taking care of yourself during quarantine

taking care of yourself during quarantine

With so much going on in the world right now, it’s important to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. However, it’s also essential that we don’t use this time as an excuse to “take it easy”. This is the perfect time to build long-lasting habits that can possibly change the way we live our lives. Use this time to work on yourself, work on your hobbies, and really “glow up” and become the best version of yourself.

Here are some things I’ve found have been really helping me take care of myself during the lockdown:

Drinking 2-3 litres of water everyday: Now this might seem like a lot, but trust me, drinking tons of water has been such a game-changer for me. I also drink warm lemon water first thing after waking up in the morning.

Reading some good books: This is by far the best way to spend your time if you’re bored. I’ve been finishing books faster than ever and I feel so happy about finally having the opportunity to read all the books that I’ve always wanted to read. If you don’t know where to start you should check out Zoella’s Book Club on her blog – she recommends some of the best books I’ve ever read and I’m so excited to finish all the books on her list. Some of my favourites are : One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. Mcmanus, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, and the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling (of course).

Sleeping for 8-9 hours: Some of us are doing a bad job by sleeping for either 4 hours or 14 hours per night. Being disciplined about your sleeping schedule is so important. It’s okay if we sleep in, or stay up all night on the weekends. But during the weekdays, maintaining a sleep schedule is essential and will save you so much time and stress.

Home workouts: Working out is so important during this time. Something that made the idea of working out every day easier for me was thinking of the mental benefits of working out, rather than exercising to look a certain way. I started viewing working out as something that makes me feel better, happier, and calmer. Exercise and movement is a good thing and your body and mind will thank you so much for it.

Work on your hobbies: It could be cooking, painting, singing, playing an instrument, writing, dancing, reading – this is such a great time to do whatever it is that you love and enjoy. Personally, I’ve been reading, cooking, and baking and it’s been helping me keep myself busy.

disappear and get shit done

Maybe it’s the sagittarius in me, maybe it’s because I love the concept of not seeing someone for a really long time only to see them a few months later, absolutely KILLING it. I mean, it’s happened to me so many times, I’ve seen people from my school disappear for a couple months and then I see them suddenly, and they’re a completely new person. They’ve got different hair, they’re not into the same music anymore, they’re doing good at school. It’s like the person’s got a complete makeover – they’re a better version now and they know it, cause they worked for it.

There’s just something about taking time for yourself and doing things that make you feel good. I always tell myself that change is good and that the process of change makes you grow into a better, more mature version of yourself. The time that you invest in taking care of yourself, being kind to yourself really shows and people all around you see it too. During the holidays I would get so much time to really do things I liked doing. Waking up without an alarm, going for morning runs, spending time with my best friends, and reading good books. I spent time doing happy things and I would always come back to school feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Just doing tiny things like drinking green tea, stretching in the morning, meditating, and spending time with the people you love makes a whole lot of difference. I stopped hanging out with the wrong crowd – with people who made me feel tired and really anxious all the time. I stopped giving my time and energy to people who weren’t putting in the same amount of effort that I was putting into the relationship.

When you start to value your own opinion and care less about what others perceive of you, life becomes easier. I started to put my needs over other people’s needs, make goals for myself and take small steps throughout the week to achieve them.

Social media also plays such a huge role in our lives nowadays. It is no surprise that social media has definitely changed the way we think, what we wear, what we eat, and where we choose to spend our time. Influencers on Instagram constantly tell us that we should be wearing clothes from a certain brand, that we should be travelling to different places, that we should be spending a lot of money on things that will “make” us happy, that there is something wrong with the way we look and that there is only one way to be beautiful.

So many teenagers struggle with mental health problems and disorders because we are forced to believe that there is only one way we can be happy. Taking time off social media can improve the way we view and think about ourselves. There is so much time to do things like reading good books, exploring new places, spending time with your family, and doing schoolwork. Everything becomes so simple and you realise that being that ideal version of yourself wasn’t really that hard all along. With time, the small changes that you make start to turn into habits and after a while you don’t have to think twice about following your daily routine.

Perfectionists Are Weak

It’s a Monday morning and my mind is racing with everything that needs to be within the next 24 hours. I look over my diary and check the ‘rules’ I have set up for the day: wake up at 5, don’t use your phone for the next 2 hours, get started on your class-work immediately, and most importantly – rest only when you’ve finished a week’s worth of homework.

This was a typical start to my week when I was in 11th grade. Every single day I woke up as early as I could, slept until my body gave in to the exhaustion, and spent every single minute of my spare time reading books for my literature class. Literally. I read Henrik Ibsen during 10 minute car rides.

A normal weekday in my life involved waking up at 5am to do math, going to school and using every single free class I had to study in the library, spending 4 hours after school at the golf club (doing some sort of physical activity), and coming back home only to pour over my school notes again.

Now typically you’d want to be doing the things I was doing and you’d find my hard work commendable. From afar, I was doing well at school, performing ably at golf, I was “healthy” and “spending my time constructively“. But deep down, I was miserable.

I was hardly ever going out with my friends on the weekends, every free lecture spent mingling usually ended with a guilt trip. Basically my social life was close to non-existent and I was tired all the time. Soon enough, the weariness on my face was seen, first, by my dad and then quickly by my teachers at school.

On one occasion, during the aquatic meet at school, I burst out crying for no apparent reason (it was stress, as I now know it). Everyone around me consoled me, I was taken to the infirmary immediately, my dad was called and I was asked to go home and rest. The next week consisted of wretched days curled up in bed, unable to move, tired, sick, and depressed.

I knew I needed to change then.

I now know that I was suffering from a severe case of being a perfectionist, and over the months, I have learnt a great deal about taking time for myself and not going ballistic about every single minute that I spend on social media, meeting friends, or doing anything besides schoolwork.

It’s essential to work towards living a balanced lifestyle making time for work, friends, family, and setting goals that focus on aspects that are physical, mental, and spiritual.

I learnt this the hard way by going through a complete burn out. I’m much better today and I’m aware that setting unrealistic goals is going to do more harm than good. Instead, I focus on being productive and getting work done in a timely matter so that I can focus first on being happy and calm, instead of being frantic, dispirited and totally worn out.