In the US and most parts of the world quarantine is being phased out. Some are responding with excitement and enthusiasm while others are hesitant to leave their new routines and the cozy comforts of home. And let’s not forget, many are trepidations and weary of the entire situation. All these responses are reasonable and valid. But regardless of how you feel about it, quarantine is coming to an end. Whether you choose to take it slow, stay a home a while longer or run out of your home the first chance you get, these are some ways we can all prepare for the end of quarantine!
1. Get Back in a Routine
Before you head back to work or whatever else your life has in store it’s vitally important to get yourself and your family back into a routine. Don’t shock your system by suddenly trying to head to bed at a reasonable time and wake early in the morning. And don’t put yourself through couch and Netflix withdrawals either!
Sleep & Daily Routine
It’s time to gradually start making that bedtime earlier and deliberately waking in the morning. I know many of us have reverted back to our night owl ways. Just me? I don’t think so! And many others are either sleeping far too little or way too much! Now is the time to get your bedtime and morning routines in order and start implementing them.
You can find out exactly how to optimize your sleep and get a template for creating your ideal bedtime and morning routines in my new FREE ebook!
To be sure that you’re ready for all of the hustle bustle that awaits you, try scheduling activities into your day as well. Work on getting things accomplished at specific times so you can start creating some discipline.
No… it isn’t a good idea to schedule Netflix for the entire day. If we’re going to prepare to head back into the real world, we need to start limiting our screen time… not only for our kids but also for ourselves! Break yourself out of the screen time rut by scheduling some outdoor activities and adventures or projects around the house. Being productive with your time will not only help you prepare for the busyness of “real life” but it will also help you sleep better. Not to mention that it will improve your mood and optimism!
Cut your screen time back each week until it’s more in line with living your best life. You might even find you watch less than you did before quarantine. I suggest creating a block or two in your day for screen time and avoiding it the rest of the day. How many blocks you have and how big they are should be determined by how reliant you’ve become on screens. No need to go cold turkey. Just focus on gradual reduction. Be sure to plan other activities in your day to fill your time and distract you.
2. Put Down Your Vise
Maybe screens are your vise and once you get that back in check, you’ll be all set. But many of us had a resurgence in a previously addressed bad habit or dropped a good habit we’d established. Either way, it’s time to make an adjustment!
Cut back on junk food and try to get back into the habit of eating 3 healthy meals a day (along with healthy snacks). Stop drinking on weekdays. Start exercising again. You know, do all the things you were doing and stop with the stuff you know isn’t good for you!
Evaluate your new habits. What’s most impactful? Is it eating junk food, skipping exercise and water, drinking alcohol or something altogether different?
For me, it’s dropping intermittent fasting (IF). I’ve been a 5 day a week intermittent faster for almost 2 years but since quarantine started, I haven’t been sticking to it. Guess what, when I don’t stick to water only after dinner, I tend to late night snack, grab a glass of wine and sit up binging shows on Netflix. For me, this one small change to my habits has caused an avalanche of bad habits. So, obviously, I need to get back into the IF schedule! That alone will have a HUGE impact!
In order to do this, I’m going to have to figure out what caused me to break this habit in the first place and create a plan to get back on track. You’ll need to do the same! Don’t leave it to chance! Use a habit tracker or reach out for accountability if you need it!
3. Care for Your Health
Now more than ever we’re all painfully aware of the importance of good health! Aside from age the highest risk factors for critical and fatal cases of COVID are pre-existing conditions, most of which could be prevented or eliminated through lifestyle change! It’s time to make those lifestyle changes!
Proper nutrition and adequate exercise are only the tip of the iceburg! There are many factors that play into good health including stress management, drinking water and getting adequate rest. To keep yourself in optimal health or return to it, you may need to make a few changes. But here’s the thing, with SO much information and so little time it’s difficult to know where to start! That’s why I wrote the ebook to begin with! I feel it’s SO important to simplify the entire subject and give people practical information and a place to start. You’re not going to change everything overnight! Simply start with one or two challenges from the book and once their engrained in your life add something new!
As you all know, I’m not a nutritionist, trainer or doctor. I’m just a gal who’s gone through some pretty difficult health challenges, did a bunch of research, consulted a bunch of pros and reclaimed my health. So, as always be sure to check with your doctor before embarking on a health journey. It’s super helpful to have starting numbers so you can see hard work pay off! Plus, this is a great time to get back on track with routine medical appointments and tests. Through the COVID crisis many were surprised to find that they had high risk conditions they knew nothing about because they hadn’t seen a doctor in years!
