As the days of stay-at-home orders have stretched on, a lot of us have developed quarantine habits.
We might have to stop some of these habits when our communities reopen. Like wearing the same sweatpants for three days in a row. While I love my sweatpants, I acknowledge that wearing the same set three days in a row is not ideal for future interaction in society.
But there are some quarantine habits that are worth keeping in the future. These are the habits that have improved our physical health, mental well-being, and relationships. These habits will keep you happy for life.
Read on for the quarantine habits that we should maintain after our communities reopen.
- Simple Tricks to Motivate Yourself When You Feel Like Doing Nothing
- 5 Super Fun Coronavirus Distractions You Need to Try Immediately
Being at home for an extended period of time has made many of us more aware of how much (or how little) we exercise.
Pre-quarantine, my daily exercise typically consisted of my 2-minute walk between the parking lot where I parked my car and my work office.
Yet, I would have described myself as “fairly active”. Now I would describe that pre-quarantine self as “less active than a sloth”.
But one silver-lining of quarantine has been the sudden exposure to YouTube exercise videos. I was aware of these videos in the past, but never really considered them a viable exercise option. Now I start each day with one. And sometimes end the day with another video, too.
Judging from the workout videos people are posting on social media, many others have picked up this good habit.
Daily exercise is a habit that I hope we can all continue as our communities reopen.
Limiting news consumption
The 24/7 news cycle has become exhausting. It makes me anxious, nervous, worried, and just about every other negative emotion.
So I’ve started limiting my news consumption. I don’t read any news articles during the day. At all.
By reducing my news consumption, my positive feelings and attitude have increased. This is a quarantine habit I’ll continue in the future.
Checking in with others
Pre-COVID-19 email to your colleague: “Did you get that project done?”
Post-COVID-19 email to your colleague: “Good afternoon! How are you doing today? Is your family doing well? Is everyone feeling okay mentally and physically? Oh, and how are you doing on that project we were working on?”
The very scary and very real COVID-19 situation has made us more aware that we need to check in on people. It’s an anxious time for many people. Many people feel scared, alone, and overwhelmed. A simple message from a friend, family member, or co-worker can be enough to brighten up someone’s day.
I hope that we can all set aside a little time each day to continue checking in with others.
Checking in with yourself
With all this time at home, I have never been more aware of how I feel. There are no commutes, dinners out, or other events to distract us from our feelings.
I found this overwhelming at first. I’ve always filled my days with activities. Not with inner thoughts.
But I’ve come to appreciate this time. It’s helped me to be aware of what makes me happy. And what doesn’t. I think I’ve learned more about what motivates me and interests me in the last two months than I’ve learned in the last five years.
As our communities open up, I hope we continue the habit of checking in with ourselves. I think listening to that inner voice will help us all to become happier in the future.
Looking for good news stories
I’ve limited my overall news consumption, but I still love hearing about the good news stories of the day.
I’ve started following social media accounts that focus on positive, feel-good stories that make me smile.
Here are some of the feel-good Instagram accounts that I’ve been following:
I’ll continue following these accounts and other accounts that share feel-good stories in the future. We could all use a pick-me-up, no matter what’s going on in the world.
Developing new hobbies
I certainly haven’t used my time wisely this entire quarantine. Because honestly, my mental state was not ready for that.
But as I got used to being at home, my mental state settled down and I was able to focus on things other than how anxious I was.
I’m working on my indoor photography skills and have perfected a few Adobe Lightroom techniques. I’ve mastered some new recipes (like this one and this one). And I’m pretty pumped about my newfound hobby creating themed playlists.
While most of us may not have used our quarantine time to develop grandiose hobbies, we all likely developed one or two skills that will be helpful down the road.
I hope we all continue to learn new skills and develop new hobbies in the future.
Reducing food waste
For many of us, stay-at-home orders have meant fewer trips to the grocery store. When we do go to the grocery store, we sometimes find empty shelves where our favorite foods used to reside.
Having food less readily available has made me extremely mindful of food waste.
I don’t like the idea of wasting something that isn’t readily available to everyone. And I don’t like wasting something that multiple people risked their health to prepare and deliver to the stores.
Some of the recipes that I’ve tried in quarantine have had pretty bad results. But you can bet that I’m eating that food anyway.
I hope this quarantine habit sticks with me for life. Because reduced food waste is something that can benefit everyone.
I hope you’ve developed some great quarantine habits that you can carry with you into the future. Here’s to happy habits for life!