It’s not easy to get yourself stuck in a rut, especially during and after the quarantine. The problem, however, is that in general, you don’t find yourself in a rut overnight. It’s something that builds up over months, or maybe even years.
It’s just that the lockdown was, more or less, the cherry on top!
Getting out of it is tricky, and usually takes time. However, you can start by making baby steps. Every day, or even every couple of days, you can begin introducing little things to your life.
Build a positive routine, and slowly get yourself out of the rut and change your life.
We gathered a list of things to try and introduce in your life from the moment you wake up, up until you fall asleep.
Here are habits to get out of a rut, and avoid the Post-Quarantine Depression.
1) Replace your bad habits with healthier habits
Do you drink a lot of soda? Replace it with flavoured water. Do you smoke? Start chewing gum instead. Anything you do out of habit, you can quickly stop doing it as long as you find another practice to fill the void it’ll leave.
2) Fix your sleeping schedule, set the alarm, and NEVER hit snooze
You need to start committing yourself into your new positive lifestyle. And there’s no better time to start than the minute you wake up.
If you are not used to setting up an alarm or waking up at the same time every day, you need to start doing that. If you already set the alarm, make sure you have a fixed “bedtime”.
To feel better mentally, you need to feel good physically. Having a fixed sleeping schedule will make your body rest more and will make it easier for you to fall asleep. I think we all know how much of a difference it makes when you get a good night sleep.
Now it’s important not to hit the snooze button once your alarm starts ringing. Get up as soon as you can. Your body will thank you later, and you can replace the 30 minutes of hitting snooze with another healthy habit.
I have always known that stretching was important, but I never realised how important it was until I started doing it daily. If you start stretching instead of hitting the snooze button, for instance, you’ll feel a lot better throughout the day.
Just stretching for a few minutes a day will come a long way.
It is crucial, however, to understand that your body might be sore for the first couple of days. But eventually, you’ll grow more energetic, flexible, relaxed and you will see results fast!
4) Start your day fresh; shower, lotion and moisturising
This is especially important if you’re staying at home, and applies for women AND men (as well as everyone else).
If you start your day selling fresh, and smelling good, with hydrated skin, you’ll have a significant ego boost throughout the day. And you’ll be doing those around you a favour as well.
5) Spend at least five minutes daily on cleaning your house/room
If the rut you were in ended up letting you have a messy place, start fixing it little by little.
Whatever spot you call yours, spend only five minutes a day cleaning or organising it. Five minutes aren’t a lot, but it’ll get you a long way when it comes to cleaning and organising. And in a week or maybe even less, you will be almost done.
6) Dedicate an hour to your friends and family
This is very important, especially for those who live alone or have a general sense of loneliness. Forget Whatsapp and texting. Rather have a face-to-face conversation, if possible.
If not, have a video chat, or a phone call. Have a real human interaction. Texting doesn’t have the human element, and everyone you speak to is the same – they’re text.
If you don’t have any close friends or family, it’s okay. You can still chat with a co-worker. If that would be too awkward, you can settle for just texting at first. Worst case scenario, talk with a stranger online.
Just remember that you’re human and need to interact with humans!
7) Force yourself to say thank you and give a compliment at least once a day
Went to a supermarket? Thank the cashier. Maybe tell them something positive to make their day? It could be as simple as thank you for your efficiency. You saved me some time.
Or if you are talking with your friends and family, tell them something good about how they look. Do you like their shirt? Say it!
Brother got a New hairstyle that they aren’t sure about? You think it’s cool. A friend is unsure if they’re capable of something? You believe they are strong and can do whatever they set their mind to.
Be nice! Everyone is suffering in their way, just like you. They need to hear something good. You could be the reason someone sleeps happily. And when you are giving those around you some positive vibes, they’ll probably give you the same vibes.
It’s essential, however, to not be fake. No one likes a fake!
8) Forgive yourself for not starting yesterday
One of the significant reasons we struggle to get out of the rut is because we blame ourselves for not doing anything earlier. It becomes a matter of giving up; if I were to get better, I would have.
That’s, like what Mr RuPaul Charles would say, your inner saboteur speaking.
It’s okay that you took some time to pick yourself up. It’s always better late than never.