Wow the weather has been absolutely beautiful lately in Atlanta, which is ironic considering technically we’re not really allowed to be out enjoying it….too much. I must admit, its hard to believe in an invisible enemy when sunny skies beckon you outside. I’ll spare you any conspiracy theories moving further, but lets just say, I’m OVER IT. Each day I feel like I oscillate between checking social media, feeling guilty for not being productive, and then working on some course or self help program I’ve decided to commit to.

As 2020 began, I committed to being a better person and wanted to finally establish habits that every self help guru said would lead to a successful life. Back in January I pulled out my Asana subscription and planned all the things I wanted to accomplish in the first quarter of the year and set goals I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. I had a plan. I had stumbled across the app Classpass which allowed me to demo different workout styles and gyms across the city. I enjoyed a burst of confidence that I had not felt genuinely in years from the act of having somewhere to go each day. I made plans for summer trips with girlfriends I don’t get to see often because they lived in different states. Finally, the fog of depression was moving out and I felt like the next act of my adult life was ready to begin.

Then COVID19 hit.

It’s taken me a month to emotionally wrap my head around a new reality. Knowing that I have anxiety, I am hyper aware that I cannot go off the deep end while there is a pandemic and our healthcare infrastructure is stretched thin. I allowed myself time get acclimated to the news, made sure I understood the facts about the virus, and most importantly analyzed my personal risk factors. I also turned off the major networks and started watching the Business networks. I’ve found that the finance industry does not tolerate hyperbole and I wanted to find concise, straight to the point information. I was also tired of being lied to. To me, I know I can only protect myself and share what I know to the people I care about who will listen. I made sure to have masks, toilet paper, and at home OTC drugs just incase I got sick. Also, the small changes in what I ate back in January allowed me to focus even more on building up my immune system.

Now that we’ve been isolated for a month and a half, I think I have a better perspective on what it is I should be doing (Living on MY terms) and how I will get through this. You see, its all in how you choose to manage yourself.  I hope I can help you get through this with these 5 COVID Self-Care Tips:

Whether you wake up early or allow yourself to sleep in later as you work from home, its important to establish a routine that you follow regardless of when you wake up. You should create a routine for every aspect of your day. For example, I wake up, wash my face brush teeth, make tea, and reflect on the things I need to accomplish for the day. During the coronavirus that might look like “I need to do a load of laundry”, “I need to publish a blog post” “I would like to get out for a walk” or “ I need to fill out the Census” and “I must register to vote.” Whatever is on your agenda make time for it. It’s okay if you can’t do it all. The idea is to have a framework focused on some of the goals you want to achieve.

The idea that women get dolled up for men is misconceived. We get dolled up for other women. Generally, it’s the rituals of beauty that many women find comforting  and this situation has seen me double down on beauty rituals. I have went through my favorite sheet masks. When I notice a pimple I do a clay mask. I’ve begun exfoliating more, even buffed out the callouses on my feet. Cleaned up my cuticles, doubled up on hair masks. I’m also researching more on how to do many of the things I paid other people to do.

For the love of our Creator, find something to read. And not just anything but try to read something on a different topic you don’t know about. Mundane topics, like “beekeeping”, or how to grow garlic.

Do a quick 15-minute workout. We all need to be active.  Start with a quick 15-minute workout and do it twice a day. There are so many to choose from and you can do it in the comfort of your home using YouTube. Simply type “15-minute at home workout with no equipment” and get started. This will help stabilize your mood. Often, I get moody when I haven’t had vigorous exercise. I don’t know why, I just do. Moving the bad vibes through my body helps me not hold onto harmful feelings that jeopardize my feelings of wellbeing. This is even more crucial to do while we are locked down because it keeps your brain dialed into reality and not on hysteria. You want to remain present so you can make the best choices to ensure survival.

This could be getting out into your garden, practicing playing the cello, strengthening your yoga practice, improving your sewing skills, or drawing. Anything that brings you joy. Maybe this lockdown has forced you to face some hard realities and you realized you don’t have healthy hobbies. Use this time to discover some hobbies on Youtube. I personally discovered that I’m really interested in bowhunting.

To be honest, though so much is going wrong for so many people, I really hope people are able to see the opportunities for loving each other more. I saw a man comment that the lockdown allowed him to spend more time with his kids and he is enjoying homeschooling them. I keep the Serenity prayer in my heart and I’ve decided to only worry about the things I can control. I thank God that I am provided for and wish you all strength. What are some of the things that you have found gets you through this and how has this isolation period inspired you? Please leave a comment below.