We are into week two of self-isolation. Here in Washington State, the Governor officially ordered that everyone stay inside unless it is absolutely essential to go out. Even then, we must stay a minimum of 6 feet away from each other.
This leads me to Thoughts from Quarantine 2: Solitary Confinement. I have a few realizations from last week and some new ideas for us Washingtonians who are now in a new level of lock-down.
WORK OUT IN THE MORNING
I've noticed that if it wasn't for the Fit Film Challenge I'm doing on my social media, I wouldn't work out if I didn't start in the morning.
By doing even one exercise before noon, you set the subconscious expectation that physical activity will be part of your day. Unless you want to come out of quarantine looking like the humans in Wall-E, this is something you need to be proactive about.
If you're the kind of person who usually takes pre-workout before lifting, STILL TAKE YOUR PRE-WORKOUT. That has become a trigger for you that it's time to work out. Take less, unless you have a solid gym in your garage, but take it and get you mind right.
FIND AN EASY WAY TO TRACK HOW MUCH WATER YOU DRINK
I've taken an empty 2 Litre soda bottle and put hash marks on it with 10am, Noon, 2pm, and 5 pm written on it from top to bottom. This is my minimum water intake for the day.
I've found that if I don't track my water, I don't drink it. My wife is the same way. I assume most of you are as well.
Generally, I don't care about intermittent fasting. For those of you who don't know, this is a diet approach where folks designate a eating window (10am-6pm) to limit when they can take in calories.
Usually this works just as well as any other calorie restriction method. It isn't special or magical. If it works for a client I support it, if it doesn't we try something else. These days I've adopted intermittent fasting with one purpose: to keep from snacking.
I'm eating between noon and 6pm right now. I'm not much of a breakfast person to begin with and I can still easily get my daily calories in a 6 hour window. After 6pm I get peckish and want to eat everything under the sun in tiny single servings. Now I can't because I don't eat after 6.
DESIGNATE AREAS OF YOUR LIVING SPACE FOR DIFFERENT THINGS
I have a hard and fast rule: our bedroom is for sleeping - no work allowed.
Sometimes, the activities you do in a certain space train a specific reaction in your brain. It works the same way as the trigger in a habit cycle.
Sure, you new ability to work in bed sounds awesome, but I bet by this week you're having trouble separating work time from sleep time. The place you once associated with rest is now associated with work.
I've created work, exercise, entertainment, and rest areas in our apartment. Yes, some of them overlap a bit because we have a one bedroom floorplan. However, knowing that a certain area of my apartment is for a specific activity helps with focus while I work and mental distance during breaks throughout the day.
BACKGROUND NOISE IS OK NOW
This is more observation than advice. I usually hate having background noise while I work. I like it silent so I can think clearly and without distraction.
Now, that silence is becoming deafening. I'm beginning to prefer background noise. Music, a TV show I've already seen, or a movie I've already watched, all help to make me feel less isolated. Since I've heard/seen all this background entertainment before, I don't feel a need to pay attention or get distracted and I can focus on my work.
My watch vibrating every hour has stopped working as a means to get me off my ass. I will be putting my activity timer (I use a gymboss exercises timer set for 50 min since I need my phone constantly) across the room so I absolutely MUST stand up to turn it off.
Usually I save this method for when I'm trying to wake up earlier than usual. But, modern problems require modern solutions.
What aspects of isolation are you struggling with? Please feel free to reach out to me in the comments here or on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
Right now we could use a sense of community while we are locked in. If I remember correctly, that was the whole point of social media in the first place. :)
Hang in there. Stay healthy. Stay safe.
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