I’m back from my (unintentional) hiatus and as I sat around trying to figure out what I could write about to try and get back into the groove of blogging, I realized that right now the most relevant wellness + lifestyle topic I have on my mind is how I’m personally trying to regain a sense of control in my life after having everything completely rearranged and put on hold. I know as much as the next person that life is a series of ebbs and flows regardless of the presence of global pandemics, but even this “new normal” is surrounded by so much uncertainty, and that’s stressful in and of itself.
Quarantine forced me to realize how guilty I was about loading up my schedule. At the time, I didn’t notice just how much I was taking on, but when everything shut down in March, the exhaustion of my packed schedule finally caught up to me. COVID forced me to slow down and relax, which was good for me at first, but after a while, being stripped of any and all routines I had in place started to weigh on me. One of the hardest adjustments for me was not being able to go to the gym; I tried to workout at home but it just wasn’t the same. Something I realized pretty fast was that even though it felt like the world around us stopped, life itself obviously didn’t – so between life continuing to take shots at me and not having any of my normal routine in place and no idea on where to start forming a new one, my anxiety cup began to overflow.
My first wave of mental health struggles came in May/June, realizing that there was still so much uncertainty and that it might be a while before there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. My second wave has hit more recently. Between finishing up with the time- and energy-consuming task of moving apartments and my community starting to open back up, it feels like there’s finally opportunity to start regaining some control over my life and my mental health by getting back into a routine. However, the stressful thing about that for me is that I want to make sure I can bring that routine back without pushing myself to the point of exhaustion, but also not letting the “laziness” I got so accustomed to during quarantine take over, either (if that makes sense… I’m struggling to get my words + thoughts just right lol). If you’re like me and have anxiety, you know it’s a fine line of knowing how to go with the flow and accept things how they are, but also needing to maintain control over life/situations to a certain extent.
Obviously, COVID is still relevant and things are still far from the normal we’re used to, but there’s at least a hope present that we can start to take back some of the control we’ve felt like we’ve lost. So I figured I would share what easing back into “routine” or “control” looks like for me, if y’all are looking for tips on how to do the same. If there’s anything I’ve come to realize, it’s that it doesn’t have to be big.
Some of the first things I’m trying to be more disciplined about is my skincare routine. It’s stupid that it’s something that I ever go out of in the first place because that’s not at all anything that’s related to the outside world, but something about sitting around all day or in my free time just made me feel really lazy – don’t ask me why, it just did lol. But between not keeping up with my skincare like I should, masking, and not being very disciplined in other areas of my lifestyle, my acne has been an absolute nightmare and it’s just felt like my skin looks dull. I stocked up on some acne-clearing products and am trying to be better about making sure I do my routine in the mornings and in the evenings. It’s so small but I feel like it’s made a significant difference in how I feel about myself both inside and out.
Another tiny but mighty goal of mine is to get back into drinking more water. I started doing the 75 Hard challenge with one of my friends and was pretty good about drinking my gallon of water for a couple weeks and it honestly made such a huge difference in how I felt and with my skin. Hydrate or die-drate, my dudes.
It’s starting to get really important now, too, to make sure I’m getting plugged back in with my passions like teaching group fitness and blogging. Blogging I could have kept up with in the first place, but creativity dried up just like the rest of my routine when quarantine started. When group fitness classes shut down, though, I really had no choice but to wait it out. Thankfully I’m getting back into it next week – it’s going to be nice to get back into making a few extra dollars and getting to do something I love again. But Lord forbid there’s another shut down, I have some plans up my sleeve if need be. And, in the meantime, I’ll continue working on my wellness coaching materials so I’ll be certified come the end of the year!
While I’m excited to get into teaching group fitness again, I’m also going to be doing more teaching in the evenings than participating, so that does throw a bit of a wrench in my personal workout plans. So, I’m starting to gather equipment to be able to start doing at-home workouts in case I’m not able to get time in at the gym (I’ll be posting more about this later!) I might start working out first thing in the mornings, but we’re just going to have to play that one by ear lol.
And last, but definitely not least, I have got to get my booty back in the kitchen and be disciplined with my meal prepping. The moving chaos completely threw off my routine as far as cooking/prepping goes, but all of quarantine in general, it’s felt easier and more tempting to keep frozen foods like pizza rolls and chicken nuggets on hand. Again, I can be completely transparent and admit that I got lazy when I could sit around and nap and play video games and not really feel obligated to do much else. I know my poor dietary habits are another reason my skin is suffering, though, so I know it’s something I need to be better about now that I’m done moving.
As y’all can see, I have a lot that I know I need to start getting back into, and it’s going to have to be trial-and-error when it comes to how I’m going to start neatly fitting everything back into my days + weeks. But, if you’re like me and are craving routine + productivity while making sure you maintain mental boundaries, I definitely recommend starting small. Like, just working on one thing at a time or literally focusing on just taking things one day at a time kind of small. You know what you feel like your routine is missing, so just be honest with yourself about what needs to get back on track and how you can realistically get back into the habits you had before quarantine hit – just be patient with yourself in the process because not everything will look like it did before.