How’s your Quarantine Journey going? It’s a roller coaster, amiright? At the beginning of all this, I was a disaster: stressed, anxious, upset about Broadway closing, in my head about ALL the things. It was bad. And I have quite the imagination, so imagine everything times TEN. I’m happy to report that I have made a 180 and have not just been surviving this pandemic, but dare I say.... THRIVING. But to be honest, I didn’t just stumble into it. It has taken a conscious effort on my part to put my mental health first and to actively treat myself to what my mind and body needed and truly craved. I needed to consciously set time aside for mental self care and my physical and emotional self care. Here are TEN fun self care activities that have turned my time in isolation from Possibly needing to be committed to a mental ward to GLOW UP CENTRAL.
1. GET DRESSED AND MAKE YOUR BED. I like to work from the outside in, meaning that when I look good, I feel good. When I wake up, I wash my face, brush my teeth, make my bed (after I’m sure I won’t be climbing back in), and put some comfy cute clothes on. It is an instant Perk Me Up and serves as a mental self care WONDER!
2. GET PHYSICAL. The idea of working out.... isn’t fun. But you know that feeling AFTER you finish a workout? Ah. Totally worth it. During a quarantine when you automatically will be moving your body less, it’s important to make a conscious effort for exercise. Working on Broadway and living in New York meant being active was a part of my routine whether I liked it or not. I still have the same amount of energy NOW, but when I don’t utilize it, it can easily turn into anxiety, stress, frustration, or just being BLAH. Can you relate? If I was quarantining with my husband, I’d be having a LOT of sex. But I’m not. Instead, I workout in a couple different zoom groups. (I love My Workout Party at www.myworkoutparty.com) It’s less about getting ripped and more about just MOVING! When my endorphins are flowing, I’m a happy camper. And not to mention, when you’re consistent, who knows? You might see an ab or two. Heeeyyy!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
I get my 10,000 steps in every day Rain or Shine. (In fact, I prefer taking a walk in the rain because there’s only a fraction of the people out.) But when the suns out, I make it a point to just stand in it for as long as I want and get that vitamin D. If I’m REALLY feelin fancy, I’ll play my music and dance like no one is watching. Disinfect your mask overnight if it’s reusable, and if you don’t have gloves, grab a tissue for door handles, and baby keep it pushin!
3. PLAN AHEAD. Another strategy for self care is to plan ahead. I’m not a planner. In fact, I’m more of a fly by the seat of her pants kind of girl. (Ask my sister. It drives her nuts. 😂) But every night before bed, I grab a pen and paper and write out what I want to accomplish the next day. It gives the next day purpose and a sense of direction and a goal of something to accomplish... instead of having endless hours of wasting time. In addition to this, I write out my meals for the following day as well. It’s a game changer if you’re trying to not eat the whole world LOL. Make a plan. Stick to the plan. And schedule in your cheats (So you don’t feel bad when you cheat!)
4. MEAL PREP. Okay so I live in NY. I’m used to eating out 2-3 meals per DAY. Everything delivers. Even during a PANDEMIC. I’ve never enjoyed cooking for a day in my life. Except lately... I’ve been getting grocery delivery once a week and actually putting thought into each meal. I look in the mirror and I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I’m like... is that Black Martha Stewart I see? It has been so much fun trying new recipes and trying to duplicate some of my favorite meals from restaurants. In addition to transferring some of my creative juices into meals, I seem to have lost a few pounds in the process. I’ve finally nailed a sunny side up egg. And this upcoming week? CREPES!
5. MEDITATION. “A calm mind loosens the grip of stress.” I’ve been using an app called Calm. It’s the first and only app I’ve ever paid for. And it’s worth it! Ten minutes a day to just sit without fidgeting. Without playing on my phone. Without getting up to check on something. I turn off all the noise and just sit and follow a guided meditation. If you’re in need of mental self care, meditation is the way to go. It focuses my energy. Quiets my mind. And since using the app, I’m oddly way more productive! BONUS: There are Mood Check Ins and then a corresponding meditation they recommend based on your current mood!
6. GHETTO SPA. Every evening, I like to partake in what I like to call ghetto spa. Which is me sitting on my closed lid toilet (lol) with my feet soaking in a hot bubble bath. No texting. No talking on the phone. Just some music playing and a book in my hands. It’s my favorite part of the whole day!! Then, after I’ve read a few chapters, I climb all the way in and just live my best life!
7. STRETCH. Another self care idea is to stretch! In the evening is when I like to stretch. I call it ghetto yoga because a lot of my stretches look like some yoga moves, but I don’t know how to do all that fancy stuff. Haha! When I’m out of the bath and have my jammies on, I’m nice and relaxed and in the mood to stretch out on the floor. My favorite is Child’s Pose. They say if you sit in child’s pose for 5 minutes a day, it’s really calming and relieves stress. (Spoiler alert: it is and it does!)
8. TIDY UP. This is one of my favorite Stratford for self care. Each night as I’m winding down, I go into the kitchen, and load up that dish washer. I fluff the pillows on the couch, and put a few things away. It takes all of 5 to 10 minutes but the benefits when I wake up the next day to a clean home is SUBSTANTIAL. If you’ve ever read or watched Marie Kondo on Netflix, you already know the magic behind this!
9. READING MY BIBLE and prayer is also a part of my daily routine and spiritual self care. Studying my scripture and cultivating my relationship with Christ keeps me peaceful and grounded. THIS step is the easiest to bypass and forget about. It’s the easiest to put off, but when there’s so much chaos just outside of my door, having peace during these times is more valuable than unlimited chocolate bars.
10. DATE NIGHT STATE OF MIND. Last but not least on my self care list is a Date Night State of Mind. At least one night a week, either with a special person, a group of my friends on Zoom, or just myself, I like to have “Date Night.” I light a candle, fix something special for dinner, and set the mood for a cozy night in. It makes me look forward to the evening, whether I have virtual plans on a particular night or just plans with myself. It feels special!
So these are ten self care ideas that I live by each day that have turned my Quarantine Routine into what feels like a Retreat. And of course, starting and ending my day with gratitude puts my heart in a great place to choose joy and share love.
I hope you have fun trying these self care ideas out and adding some to your own Self Care List. Please feel free to comment and share what you think and if there’s something I should add to this list! It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and I’m all about new hacks to keep my mind at ease during these crazy times!
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