 3-4 exercises, whether that be squats, crunches, lungs or pushups and do between 10-15 reps of each, 2-3 times. I finish this off with some stretching.
I usually find exercise and stretching ideas and instructions on Pinterest because I am by no means an expert. I also do that so I can switch up the exercises that way I’m not always doing the same things. The goal of this, for me, isn’t to lose weight or to build muscle, it is just a way to get some form of exercise at home. So even if my muscles aren’t hurting the next day or I’m not working up a huge sweat, that is ok. If I’m in the mood to push myself one day, I will do maybe 20 reps or do the workout 4 times. It is totally up to you, your body and your goals.
So when I’m ‘planning’ my day, I try and do at least one thing from each category. That way at the end of the day, I have a strong feeling of accomplishment, even if I haven’t left my house.
Written by Caity Zagar at Impact Teachers