One of the components of mental health is a well-rounded routine.
I’ll just say it. It was hard enough to maintain a well-rounded routine before quarantine. With everything locked down, we lost access to a lot of the institutions and places that made our lives bearable, like gyms, craft stores, restaurants, and support systems.
In the beginning of the lockdown it felt like a nice vacation from life, but not doing normal activities became a habit, and now we are stuck asking ourselves what happened to the life we once knew?
Our lives have been pared down significantly, and our routines have suffered because of it. Our mental health suffers greatly when we can’t participate in a variety of different activities that feed our soul, but the good news is that we have all the control in the world.
We may not be able to go all the places we once could, but we can still create and maintain a well-rounded routine within our own lives.
Here are five components to a well-rounded routine that you should consider for your mental health:
Meditation. I know it’s hard, but taking 5-10 minutes a day for self-reflection is integral to a healthy mind. You may not realize it when your mind is running 100 mph all day, but it needs a break every once in a while. Closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing does wonders for your state of mind, and brings you into the present, even if that present is a tad depressing.
Healthy Hobby. Find a hobby that you enjoy doing, which also benefits your health in some way. This hobby could be creating fresh juices for your family, or biking three times a week. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it makes you happy, and healthy at the same time.
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Happy Hobby. Find a hobby you love doing just for the fun of it. Commit to doing this hobby a few times every week. Creative hobbies like crafting, drawing, or especially singing can be very cathartic for both the mind and soul.
Exercise. I don’t care what kind of exercise you choose, but get your blood pumping at least three times a week. If you really hate this idea, partner it with your binge watching. Choose a show with 20 minute episodes, and exercise during every other episode. It’s a great way to get 20 minutes of jumping jacks in, while being so distracted by your show that you don’t even realize you are exercising.
Social Time. Social time is VERY important, even if it looks a little different nowadays. Make time to Facetime, Zoom, or Skype with your best friends. Make an effort to schedule time with friends or relatives who might not have anyone else. Surprisingly, digital visits are almost as gratifying as in-person experiences.
They also make a world of difference in terms of staying sane during these troubling times.