4. Clean House & Get Organized
Not only is it the end of quarantine but it’s also spring! You know what that means! Spring cleaning! I know some of us have already been spring cleaning and truth is your house might be cleaner than it ever has been. But it’s time to get ready for summer, for bike rides and long leisurely weekends outdoors! So, get ready! Swap your wardrobe, outdoor sporting goods and give the car a good wash!
But don’t do it alone!!! I see WAY too many women taking on all the household responsibility! It’s time to front load the chores and divide them among your housemates and family members (yes, kids can do chores and it’s even good for them!) Choose a day to sit down with your family and divvy up the workload. Invite them to partner with you in maintaining the family home and whenever possible allow them to choose the jobs they’ll do. (Pro-Tip: NEVER do something that’s assigned to someone else, so be sure to take on the things you know you can’t let go of.) You know I’m not going to leave you hanging! Of course, I created a tool to help you with this!
And don’t forget to get some gardening and yardwork done too! Spending time outside not only frees up time down the road for fun, it also helps bolster your immune system! So, get out there and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!
5. Meal Prep
This is a great rainy-day Pinterest activity! Find some great freezer recipes and get some meal prep done! Nutrition is SO important to health but who wants to spend their time in the kitchen when they could be enjoying the sunshine! Get ahead on this important task!
I know you’re likely SO tired of cooking and already feel chained to the stove! I’ve heard you! But why not simply choose some crockpot freezer recipes and double the batch? Make one for dinner this week and freeze the other to use later! That way you don’t have to clean up twice and you have a great go-to healthy meal for later!
Meal prep doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t need to take all day! Just doubling or even tripling your recipes will give you a nice stockpile!
You’ll find some of my favorite quick and easy healthy meal recipes your family will love in your FREE ebook! None are make ahead freezer foods but all take 30 minutes or less in the kitchen!
6. Make a Bucket List
It’s time to prioritize what you want to do when quarantine is over! I know that many of us have been thinking about this for months but now it’s time to think about what’s most important and safest.
I’ve been pining to see my adult kids and grandma. I miss them like crazy! And while I want to give them huge hugs and hang out in the kitchen making dinner and having a family dance party, I know those aren’t the safest choices. Instead we will likely have a barbeque for our first visit, and we might need to skip the hugs. You see, it’s very important to me that we all STAY healthy so we can continue to visit! And, as for my grandma, until I get a positive antibody test, I just don’t feel a visit is safe. Maybe she can come to the door and I can visit from the yard, but I definitely won’t be going in!
Thinking about the safety and logistics of your activities in the coming months is very important. If we are too casual and experience a drastic increase in cases, we’re likely to end up with another quarantine. No one wants that! While this is extremely unlikely it’s better to be on the safe side. So, prioritize your bucket list by importance AND safety.
Whenever possible follow guidelines regarding social distancing and other health precautions and try to keep your gatherings small and outdoors! If a house party has been at the top of your priority list, because hey, it’s fun and you miss your friends, I get it… it just might have to wait a while longer though, it isn’t a priority over health! We’re all going to have to make some tough choices about our bucket lists.
7. Choose Sustainability
If you haven’t heard the eco-warrior’s celebration you might be a bit too out of touch. It turns out that quarantining the world’s population for a couple months (give or take) is good for the environment! Are you surprised? Well, with industry shut down and traffic to a minimum I’m not.
There are people in the world who’ve seen the night sky clearly for the first time in their lifetime. Smog has begun to clear and we’re breathing clean fresh air!
While surely as factories re-open and people begin driving and traveling again we’ll see an increase in pollutants, we can also work to minimize it. So, I encourage you to choose sustainability! It’s good for your wallet, health and the planet!
This subject is so extensive it merits its own post, so check back within the next week or two to find out more. But until then, let me suggest making these simple changes.
- Carpool (when safe), walk, or ride your bike
- Use re-usable containers and a water bottle (rather than disposable)
- Break the over shopping habit for good
- Plan meals and minimize food waste
These might seem like small things, but every choice adds up. You don’t have to do it all, simply choose one thing that works for you and start there! A few people making drastic changes could never have the same impact as millions making small ones. Be one of the millions! Do your part!
Prepare for the End of Quarantine
Probably the most important thing about preparing for the end of quarantine is determining what’s best for you and your family. You don’t owe anyone an explanation and they don’t owe one to you either.
It’s ok if you want to embrace the end of quarantine and immediately go out (following safety guidelines of course). And it’s also ok if you aren’t ready yet or don’t feel safe and want to wait a bit longer. Each of us must make this choice. Whether you have health concerns or not, your choice is valid and it’s yours to make.
So, I invite you to share how you’re feeling about the end of quarantine in the comments below. Tell me what your plan is. This is a supportive, safe environment with no politics or arguing where you can share and be validated!
This is a “those who care, share” post. Help those around you prepare for the end of quarantine!