Self-care is important, which is why Christine and I have brought you our favorite ways to navigate the challenges of quarantine.
If anyone knows how challenging quarantine can be, it’s me. In college, I was used to being super productive, social, and on the move at all times. It wasn’t unusual for my Google Calendar to be filled with classes, Professor office hours, work, lunch meetings, dinner plans, and roommate bonding (I am looking at you season 5 of Love Island). However, my life at home in quarantine has come to a complete stand still. Therefore, it can be tempting to let my self-care take a backseat; who would know if I stayed in my pajamas all day or spent hours staring at a wall, overthinking the past few months where life was chaotic and busy? That being said, mental, physical, and emotional health should be top priorities to help us navigate this challenging and unprecedented time. I have enlisted my good friend Christine Porr, who is always someone I trust for life advice, to provide some insights as to how she has been staying in tip-top shape over the quarantine period. You’re a lifesaver Christine! (Stay tuned for next week’s post on maintaining a healthy body!)
I was born and raised in suburban New Jersey and apparently I liked it so much I decided to stay put for college. I graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Economics in 2018 and have been working in Human Resources at Barclays Investment Bank in New York City. When I’m not working, I’m usually cooking or baking in the kitchen, running along the Hudson, watching West Wing reruns, or exploring the City- namely ice cream shops- with friends.
Since COVID-19 hit, I’ve been spending most of my time in Midcoast Maine with my parents, discovering beautiful hiking trails and beaches and finding new healthy ways to occupy myself outside the hustle and bustle of the City. I’m not going to lie, it was a tough transition from the fast-paced city to the slow, laid-back rural environment, not to mention going from having a jam-packed schedule during the week and weekends to spending nearly 24/7 inside with few, if any, open establishments to visit. After a few weeks, I became intentional about prioritizing maintaining my mental, physical, and spiritual health. At this point, I would even go so far as to say that in some ways I think I’m actually healthier now than I was before quarantine. I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned in hopes that a few people find one or two of these ideas helpful in their own quarantine experience and beyond.
The number one thing I would say is stay connected with friends. The nice thing about quarantine is you don’t have to stick to scheduled meetings. Pick up the phone and give someone a call. Chances are they wanted to talk to someone too, and it’ll make their day. Also, keep your mind going by reading books or listening to podcasts. Check if your local library offers e-Books. I downloaded the Kindle app and Cloud Library app on my phone, and then read books from my library on them. I literally now walk from one room to the next in my house while reading, or even read while going on walks (probably wouldn’t recommend if you’re prone to walking into things…which ironically I am).
Favorite Books Christine Read During Quarantine
- Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff
- Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl
- Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller
- Love & Gelato by Jenna Welch
Favorite Books Ursula Read During Quarantine
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay
- Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
- Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp
I could not agree more with Christine on the point of keeping in contact with friends during this time. Although it can be tricky- especially for me with friends located across the globe- make sure to schedule Zoom calls and FaceTimes with the ones you love! Texting, emails, and calls go a long way, but there is something different about seeing faces during this isolating time. Also, get creative with your methods of contact! I have sent hand written letters, açaí bowls, and gifts to friends and have gotten so much enjoyment in Face-timing my friends when they get my goodies in the mail. Like Christine, I have also had the time to sit down and read all of the books that I have been meaning to dive into. Thanks to my college’s virtual book club, I was also able to have a group of people hold me accountable for finishing each novel!
Christine’s Go-To Podcasts
- How I Built This with Guy Raz
- Live to Eat by Candace Nelson
- North Point Community Church with Andy Stanley
- CCEF Podcast: Where Life & Scripture Meet
Ursula’s Go-To Email Newsletters
More on the mind…
Learn a new skill (needlepoint, cooking, etc), language (try Duolingo!), or concept (browse classes offered by Coursera or any number of universities). Maybe even play a mentally stimulating game or do a puzzle! I love playing Scrabble, Big Boggle, and Codenames with my family, and they all definitely test my brain power. I also think I’ve now done close to 20 1000+ piece puzzles during quarantine. Does that make me obsessed?
During this time, although I haven’t been as motivated to try new recipes, I taken some time to make my old favorites, including this banana bread, these muffins, this healthy snack, and this amazing grilled caesar salad. I have also taken the time to curate some playlists to listen to while on long walks, bike rides, or doing some work. Having some go-to things to do when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed has helped me to manage the stress of quarantine. When you know what you like to do, you can easily turn a sluggish morning into a purposeful and fun one.