As self-employed travel bloggers, we have a bit of an advantage(if we are not talking economy) in these times of the corona pandemic.
We rarely put on pants before four in the afternoon, and when we do it is yoga pants. We do all our work from our laptops and our colleagues are our collaboration partners, who we call and email. We never see our friends or family because we are never home, so we are used to communicating with them through Facetime. So hey! If you feel like you are going insane, think about the fact, that Ras and I have actually lived this kind of isolated life long before the coronavirus existed. Nevertheless, we are gonna help you out with the small tips and tricks we do as self-employed to keep ourselves motivated, productive, happy and SANE when we are isolated in our apartment.
- Don’t look at social media or the news as the first thing in the morning – and limit your amount of time spent on these platforms
At heart, we all know that social media can be harmful to our mental health. Actually, studies have shown that social media can affect young people so much that it can cause depression. One reason is, that social media can give people lower self-esteem as they consciously or unconsciously compare themselves to other people on social media. Another reason is, that people can feel more lonely when they scroll on social media(Source: 1). Furthermore, it is really unhealthy to read the news regularly. Reading the news can affect the stress hormone cortisol and can leave us in a constant state of stress and anxiety(Source: 2). So in these times, where you’d like to feel updated all the time, maybe ask yourself: DO I NEED to affect my brain with these unhealthy stimuli as the first thing in the morning? And DO I NEED to update myself on how many people have died of the coronavirus every hour? Try to be conscious of what information you are feeding to your brain.
2. Shower, brush your teeth, put on clothes and make your bed as the first thing in the morning
Although it is tempting to stay in bed all morning, drink your coffee in bed and then turn on the tv or your laptop as you watch the latest episode of that series you like – don’t. Get up, shower, brush your teeth and put on normal clothes. Don’t eat your breakfast in bed. Eat it at your dining table. Make your bed as soon as you get up from it. Make sure that you are in clean and tidy surroundings, and keep cleaning up after yourself. Put on some slow morning beats or some hearty jazz. Open the windows and let some fresh air in. Light some candles and turn on your air diffuser. All these really simple steps might seem so insignificant and normal, but they really make a huge difference! By getting yourself and your apartment clean and ready for the day, you will feel so much more motivated and energized. I promise you, you will be significantly more productive, happy and satisfied if you follow these tips.
3. Get a hobby project
To forget about the state of things, to stay entertained, to learn something new, and maybe even to enjoy yourself: get a hobby project! Maybe you have always wanted to read all the Harry Potter books back to back? Or maybe your walls would love a new bright happy color? Maybe you think its the perfect time to make a baby? Maybe you have always wanted to learn to play the guitar? Or maybe you think it is fun to rotate and move all the furniture in your apartment around? Well, now you have the time!! Try to see all the opportunities this crisis also comes with, instead of dwelling in the negative by constantly updating yourself on the news. You are in a unique situation and you are able to stay at home for weeks! What are you gonna do with this opportunity that is handed to you?
4. Do something for your mental or physical health
For me personally, taking care of my mental health is the most important thing I can do during this situation. I know that my mind gets easily depressed and I know that I will feel this in my body as it stiffens and hurts more and more every day. Whether you have never tried yoga or mediation before or you do it on a weekly basis, I recommend everyone to try to do it daily during these times. Every time I finish a yoga session I say to myself: “Why don’t I do this more often? It feels so good! This was all I needed”. My body and mind feel so relaxed and calm and I am more loving and kind towards myself and the people around me. Tension in the mind can manifest as tension and pain in the body, and by releasing the tension in the body, you can release the tension of the mind. Actually, there are more and more studies showing that practicing yoga and meditation can affect the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the system governing digestion among other functions(Source: 3). By activating the PNS, you will feel calm, relaxed and maybe even sleepy.
5. Go on a walk with someone you love, or send them a thought
In Denmark right now, we are advised to stay home but allowed to go out for a walk, do grocery shopping, etc. This feels like such a privilege as residents in other countries like Italy and Spain are not allowed this. We advise you to seize this opportunity and go on a walk with someone you love. You should keep a distance between yourself and the other person to keep yourself and your loved one safe. But getting a bit of fresh air, a bit of exercise and sharing your thoughts with someone you love is priceless. If you are in quarantine you can instead send someone you love a sweet, loving or fun message to let them know that you are thinking of them. This will with no doubt lighten your mood. It is a strange time we live in right now, and sometimes you just have to laugh yourself through it – no matter how morbid this might seem.
We hope we are able to make your isolation or quarantine a bit more comfortable with these simple but crucial tips. Stay safe and sane out there <3