Healthy Habits for Coping With Uncertainty During a Pandemic

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt, until they are too heavy to be broken!” 

The first thought that entered my mind about being quarantined at home was that I would not be able to meet my friends. Who would have thought that when summer began, we would be taking out face-masks instead of sun hats? While our accessories may have changed, we certainly have not. Our needs remain the same as before – to meet our friends and relatives, to travel, or even a walk to the nearby park. In these uncertain times where we are confined to our homes and seek any source of company or entertainment, most of us turn towards technology, food, and work. The equivalent to staying healthy – mentally and physically – during this time, is to moderate all activities. 

As time passes and we become increasingly hopeful of the lockdown lifting and life resuming its daily routine, many of us are unable to manage our productivity or keeping ourselves busy. Sure, some of our initial thoughts and motivations would have been more focused on our hobbies, interests, and skills that we previously had insufficient time to build. However, to maintain this sense of enthusiasm, or at least remain preoccupied doing activities we are fond of, a constant change-up in the order and way we spend our day is necessary. 

So often, we are attached to the comfort of routine, being busy, working, distractions, that we forget to create new routines. Instead of letting ourselves fall into a rut because we are afraid to leave behind our lives before lockdown began, let’s look at some ways in which we can look forward – or at least inward – to what inspiring insights our home-lives hold for us. 

Take part in an online event or activity

Many creators, influencers, bloggers, and educators have not let home confinement come in the way of their enterprises. While social media platforms are proving to be many people’s primary mode of communication during this lockdown, how we engage with each other as part of a global community is becoming clearer as well. Here is a list of the types of live events on social media that fit a variety of interests – 

  • Taking up an online course to brush up on your skills, building your knowledge in your area of expertise, and even resurrecting an old hobby.
  • Live Workouts by various prominent fitness bloggers on social media platforms. 
  • Connect with friends and relatives! Video-chats and Online Meets have made staying distanced from our loved ones bearable to a certain degree.

Maintain an activity and sleep log. 

Many of us have become nocturnal creatures during this pandemic. We sleep when it is time to wake up and work when it is time to sleep. Studies show that imbalances in our circadian rhythms can be a major determinant as causes of depression. Activity and sleep logs not only make you more mindful and aware of the number of things you do in a day, but revisiting it at the end of the day can also give you a sense of short-term motivation and help you spend your day doing things you value. 

A log could be a challenge that you completed in your exercise routine, a meal that you prepared by yourself, quality time that you spent with your family, or even decluttering your room. The cumulative small things we do in a day should not go unnoticed by us. 

Create new routines for yourself each week. 

Productivity is essential to many of us when it comes to reaching career or life milestones and even our short-term goals. However, focusing on only the threat of productivity won’t create a stable web. What prevents us from forming routines in times such as these is the lack of outdoor activities and significant reduction of things such as running errands, traveling to and from work or school, and visiting relatives or friends. There is no change in the physical environment in which we are present. 

Keeping the same routine for several days or weeks puts us in a rut and displaces any sense of enthusiasm with monotony. While there are certain minor habits and acts that we take part in each day such as working, bathing, cleaning, things can always be kept interesting by shifting some of these activities around. Print out a template for a timetable, with a different schedule or sequence of events for each day or week, and see the graph of your productivity changing.

While these activities are all beneficial for brightening up the days to come, the one frame of mind that we must maintain for ourselves is to give ourselves breaks. Even at times when we are keeping ourselves preoccupied with mindful and healthy activities, we must also learn the value of time spent alone and doing things that do not involve too much physical or mental exertion. This could involve being more considerate of our abilities, looking forward to those one or two off-days after many days of hard work, or doing a meditative exercise instead of a high-intensity one. 

In these uncertain times, we seek a sense of security within the confines of our home, and one way to challenge this apprehension is to assess the likelihood of good and bad outcomes resulting from the lifestyle we are currently leading from an objective point of view. 
Home isolation has put us in a position where we are removed from those whom we usually surround ourselves with and it is a great opportunity to discover those parts of you that are not influenced by others. It is time to discover thyself! You never know, all the wonders you are seeking could be hiding within you.

-Taira Deshpande

Trainee

EMOTICONS India

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