Staying sane during the lockdown.

It has been a year since the Covid-19 outbreak, and no one knows how long it is going to last. I’m here in Malaysia and we’re going to a second lockdown after 1 year of movement restriction. While we can’t change how the government handles the situation, we need to take care of ourselves, mind and body. I’ve noticed I’ve been extra sensitive recently, easy to get upset, easy to get frustrated and I know it is because of the new norm I’m going through. Nonetheless, as a fighter as I always am, I found myself some ways I can combat this situation to protect my well-beings. Here are some:

1. Morning Routine

It is so easy setting stuck in the rabbit hole of staying in bed scrolling social media. Instead of waking up, checking our phone, jumping straight to our desk to start our work, why not set up a little routine in between? I figured that if I squeeze in a morning skincare session of 15 minutes – basically cleanse my face, apply moisturiser, apply sunscreen (yes even tho I stay at home), I would feel so much better of myself to start the day. Now morning skincare is my favourite way to start the day.

Self care routine is everything now to me.

Some other things you can do right after you wake up are:

  • 1 min plank
  • Salutation au soleil (Surya Namaskar) (stretching)
  • Make your morning coffee with intention (not rushing)
  • Feed your pets (with intention)
  • Meditate
  • Morning grooming (brush teeth, simple hair do, skincare)
  • Or something you love that involve self-care and body movement.

This will set up your day straight no matter how bad you feel after waking up. So I wake up 20 mins earlier than usual and get my morning routine done and finish with a glass of almond milk. I’m alive and ready to fight!

2. Plan the day

I know it sounds basic but during these times it is even more crucial because it is easy to get bored staying at home and spontaneously do random things based on your mood. So I usually make a checklist (my favourite thing to do) of the day including work list and non-work stuff such as: Cooking, making Tiktok, blogging for 30 mins, etc.. Make your day more fun and colorful by adding things you enjoy to do.

These activities are very important for you to stay balanced. It is also act as a reminder if you can check non-work list but can’t complete your work list – means you need to be more focused on work. At the end of the day, it is the most satisfying thing to see for me is my list being checked off, that is when I know I’m progressing and bettering myself one day at a time.

3. Be physically active

Healthy body is the vessel of healthy mind, I picked up a few challenges and hobby during lockdown including:

  • 1 min plank daily (anytime of day), increase 1 min per week in 4 weeks.
  • Started to do pilates at least once per week to improve on my blood flow and flexibility
  • Learnt how to Shuffle and practice at least once per week, improve on body coordination
  • Bed time stretching for 5 minutes, for better sleep!
  • Free workout program on chloeting.com (love her!) to toning and shaping.

The thing is you don’t have to do all at once and you don’t have to be hardcore (I didn’t), pace it out according to your schedule, but stick to at least one thing for at least 30 days straight. Consistence is key.

And I never been more consistently active in my life as I’ve been in the past year. I believe it helped me decompress a lot of frustration out of my mind and body.

Feeling great and motivated with my fitness routine now

4. Talk to people. I mean talk not text.

I felt so much better talking to someone just about anything. While I feel like talking to my fiance is a daily chore (haha), talking to random friends, catching up, discussing about anything, ranting, laughing – makes me feel more human connected, especially for an extrovert like me.

Recently I joined Clubhouse – a voice chatroom where you can literally join random people’s chat on certain topics, you can speak alongside people you don’t know and connect to them afterwards. Or you can create a chatroom with friends and let other people join you and start exchanging ideas. While we can’t go out networking, why not virtually connect to new people with the same interest?

Interesting Clubhouse chatroom I didn’t know I needed

At the end of the day, humans are social species, we need human connection to keep us human.

5. New hobby

Isn’t it the best time to start a new hobby? Besides work hours, we actually have plenty of time to spend at home. I picked up baking during the first lockdown which I never baked in my life, and I pick up Shuffling (dancing) during the second lockdown. And yes I’m the most awkward when it comes to arm body coordination but who cares. I enjoy these activities so much that I put them in my to-do list and look forward to it everyday. Isn’t it nice to have little thing to look forward to and keep you smile everyday? I believe these are the things that get you through this tough time.

At one point I thought I would open a cookie business but it didn’t happen haha

6. Take online courses (Level up!)

Take the chance of these downtime to sharp up your professional skills, or even refresh on the skills you already know. There are plenty of free Coursera courses, or if you are into short courses, I recommend Linkedin – They give you certificates after completing the course too and it help you with your Linked profile as well. Why stay the same when you can progress. Come back stronger and better when the pandemic ends! One of my 2021 Resolution is to study 30 minute per week (on Marketing and Finance subjects) and get 5 courses done in one year.

Those are some of the things I did to keep me excited & motivated during these trying times. Honestly I’ve been through so many ups and downs in the past year, with countless days I spent brooding in bed feeling angry and frustrated with almost anything. But what I learnt from those times is that you first have to accept how you feel, face it and then navigate yourself through it. If you are going through the same situation, I hope you find this helpful. Share with me how you survived through this pandemic by commenting below or email me: ginny.tructo@gmail.com. Happy to hear!

Stay strong and stay sane!