During this shelter in place, there are many people who are able to work from home, and many students are going to school online. I'm hearing all kinds of stories, as I'm sure you are too, about zoom meetings gone wrong and people only dressing up the top half of their bodies that are visible on video. To the people who are only wearing clothes on the top half of their body... the question remains, "Why aren't you wearing pants?"
I understand the desire to be comfortable, however, if we get in the habit of not doing the things we used to do as part of our routine (be it because we can at home or because no one is holding us accountable), it can impact your mental health in a negative way. If you aren't wearing pants during meetings or classes because no one else can see (at least you hope they can't!), what else aren't you doing?
I've been hearing people tell me...
they aren't taking showers or washing their hair because "why if I'm not going anywhere?".
they aren't getting dressed and staying in pajamas all day for the same reason.
they aren't talking to friends/family because they can't see them in person and don't want to talk on the phone; or if they are talking on the phone, they aren't really listening because they are doing something else at the same time.
they aren't exercising because their gym shut down.
they aren't eating, or if they are it's only junk food, because it's easier.
they aren't sleeping because they are staying up late watching series and then getting up at the same time for work or school meetings.
Things can definitely change and schedules can be impacted when you are being told to stay at home for your own safety. But if you aren't doing some of these things, you aren't taking care of yourself. You may not notice it right away, but after a while it will start to impact you. You may start to feel more sad, or lonely, or irritable, or antsy, or anxious, or even gross. I don't have to tell you why sleeping, eating, showering, and exercising can help your mental health. This is something I'm sure has been drilled into everyone's brains at this point. But I thought it may be a good reminder. Just because we are in a shelter in place and required to physically distance ourselves, doesn't mean that life is cancelled. This is temporary, even if it feels it will never end. Keep doing the things you normally do for yourself, even if you have to get creative. Here are some ideas...
Don't want to get dressed? It's okay to put comfortable clothes back on - just make sure you're showering and changing.
Don't feel comfortable talking to family and friends over video or phone? Do a check in via text. Or go on a walk together, keeping your distance.
Gym shut down? Go on a walk. Try an exercise class online. Some cost money but others are free. Check out my Instagram posts for resources or DM me.
Don't want to go to the store or make food? You can order take out. Or you can order groceries online. I know some places are difficult to get delivery, but there are places. Feel free to DM me on Instagram or message me on my website and I can give you resources if you'd like.
It's okay for your sleep schedule to be off, but make sure you're getting at least 7 hours of sleep. Look for my next blog on ideas to have better sleep hygiene.
Above all, stay present. When you are doing something, concentrate on that instead of thinking about other things. This will help you more than you think.