I’m not sure if it’s just my warped perception of time, or if life really is moving at 100mph and 2mph at the exact same time. Although lockdown has been eased in certain aspects, there is no denying the fact that it remains a useful tool in the repertoire to battle against Covid-19 and it’s highly likely that certain ‘hotspot’ areas could be put into lockdown again to contain the spread.
Now, after having mastered lockdown life (not just now, but generally too as a result of being a young Pakistani girl growing up these past few years), I feel qualified enough to share the tips that I have for you to make your own life better while you’re constantly at home.
1. Set a daily routine for yourself
Routine and structure make me feel like I know what I should be doing with my time and they have really helped me to avoid boredom.
I also feel like it emulates life before quarantine which makes me more able to be productive, because sometimes I just get sucked into the existential dread that comes alongside a pandemic, and spiral into unhelpful thought patterns. Structure gives me something to work towards a lot of the day. I’ve written about how I created my own daily routine here which you can check out too, to get some inspiration about how you can make something fitting for your own life.
2. Google Calendar is your best friend
I think it’s so much fun to schedule things in that you have planned or even fill it in retrospectively to help you remember what you did on a particular day.
It’s also very useful to hep me remember things I have planned. If I’m straying from my daily routine, I sometimes put in even mundane tasks just to plan when I want to be doing certain things. Something else I do with my Google Calendar is to put in what I call ‘potential events’ which have, more often than not, been webinars for me. These are things that look interesting but I’m not 100% committed to, so if I find myself bored at any time, I can see if there’s any potential events I have planned that I can attend.
3. Refine the tasks you choose to do
What projects are you working on at the moment? Are they making you happy? Are they beneficial for you in the long term?
If the things you’re doing (outside of compulsory job/study work) are positively impacting your life, then keep them close and continue with them. If not, then reconsider them. Be selective with your time because time is such a precious commodity.
Equally, if doing nothing extra makes you happy and is useful for you (which it definitely could be because I think a pandemic at large is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed) then actively choose to not work on anything else, and don’t regret this choice. It is absolutely vital, first and foremost, to maintain your sanity and happiness as much as possible through this period.
4. Incorporate habits into your life that you’ve been meaning to do for a long time now
As I said before, time is such a precious commodity, and if you find yourself with bags of it now, there is so much value to finally improving your life in tiny little ways if you’re able to.
Working out, meditating, praying, stretching, mindfulness, cooking regular meals, having a skincare routine that you follow regularly are all examples of habits that you will thank yourself for in the future and if you put in a little bit of time now, you can turn these into habits for a lifetime.
For me, I’ve finally started working out regularly, and the effects it’s had on my body and my self-esteem is immense, I can’t believe I didn’t do this before!
5. Schedule weekly calls with friends
Conversation always stokes the fires of creativity and it’s important to talk about everything going on right now. I always chat to one of my friends about our coronavirus predictions and projections alongside other things, since it’s nice to speak on our opinions on how we feel the government are dealing with things.
Weekly calls are perfect because I know that not a lot is going on in our lives, so daily would make it harder to sustain conversation because there’s so little to talk about.
6. Create a new environment for yourself
This doesn’t have to be a major house renovation. Sometimes it can be as little as getting yourself a plant or a new piece of furniture for your room to spice things up and inspire you in a different way.
The way I’ve embraced this tip in my own life is by buying a little armchair for my room, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I call it my ‘thinking chair’ and often sit in it to have some moments of silence or read a book, or just bask in the sunlight since it’s right by my window.
7. Reset and find your own clarity
If this is a good time for you to slow down, then I urge you to slow down and focus on yourself once again. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the hustle of everyday life, and you might be starving yourself of the attention you should be giving yourself.
Finding clarity during this time is something I’ve found easier because there is less background noise of other people and other opinions to consider. Take this time to re-evaluate your values and morals and change your mind on something.
Thank you for reading, hope you have been keeping yourself safe and well and happy.