Self-care Rituals During Quarantine
It’s been over five months since we were placed under quarantine. A lot of things have been happening that make our emotions run high. You’re either sad, or angry, or frustrated, or tired, or more often than not, afraid of all the uncertainty. I wish I could say that there’s a silver lining to everything, but we’re not all on the same boat. Admittedly—and I’m sure it goes for a lot of people as well—some days all you can do is try to get through.
But some days are better. And personally, I found that the extra time I now spend at home made it possible for me to practice some of the things I’ve always wanted to do. At a time when we’re all just trying to get by, I hope you’re well and taking care of yourself – in whatever manner you find helps.
1. Becoming a morning person
I never in a million years thought I would become a morning person. My idea of a perfect weekend used to be sleeping in and staying up late hitting that “next episode” button on Netflix. Now I’m asleep before 10 pm and up at the crack of dawn. For over a month now, my new routine consists of:
· Waking up before 5:30 am to drop off my mom at work
· Catching the sun rise on my way home
· Getting an early workout in
· Taking a looong bath complete with body scrubs and hair treatments
· Making myself breakfast and a cup of iced coffee
· Watching Netflix or writing in my journal until it’s 9:00 am and time to clock-in for work
It feels so refreshing to get me-time in before work. It just helps me keep a clear head and a positive attitude all throughout the day. I don’t even set my alarms anymore, my body automatically wakes me up a few minutes after 5:00 am and I feel ready for the day.
2. Working out
I know, it’s cliché, but the endorphins really do help me feel better. I used to have “fitness phases” when I’d be so motivated to go to the gym after work or whenever my schedule permits, but it would always come and go. I’d be either too tired or I’d be too busy to go out of my way and get a workout in. But towards the end of March, I decided to create a more sustainable routine for myself. For the first two months, I did yoga every day, switching between strength training and Vinyasa. My favorite app is Yoga Studio. It’s good for beginners to more advanced yogis. (My goal when I started practicing was to be able to do a headstand, and now I'm proud to say I can finally manage the inversion!) Then, I decided to do cardio and “toning” exercises. To this day, I still follow Emi Wong’s workouts. Her 20 minute HIIT and 40 minute routines worked for me so much, and I saw results in just a couple of weeks. Some people would hate on the “casual fitness” trend, but I personally think it’s all about finding a routine that makes you feel good and works for you.
For me, I do cardio and full-body workouts at least four times a week, while my Sundays are reserved for either flexibility or yin yoga.
I never used to be able to meditate. I’m just one of those people who move fast and are unable to keep a clear mind. What really helped me was constantly practicing every day. In the mornings, I love drawing my curtains and letting sunlight in my room. After a sweaty workout, my cool down routine is just sitting in silence and trying to meditate. I’ve been doing better, in all fairness. I started with five-minutes, then graduated to 10 minutes, and now I can sit still for 20 minutes. My favorite app to use is Medito; it’s free and simple to use.
4. Connecting to my spiritual self
I didn’t really know what to call this item so we'll just leave it at that. But to give you an idea, I’ve always been fascinated by astrology and the universe and all of its elements – nature, the sun, the moon, the trees, the stars. For a couple of months now, I’ve been studying energy reading because I truly believe that these energies can affect your overall mood and mental state. I’ve been reading up on scents and what they symbolize; herbs and plants; I’ve also started my crystal collection. My newest fascination lies on tarot cards. Every day I try to practice and memorize what each card means, but I’ve learned that tarot reading isn’t linear and each person reads a tarot card differently. I’m still learning and getting the hang of it.
One of the things I love doing is “smudging” my room, which is basically cleansing it of negative energy. I take a palo santo white sage incense and let the smoke billow to every corner of the room. I also love meditating with crystals under a full moon, during which it is believed that the lunar energy is at its most powerful, allowing us to release our all anxieties and negative thoughts.
Journaling is another thing that I’ve always wanted to sustain but could never do. I don’t want to jinx it, but I’ve been pretty consistent so far. The thing is, I don’t like writing as much because my penmanship just sucks. So sometimes I journal through my phone, or in this case, through my blog. I find that it helps to just jot down my thoughts and try to make sense of them, whenever I could.
As I sit down tonight to lay out my intentions for this week, I hope and pray that you are doing okay. And if you're not, that's also fine. I hope you have the courage to live another day.