What I’m learning during COVID-19:
Make the time to drink water- be aware that your body needs more of this than you’re probably giving it.
Make the time to create a “self care” morning routine- wash your face, brush your teeth, floss, mouthwash, admire yourself, compliment 1 or 2 features, then continue on with your day. And don’t skip a step! We so often find ourselves rushing, saying “I’ll do it later” (and then not doing it later); make the time to spend those “extra” 2-3 minutes really taking care of yourself. Side note: this has been huge for me. There are countless days I’d say “I’ll use mouthwash later” or “I’ll skip my usual face routine and just splash some water on it” because I was always in a hurry. My skin is so benefiting from this. I’ve also started adding in the “admire yourself” part. Call me crazy, but taking 30 seconds to study yourself and focus on the good is so uplifting. I challenge you to try it 🙂
Make the time to exercise- This has never been a huge problem for me, I’m usually pretty good at exercising regularly, but I’ve kicked it up so many notches as of late. 2 runs a day (or a run and a walk) plus an at home work out; and I’ve even done things like squats or sit ups during little pockets of time like waiting for dinner to heat up or even when I’m just lounging watching a show. I’m not naive to think that this will continue when we go back to “normal”, but for now, this “new normal” can (and should) include lots of opportunities to move your body!
Make the time to do the dishes immediately following a meal- Now, I understand this is WAY easy for me; I live by myself. If I’m cooking, I probably dirty 3-4 dishes. But usually I only have 2 dishes to clean, plus silverware. Don’t roll your eyes at me- I’m sure most of you have way more, and I can understand that. But I’ve never been the type to do this dishes right away- I’ve always let them pile up, and by Saturday have always regretted it. I’m now getting in the habit of washing the dish(es) as soon as I’m done. My kitchen is becoming so calm, and it truly makes a difference in my overall mood every day.
Make the time to call- Anyone. Family, friends, someone you haven’t heard from in a while. Even that person who you don’t really think likes to talk on the phone- call them. My brother is 3 years younger than me. He’s a little less social than I am, though he’s not an introvert. We’re close, but by no means were we the siblings who called and texted on a regular basis- until now. We text daily, and now even FaceTime. I don’t know if it’s because he’s lonely out there (living by himself in St.Louis while his family is in Maine) or what; but when I called the other day and went to hang up, he stopped me and we chatted for a while- while he worked! And when I told him I’d text him later, he said I can always call if I wanted to instead. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it. My brother, who shows little to no emotion, wanted to FaceTime me and talk, just because. So make that call- even if you don’t “think” they’d want it.
Make the time to write- This is hard for me. I love writing, but I’m not good at being consistent with it. I need to be. I always, always feel better after I do.
Make the time to make your space happy- This doesn’t have to be an every day thing (though something as small as picking up that pesky dust bunny that’s been sitting in the corner of the living room for weeks can truly help), but take the time every so often to make the space you live in somewhere you want to be. I’ve had dying plants laying around for MONTHS. Like…..at least 7 months. It was awful. During this down time I’ve taken them and re-potted them, and they looks AMAZING now (it’s crazy how fresh dirt, water, and letting sunlight actually come into the house helps them). I’ve had curtains and blinds that have been closed- literally not opened once since I moved in in August- that I finally started opening. letting that light in truly made the place feel brand new. The littlest things have made my place feel completely different- like home- and it’s been a game changer since I’ve been needing to spend all this time here now.
Make the time to make GOOD food choices- Now, a frozen pizza once a week is totally still on my menu, but I’m adding so many veggies and salads to my meals now! And I’ve kept less snacks in my apartment, too. It’s hard when I want a treat, but making these better choices has helped my mood SO much.
There are probably so many other little things I’m making more time for now, and I know and understand that when this is over I won’t be able to keep up with all of them (or at least not to the extent I am), but I am trying to create habits that will hopefully carry over after, and help me continue on this healthier and happier lifestyle I’m creating for myself.
I’ve done SO much reflecting lately (as I’m sure everyone has); and it’s not that I wasn’t happy or taking care of myself before, but it wasn’t consistent. My personal goal through this social isolation is to come out of it a better version of what I thought my best version was.
What are you making more time for? 🙂