Here’s Your Routine Mid-Pandemic Check In
In case you forgot, we are still in a pandemic. Nope, just because the bars are opening or the sun is shining does not mean the pandemic is over. It just means the economy is reopening for the purpose of salvaging the economy. It isn’t necessarily because it’s safe.
Some of us may be dealing varying levels of stress, anxiety and depression. We experience waves of hopelessness and fear. All normal feelings in a pandemic, trust me.
I am here as your local, average advocate, here to advocate for you. Here are some tips to survive whatever level of this dystopian 2020 we are.
- Re-establish a proper sleep routine. Sleep is such a gift to your body. Overnight, your body supports and maintains the health of your brain and physical health. We should all sleep about 8 hours a night. Any more or any less can actually have harmful effects on our health. Poor sleepers often suffer from a number of health issues, including obesity, diabetes and even depression. Improved sleep can increase concentration, productivity and immunity. Bro, we all need some immunity from this virus, am I right?
- Move your body a few times a week. Fun fact: I am an avid walker. I don’t even treat it as exercise. When I want to jam out to music, I power walk. I can easily walk an hour or more a day in addition to a strength-training workout. I have become addicted to walking. You may not be addicted just yet, but walking is a sustainable exercise that can carry over into your mature years. If walking isn’t your thing, you can do an at-home workout from a free, YouTube video, or go for a brisk 30-minute walk with your dog, during your lunch break, or while talking to a friend on the phone.
- Write a “To-Do” List. If you’re like me, you’re unemployed or working reduced hours. It can be easy to slip into countless periods of void and null, forgetting your reason or purpose at a time of such uncertainty. I have been there, and occasionally fall back into bad habits. What has helped steady my anxious mind has been weekly checklists. On Sundays, I list about 20 items I’d like to accomplish in the week, and cross off the items as they are completed. I’ll help you! Task #1 on your list can be to register to vote.
- Invest in yourself. This is a tremendous opportunity for growth. Enroll in a few online courses (both free and paid), take some certification courses that apply to your field of work, download a language learning app, challenge yourself to read a book a month, apply for some internships to work during your job hunt. You would be surprised by how much you can accomplish in a month, like…. I don’t know… Checking to make sure you are registered to vote. There is no better way to invest in your future, then voting for the representatives who will represent your interests.
- Schedule video chats with your friends. I treat these calls like Happy Hours, personally! I’m not in a position where I feel comfortable dining at restaurants or visiting friends without a proper 14-day quarantine between my friends and I, since I live with immune-compromised people. Instead, I ask to schedule video calls on Zoom, Instagram, Skype, Google Meets, whatever, and you’d be surprised how much better you feel sharing a few laughs or unraveling your mess of bundled emotions with your closest pals, will do for your soul. To my friends who agree to my hundreds of requests for a video chat, understand that you have done wonders for my own mental stability, and this furthermore explains why I love you so much as a friend.
It can be difficult to tackle the day when hoarded with endless negativity; rejection letters, COVID-19 updates, our political administration, and whatever else you are dealing with behind closed doors. Understand that everyone has their own set of burdens to bear.
I found this video the other day of New Yorkers in NYC when the 7 PM applause for essential workers was prominent. We(the states who chose to respond to the pandemic correctly from the get-go) have come so far. This footage was captured just a few months ago, and now cases in the northeast have dropped significantly and things are opening up.
Take each day as it comes, and remember that it is normal to feel uncertain and scared about your future.