Expert Explains How to Avoid Getting a Little TOO Comfortable With Quarantine
Being quarantined is a highly divisive topic.
While some people see it as boredom-inducing and far too restrictive, others see it as a chance to do whatever the heck they want—whether that be honing in on creativity or doing absolutely nothing at all.
If you belong to the latter group, you may find yourself totally set in your new ways. Whether that means sleeping in all day and TikTok-ing all night; or waking up at 6 a.m. every day for your at-home workout, baking cookies and only communicating with the same three people, you likely have new routines set in place.
But as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever—and that includes quarantine. Because it's easy to get totally accustomed to what seems like the "new normal," we reached out to Kathryn Chaya Lubow, LMFT SEP, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, and Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher, based in Los Angeles. Below, Kathryn discusses how to avoid getting a little too comfortable with quarantine.
Sweety High: What are some daily practices people can partake in to ensure they don't get too settled into quarantine life?
Kathryn Chaya Lubow: If you find you're getting too settled into the Groundhog Day, repetitive lifestyle of quarantine, it's recommended to continue inviting novelty, or something new into each day to ready ourselves for changes to come. Is there a new food or recipe you could try, a new TikTok dance to learn, or a new musical artist you could listen to? You can reach out to a friend you haven't spoken to since before quarantine, to break-up your habit of communicating with a select few.
Exercise is also known as a natural mood-enhancer and can also help when we're feeling unmotivated. Try starting with 10 to 20 minutes of exercise a day to create a boost in your energy. Daily journaling can also give you a space to identify and release your negative thinking patterns, as well as taking note of any positive experiences that happen. When we interrupt our busy chattering mind and focus on how a positive experience made us feel good, we set the stage to notice more positive events in days to come! Meditation is also proven to be effective for calming the mind—and a number of free, short meditations are available on apps, such as Insight Timer as well as YouTube.
SH: What are some signs you're getting a little too comfortable in these more laidback conditions?
KCL: Unless you're utilizing some type of schedule during quarantine (or are very good at self-motivating), you may find that it's harder to follow through on tasks like chores, assignments or even extracurricular activities. Without structure, you may find that you're sinking into familiar patterns or habits, which, left unchecked, can impact your mood. This may be a sign to begin to build in or follow through with a daily schedule of goals for each day, as well as the week ahead. It can be helpful for us to begin making plans for what we might want to do once quarantine restrictions have been lifted.
SH: What are some ways to think positive and get motivated for life, post-quarantine?
KCL: When we begin to imagine life post-quarantine, we may come up with activities or plans that we can look forward to, such as seeing our friends. Set the stage in your mind for these future events by imagining what you'll do when quarantine is over: In your mind's eye, take in the sights, the sounds and the positive emotions you'll feel, and allow them to sink in. This is called a cognitive rehearsal and can assist us with uplifting our mood in the present when we envision a positive future. This rehearsal is a great motivator for us to work towards our post quarantine goals and plans.
SH: Is there anything else you want to share on this matter?
KCL: First of all, go easy on yourself if you find it challenging to take action right now. This pandemic is a very stressful time for many across the globe, which can result in our brains and bodies being overloaded by chemicals, which can leave us feeling overwhelmed. When we add the guilt we may feel about not doing "enough" during quarantine, we may find ourselves feeling more stuck than ever. Just remember that you're not alone, as many people feel the same way as you all over the world.
Why not try being kind to yourself, if you're feeling down about your time during quarantine, by offering a kind phrase to yourself such as, "This too shall pass," or "I'm doing the best I can during these crazy times." Nothing stays the same, so we can guarantee that change is always around the corner.
If quarantine has you actively in the kitchen, HERE are the best Instagram captions for all your baking pics!