1. Maintain regular sleeping and eating routines.
-even though baking is a fun quarantine activity, overeating will lead you to feel sluggish and unhappy. All food is good food – but everything in moderation!
2. Keep up social connections.
-schedule some Zoom or Facetime chats with friends each week. If you find it difficult to make casual conversation, plan to play a game or discuss a book or movie with your friend(s).
-take advantage of “social events” offered by groups you feel connected to – like your church/synagogue, volunteer organizations, schools, etc.
-Have the patience to help older relatives and friends get up to speed with new technologies so that they can feel connected too.
3. Get exercise every day, preferably outdoors.
-Be mindful of keeping a safe distance.
-Be creative – find a wall on which to play solo tennis, make a hopscotch course on the driveway, do yoga on your porch, explore new streets in your neighborhood.
4. Make sure that each day includes activities that give you a sense of MASTERY.
-mastery activities are those that give you a sense of accomplishment. These are the activities that might not necessarily be fun, but feel good to check off the “to do” list.
-make sure you set reasonable goals each day for mastery activities. Rather than setting the goal of cleaning your whole house for example, plan to clean the bathrooms one day and vacuum another day.
-examples of mastery activities are school work, work, household chores, etc.
5. Make sure that each day includes activities that give you a sense of PLEASURE/FUN.
-pleasure activities are activities that give you little lift because they are fun!
-make sure that screen time is not your only source of fun. While some time on Netflix is indeed fun, sitting for hours watching TV tends to not be good for our moods.
-examples of fun activities include listening to or playing music, doing a craft, doing something physical or athletic, playing with a pet, gardening, reading, etc.
If you are finding the days under quarantine very aimless, try making yourself a daily hour-by-hour schedule. Make sure that you include all of these items in your daily schedule – healthy meals, a good night’s sleep, exercise, social time, mastery activities and pleasure activities.
I am a licensed psychologist working with kids, teens, and adults with anxiety disorders.