My stay at home morning routine has shifted drastically since COVID-19 began. NYC is the epicenter of the crisis and it took a big toll on my mental state. After some weeks in distress, I decided to change my outlook and change my morning routine to help make a new “habit” of a normal day during quarantine days. Perhaps even make myself more productive (TBD). Everything we do is a habit, but when our brain becomes so used to said habit, it turns on autopilot and we feel like we have no other choice. In reality, we have control over our habits - it just takes time to identify them, change them, and keep up with the change for some period of time. Some say it takes 21 days to make a habit.
I often research the habits of successful people and as much as it inspires me to make a change, it makes me feel guilty if the next day I don’t follow their suggestions. Sometimes I end up being too tired to do anything but read or watch tv. I don’t know about you, but in quarantine I’m feeling lethargic. Even simple tasks like going for a run seem difficult. For a while, I felt like a failure and was beating myself up for not living up to my own “standards” every day.
I decided to make a change. This quote really helped me shift gears:
“If you don’t run the day, the day will run you” ― Jim Rohn
RISE AND SHINE
I always try to get 7-8 hours of sleep otherwise I’m a useless human. Sleep is the MOST important tool to stay healthy, beautiful, and sharp. I don’t know how other people can function without it. I’m always gentle with myself and assess how I’m feeling each morning. I start out my day reading the news on the iPhone app (topics range from politics, finance, culture). This is something I’ve practiced for years.
I always reach out to my family and friends in the morning to send good morning texts or reply to messages of the same sort. Always check emails and social, too. .After a long hard stretch, I stroll over to the kitchen to make myself some tea. No coffee for me during this quarantine. I usually opt for green tea since it has antioxidants and proven to help strengthen the immune system and helps keep to weight off.
After a couple of minutes of annoying my fiancé, I usually start meditating. I don’t care how long I do it for, as long as I feel I've reached my desired intentions.
I try to envision what I want my day to look like or identifying my fears/anxieties and how I can tackle them. I tell myself that everything I want is on the other side of fear.
After meditation, sometimes I pick up a book for a quick read if I’m really glued to something at the time.
MOVING MY BODY IS A MUST
I’d love to say that I workout everyday (or even twice a day) since I have so much more time but really.. I don’t. It was clearly just a lie I told myself to procrastinate, who's with me? Two weeks ago, I started working with my trainer again via virtual training sessions 2 x week. I try to move daily - it ranges from yoga poses for stretching or a jog. It gives me a clear mind and I feel proud of myself. :)
I eat breakfast before or after working out, depends on my mood. It’s always the most tricky time of day for me since I eat mostly vegan. Today I cheated and had some dessert for breakie. It was a vegan non-bake cake I made yesterday. It has no sugar, dairy, or gluten. I added some caffeine to it so it really woke me up!
I’ve never been one of those people to journal simply because it used to make me feel like a teenage girl but I’ve come across multiple studies that show it may be critical to well-being, especially during these troubling times. My therapist also suggested this tool in the beginning of the quarantine. I try to make time for it 3-4 times a week. I keep it as simple as possible and use the Notes app on my phone.
Although, I may have been too quick to judge, I do think I feel much more calm after writing. It helps me process events or emotions I have no time for during the day.It’s been a few days since I picked it up so perhaps I will divulge into this topic as I progress.
A NOTE TO YOU
I’m writing this to help or inspire you. By no means do I want to make you feel guilty or upset if you do not do the same things as I do. Trust me, during this quarantine I’ve spent mornings crying or just laying bed with disbelief. I think the most important thing is to love yourself, respect your emotions, and do what feels right each day.