9 Things to do Everyday to Stay Sane During Social Isolation

9 Things to do Everyday to Stay Sane During Social Isolation

Whew. How are you handling all this social distancing / isolation?

It can be so easy right now to curl up in a ball in bed all day, phone clenched in hand listening to all the news outlets invoking panic and chaos. But our mindset matters SO MUCH in tough times like these, and the things we focus on and thoughts we entertain will determine the experience we have these next weeks or months.

I’m choosing to view this as an opportunity to work on myself and my mindset, accomplish meaningful projects, and serve those I can help in my community.

I’ve given myself a list of daily things to do during social isolation to make sure I don’t sink into a dark pit of loneliness and depression.

1. Move Your Body

Exercise is a huge part of my everyday life–it’s one of the best ways to lift your mood and energize your body! My gym and yoga studio are both closed, so I have to exercise the old fashioned way. Me and the hubs are going out for a daily run in the fresh air and SUNSHINE, and it’s done wonders to lift my mood. Something about those endorphins and hearing birds chirping helps me keep faith that this too shall pass.

Of course, it may not be safe in all areas to go outside right now. In that case, may I suggest a few of my go-to Youtube workout videos?

Plie Squat Challenge by Cassie Ho

Yoga with Adriene

Boho Beautiful Yoga

2. Keep in Touch with Loved Ones

WOW–can I get a “THANK YOU” for technology right now? We are so virtually connected now that even if we have to stay locked down in our house for days or weeks, we can still keep in touch with the world around us and our loved ones we can’t be with! I am SO grateful for such a huge blessing, now more than ever. My family lives across the country and social isolation would be so much harder to endure without being able to FaceTime them anytime I want. Make sure to chat with someone you love everyday!

3. Get some sunlight everyday – get a sun bulb

I know I tend to get seasonal depression during the dark dreary winter months, and it’s always fixed by a little sunshine. Obviously going outside is the best option, and if it’s safe to do so I’ll absolutely do that. However, if that becomes unsafe, I have a sunlight spectrum bulb that I use to grow plants, and it does wonders for my mood. If you’re working from home (like I always do), and your desk is in the darkest corner of your tiny NYC apartment, you can grab a sunlight bulb here and put it in a lamp near your desk!

4. Stick to your morning routine (or set a new social isolation one!)

The way you start your morning really sets the tone for the rest of the day. As someone who works from home regularly, I know it’s super easy to just stay up late and wake up whenever you feel like it and then wander around the house until you find something to do. Here are some ideas for your new morning routine:

  • Wake up your body with a little movement – I like to stretch and do yoga
  • Grab a cup of something warm and invigorating and spend a few minutes meditating, breathing, praying, and setting an intention for the day. I’ve recently added the practice of writing down something I’m grateful for. You won’t BELIEVE how much brightness and happiness this one thing will bring to your day.
  • I get a little sunlight by turning on my sunlight lamp or taking a walk outside. Sunlight helps stimulate cortisol which is the hormone that makes you feel awake!
  • I don’t look at my phone until I’ve completed all the steps above, at minimum.
  • I personally practice time-restricted eating, so I don’t usually eat any food until late morning or early afternoon.

5. Finally clean out the junk drawer!

Now that we have a lot more time on our hands that isn’t spent out with friends thanks to closures of concerts, bars and restaurants, we FINALLY have time to organize the junk drawer!! Think of this as an opportunity to get those projects done that you’ve been wanting to get around to but kept putting off. I’m going to be organizing A LOT of drawers in our apartment and finally get to reading some books that have been on my list forever.

6. Cook something new and nourishing

As tempting as it is to stay up late Netflix binging while donut binging, let’s think this through. Binging on junk food never made anyone happier, and I’ll bet you’ll feel a lot worse in the morning. Since restaurants are closed, take this opportunity to learn to cook something that tastes great and will make your body happy! Check out my Pinterest board for some of my favorite yummy healthy recipes. (And please, send me your favorites!!)

7. Employ some Aromatherapy

Get yourself an essential oil diffuser, stat! It’s one of my favorite ways to set the mood of my apartment. I have this one from Amazon. I like it because it’s small, pretty, and has an intermittent mode to keep the apartment smelling great all day. I’m on the hunt for new essential oil blends, so send me your favorites!

8. Queue up the positive vibes with the right social isolation playlist

Music is the #1 way I cope through basically every emotion in life. Depression, uncertainty, excitement, exuberance… Music is magic that way. I like to create playlists for every situation I need a good playlist for, so I’ve created a couple to share! I hope they help.

Quarantine and Chill is full of cozy tunes to de-stress and cuddle up with a good book (or mountain of toilet paper)

Social Distancing is full of fun high-energy songs to have a solo dance party or clean the house.

9. Keep your thoughts positive

What you focus on, you create more of. I encourage you to interrupt your non-constructive, fearful and negative inner dialogue. Take a break from the news. Think of all the things you’re grateful for. Call your best friend. Replace your fearful, anxious thoughts with ones like these: “I have so much to be grateful for. I am loved. I am brave. I can overcome this challenge. I have enough toilet paper!”

It’s okay to feel emotions like sadness and loneliness. Emotions make us feel alive! You just can’t let them take control of your mindset or give them too much meaning. Never hesitate to reach out to someone when you start to feel overwhelmed.

We’re in this together

Now, more than ever, we are in need of community. I am so grateful for all the people in my life who are showing up and supporting me through this challenging time for my business. Things are rough financially for small business owners right now, so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. (and if you know of anyone looking for a photographer, send them my way!) I have UNWAVERING faith that we will get through this, stronger and more connected to each other. Sending my love!

nyc wedding photographer sarah wight sayeed

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