As we’re in the midst of 4+ weeks of staying home due to the current Coronavirus climate, the novelty of working from home and having to stay home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has certainly began to wear off. With that said, I know it remains extremely important that we all stay home and do our part so that we can eventually get back to a somewhat normal way of life.
Since it looks like we’ll be staying home for at least another few weeks if not more, I wanted to share a few things keeping me sane during quarantine, stay at home, shelter in place … whatever you’d like to call it. I know everyone’s situation is different right now, but hopefully a few of these items will be helpful to you as they’ve been helpful to me.
10 Things Keeping Me Sane During Quarantine
I’ve worked from home for almost two years now, so that part of the new normal isn’t really that new for me. Michael and I have found a new weekday routine that we’ve stuck to over the past few weeks, which has really helped to give our weekdays structure.
On a typical weekday, we wake up around 5:30AM (like usual) and work quietly until around 7:45. We squeeze in a workout and wrap that up around 8:30. I’m usually showered and at my desk by 9:15AM. Michael works from the kitchen table. I break for lunch around 12:30. We usually squeeze in a block or two walk before and after lunch. I’m back at my desk by 1:30PM. Another block or two walk around 3PM, and I wrap up work around 5PM. We take a longer walk before settling in for ABC National News at 5:30 – our main news source every night. Around 6, I cook dinner. We’re watching a show by 8, in bed to read around 9:30, asleep around 10:15.
I know sticking to a weekday routine isn’t always possible with all of the different hats we’re required to wear right now, but the weekday structure gives me purpose and has helped to keep me feeling a sense of normalcy.
2. Daily Workouts
I’ve been squeezing in at least 30 minutes each day to move. I wrote an entire blog post on my at home workouts and at home workout gear – check it out here! I always feel better afterwards!
3. Daily Walks
On that same note, daily walks have been seriously keeping me sane! During the week, I squeeze in several short walks (in my work from home clothes). These walks aren’t necessarily for exercise, but rather for fresh air and a break from my computer screen. The fresh air does wonders!
On the weekends, I like to take longer walks – 30 minutes one day, an hour on the other. The longer walks are also nice as they make me feel like I’m “out and about” since I get to see other parts of the neighborhood!
If you haven’t incorporated walks into your routine yet, I highly encourage you to do so!
4. Our Deck
When we moved to Houston about a year ago from DC, I thought our deck was such a luxury. Little did I know what a luxury it would turn out to be! I’m so thankful for our outdoor space. It’s not much, but it fits a small table and two chairs. I’ve been making a point to hang out there as much as possible.
Like everyone else in America, I’ve turned to baking since I’ve been at home! I’ve had a running list of items I’ve wanted to bake, and I’m finally baking. For some reason, baking is a really calming task for me (maybe everyone?). So far I’ve made chocolate chip cookies, brownies, rustic bread, and banana bread (I added chocolate chips!). Next up on my list is this sourdough starter and sourdough bread!
Like baking, I’ve really leaned into cooking new recipes for dinner too! Michael and I generally cook at home most weeknights, but we’ve had to get creative to come up with new recipes since we’re now eating at home for every meal, every day. My go to spots for recipes are Half Baked Harvest, Skinnytaste, and The Defined Dish. I save all of my meals to the RECIPE highlights on my Instagram page if you need some inspiration!
FaceTime and HouseParty video chats and virtual happy hours have been so much fun! I FaceTime with my sister and parents a few times a week and use the HouseParty app to chat with friends on a weekly basis as well!
Friday happy hours have now turned into team McHugh happy hours – Michael and I use HouseParty to chat with Michael’s fam to catch up on the week!
8. Minimal News
After the first week or so of this new normal, I realized I needed to limit my news intake to keep myself sane. I tune into GMA in the morning and ABC Nightly News in the evenings. Besides that, I browse Twitter a time or two throughout the day, but that’s really it. I like to know what’s going on, but I don’t need to be inundated throughout the day.
Taking time each day to reflect on things I’m grateful for has been super helpful in bringing a sense of calm and peace to my days. Michael and I also like to share at least one positive thing from our day as we’re either on one of our walks or eating dinner. It’s a nice reminder that not everything is doom and gloom, there are definitely positive things that are happening during this crazy time.
10. Screen Free Weekends
Screen free weekends have been a God send! I look forward to the weekends as they serve as a break from work, the news, and social media (for the most part). Sure, I could be using the extra time at home over the weekend to get ahead on work, but by Saturday morning, I’m CRAVING a break from mentally tasking to dos. Having home projects on my weekend to do list has been helpful. One weekend I spent almost the entire day on Saturday cleaning out and organizing my closet. Another I spent a decent amount of time deep cleaning our house. This weekend I’m planning on framing and hanging a handful of prints I’ve been meaning to get up around our house.
I hope you’re finding your own ways to stay sane and calm during this unprecedented time. If you take anything away from this post, let it be that you should go on a walk. I promise it will do wonders!