SURVIVAL GUIDE to Self isolation

The last month or two have seemed somewhat surreal, None of it seemed real until San Francisco decided to put into effect a shelter and place. That’s when it became real for many people including me. It’s unsettling to think that this is our new reality and we are only steps away from being where Italy is. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the worst is yet to come.

So far we have been in quarantine for 9 days, You?

Like in any horrible situation, focusing on the lesson or the silver lining is important. Something Gavin keeps reminding me is that after all this we are going to live in a different yet, better world. Everything really does happen for a reason, and I am trying to stay focused on the positives. 

So what is a Self-Isolation Survival Guide? It consists of some tips that I will share that have been helping me get through week 1, and will continue to help me get through this whole experience. Taking care of you is important and taking care of your mental state is even more important. Humans need routine, some need it more than others. So it’s important to incorporate some kind of routine in our homes. A great way to do this is having a time block or set a timer on your phone for each task that you are going to complete.

Now, before we dive in, this is what works for me, and what will maybe work for you. Everyone is different, and there is no wrong or right way in handling this. We all have different stress triggers in our lives and one remedy does not fit all. If you are doing something different, let me know in the comments, I would love to know and learn what works for you. If any of the following does work for you, let me know as well!

Now, lets get to it..

What am I doing mentally?

1. Focusing on what I can and cannot control. I have been learning how to let the things I cant control go and focus on what I can. It’s difficult to not overthink, worry or wonder what the future will be. It’s okay to think about these things, but don’t over think. When I catch myself over thinking or feeling anxious, I try to bring my thinking to what I CAN control. 

WHAT I CAN CONTROLWHAT I CAN NOT CONTROL
My positive attitudeHow long this will last
My own social distancingHow others react
How often I practice gratitudeThe actions of others
Limiting social mediaPredicting what will happen
Finding fun things to do at homeThe opinion of others
How I spend my timeIf others are social distancing
My reactionHow others feel
My thoughtsThe past
Doing my workThe future

2. Giving myself time to think and feel. This is a form of meditation for me, as I lay in my bed or sit in my living room. I pull the blinds up, allowing the natural light to come in, silence all devices, and allow myself to think and feel whatever emotions I may feel. Sometimes I even try not to think and focus on my breathing. I typically set a 15 min timer. 

3. Reading and listening to podcasts. The news can be overwhelming and can trigger anxiety. Depending on work loads, I try to give myself at least an hour a day to read or listen to a podcast. I recently joined a book club created by my friend Vanessa (@letsgetlit.abc) and we are currently reading Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino. If you’re looking to get into reading, this may be the group for you!

4. Go outside, to your backyard, porch, balcony, anything to get some sunlight to shine on you. This can help with your mood and mind. This past weekend I tended to my garden, weeded out the weeds, moved over groen plants around, and when that was all done, Gavin and I sat in the grass and let the sun warm us up while he facetimed his family and friends and I read. It felt amazing!

WHAT I AM DOING PHYSICALLY?

1. Sticking to my routine, Starting off with something simple as waking up everyday at 7am. I then do a quick self check in, wash my face, brush my teeth and get dressed. Even though I am fortunate to work from home, getting dressed is important and it’s as simple as going from pajamas to work out clothes. (I have yet to put on jeans to wear around the house but maybe that day is coming). In the evening after dinner, I shower, do a skin care routine and go to bed at a reasonable time. This routine just keeps my body going on the same rhythm, and allows me to be productive everyday that follows.   

2. Staying active has gone from a 10 to a 3. I was at the gym some weeks every morning. Letting go of the gym was not easy, In fact my friend Mercedes and I took Clorox wipes with us to really wipe down equipment on our days working out prior to the closure. Now I use the Nike Training Club app to do home workouts. It’s not the same but I don’t want to lose the progress I made. Recently they made the “premium” feature free, which give me access to even more great workouts and stretches. 

3. Self care-skin care is at an all time high,.. and I love it! Selfcare doesn’t necessarily mean skin care, it’s anything that makes you feel good. I enjoy taking the time to tend to my skin and I finally have time to make use of all the masks, oils, and creams that I have in my arsenal. So far I am loving my Sunday Riley Luna night serum, Eva Naturals Vitamin C day serum and my new face steamer. Taking the time to not wear makeup is making a difference when using my favorite products. I have also been trying to bring my natural waves come back to life. Trying to learn how to style my hair when natural and what products are best for my hair.

4. Staying hydrated, I am achieving this by carrying around my favorite water thermos. I try to fill it 3 times a day, with the first filling with lemon water. Lemon water has a list of benefits, including preventing the flu or cold. I also try drinking a cup of green tea in the afternoon and/or evening. I am hoping that both the lemon water and green tea will help prevent catching COVID19. 

TRYING SOMETHING NEW

1.With more time on our hands and nowhere to be, this is the time to pick up a hobby or spend more time perfecting a craft you enjoy or have always thought about. Again set aside time to do something you enjoy, even if it isn’t anything new. 

2.Video Editing is something I have been wanting to become better at. I finally sat down and started teaching myself how to use Adobe Premier Rush. Within a couple of hours, I graduated from iMovie to Ru and there’s no going back. I am obsessed with Ru and all the features. I edited my first video, here… 

3. Yoga is something I have wanted to incorporate in my life for years now but never have. I did my first basic yoga session the other day, and it hurt…alot lol but it was a great realization that I need my body to be more limber. 

5. Cookbook Recipes. I have seen so many delicious recipes come to life on social media, that it inspired me to bust out my Mexico and Peru cooking books. However, I forgot to look through these before going to the market, so I made a note and put it on my fridge to go through the cookbooks before grocery shopping.

6. Learn another language, i.e strengthen my Spanish by teaching Gavin Spanish. This has been very entertaining and something we can do at any time, anywhere. Depending on how long this quarantine lasts, I would like to learn Italian. 

THE ART OF DOING NOTHING

Yup, Just like from the movie “Eat Pray Love”, IL DOLCE FAR NIENTE. For those that want to do nothing, or find themselves doing nothing, THIS IS OKAY! Use this time to hit that reset button, and master the art of doing nothing. Doing nothing sometimes allows us to return to our default state. The default state of calm, innate wisdom and innate health. 

We fear doing nothing, or worse shame others for doing nothing because having something to do is ingrained in us at a young age, especially as Americans. Doing nothing means you’re not busy, and if you’re not busy then you’re not being productive. Being unproductive means you can’t contribute to your life and society and If you can’t do that, then there must be something wrong with you or you’re a failure.

The truth is, there is a need for doing nothing sometimes. There is a need for pressing the pause button and being self-aware. And it seems that this Corona Virus is forcing the world to do just that! We are all forced to do less and in return with the hopes that our world, ourselves will come out the other side of this with better results than ever before. In this place of peace, There is a clear mind, and with a clear mind, magic happens. I remember in college having to write 10 page papers, and writers block would hit. Going for a walk, or laying on my bed, basically trying the act of doing nothing and letting fresh ideas flow helped bring down that blocker and write. Take your breaks, days and time you need to reset. Some of the major tech companies were created during the last financial crisis. The world will not be the same, and we can only hope that this reset is all for the better.  

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