Things you should be doing right now during the COVID-19 quarantine

Hey, friends! How are you holding up? I mean, it’s all COVID-19 quarantine all the time right now. While I had initially planned to talk about something unrelated to this issue to keep it light, I want to recognize the importance and significance of the times we are in. So here we go …

(By the way, if you’re someone who is fighting this on the front line providing essential services, thank you for all that you do! I hope you stay well!)

Things you should be doing right now during the COVID-19 quarantine

This list is not going to go over the importance of social distancing or washing your hands, because I think we’re hearing plenty of that. And yes, make sure you are doing both of those things with absolute obsession.

Instead, here are some other things you could/should be doing …

Things you shiould be doing right now during the COVID-19 quarantine by A Lady Goes West

Getting outside in the fresh air and moving your body every single day at regular intervals.

No, I do not think you need to do an official workout every single day. But I do know that just because we’re supposed to be staying home, doesn’t mean we have a free pass to do absolutely no movement at all. Sitting on the couch all day is really bad for you (it’s bad for your health, your waistline and your mental state). That’s the truth.

Right now, I think it’s ideal to plan a morning walk and an afternoon walk at a minimum (being sure to steer clear of busy areas and keeping your distance from other people), so you can not only get fresh air (and valuable vitamin D), but also so you can move your body at regular intervals throughout the day. This is a non-negotiable, if you’re able-bodied. (And be sure to wear mineral sunscreen, not chemical, for a portion of your outdoor time.)

We’ve been doing two 30-minute walks a day, and I’ve also been doing short workout sessions in the living room on Les Mills On Demand. (Here’s my link to try Les Mills On Demand for a free trial.)

This is a great time for those of us who have normally heavy workout schedules to pull back a bit (like me), but it’s also a good time for those of you who don’t usually have much time to exercise to add a little bit of extra movement. Figure out which boat you’re in and get moving smartly and safely.

Eating your meals with no technology or distractions to help your digestion.

I will talk more about this soon, because it’s something I really want to expand on (and have learned quite a bit about in my nutrition certification program that I’m almost done with). But especially right now, as you may be pulled to eat all of your meals in front of the TV or the computer … I urge you not to do so. Your digestion works much better when you eat slowly and purposefully and take your time to enjoy the taste and texture of your food with no distractions.

Things are stressful right now, so it’s more important than ever to keep your digestion and gut health in line by keeping meal times as sacred times. (Your immunity and ability to fight disease and illness are both closely related to your gut health too. You may even want to consider adding probiotics or probiotic-rich food.)

Truthfully, I totally struggle with the idea of eating without technology, and I will be right there with you challenging myself to stick to this. (Side note: If you eat all of your meals with a remote control, TV or laptop in use, then you’re also likely continuing to cross-contaminate your freshly washed hands. Just saying.)

Give this one a go. Now is a better time than ever!

What you could be doing during the COVID-19 quarantine - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

In fact, going tech-free and disconnected for a portion of a day, every day.

Because we’re all trying to see what the latest bad news is, it can be tempting to check your phone over and over and over again. I’m feeling that urge too.

But honestly, if you’re hunkering down and trying your best to stay healthy, then you don’t have to know the latest bad news the second it breaks. And you also don’t need to see how everyone on social media is ranting, raving or oversharing either.

It’s really good for the mind, soul and stress levels to practice moments of being completely disconnected. (Not all the time, because we’ll talk about real connection soon, but some of the time.) I’ve been doing phone-free time lately on our afternoon family walks, and it’s just lovely.

Whatever it is can wait. Put down your phone, and get some mental space. 

Giving yourself a hydration challenge and meeting it every single day.

With a lot of people out of their normal routines, I think we’re bound to see some dehydrated folks. Just because you aren’t doing your normal everyday situation, doesn’t mean you can forget about water and the importance of hydration. 

I’m feeling a major need to work on this, so I actually switched over to a huge ounce-marked bottle and am shooting to finish it twice during the day, and then also having my other beverages, like tea and sparkling water to add on.

What you should be doing during the COVID-19 quarantine - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

Your gender, age, activity level, environment and lifestyle can determine how much water you need. But a good rule of thumb is to drink, at a minimum, half of your bodyweight in ounces of water. I’m shooting to hit my bodyweight in ounces of water (and other clear liquids). It’s a challenge for sure. In this post, I wrote how to calculate how much water you need and shared some tips on how to increase your water intake, so refer back here if you need help.

Moral of the story: Drink more water!

Calling your friends and family regularly, and checking up on anyone who may need it.

I’ve definitely done my fair share of complaining about this whole mess, but I have to remind myself that I’m not alone. I have Dave, Brady and Rudy, and they are all nearby under the same roof with me all day every single day. That’s a real blessing. Not everyone has that.

I think it’s so important for us to reach out to friends and family right now, not only to catch up, but also to check in. You never know who REALLY needs someone to talk to and may not be willing to ask for help. This one is something we should all do. Send a text. Make a call. Check on people!

I had a virtual happy hour wine date with some lady friends over the weekend, and it was good for the soul. I have two of those planned for this week as well. But in addition to that, I’m making it a point to reach out to others more.

Forgetting the idea of being perfect, and learning to embrace a little chaos.

Honestly, for a slightly obsessive neat-freak and regimented person such as myself, it’s a big change to have my routine upended, as well as a lot more going on around the house. I’m so incredibly grateful to have Dave around to help with Brady for every morning, nap and night-time right now — it’s THE best. But I also know that having us all at home all the time does present just a bit more chaos. Things aren’t always exactly where I want them at all times. Brady isn’t always dressed exactly how I would like. And these are incredibly insignificant things I have to let slide right now.

If you’re not worried about this stuff, good for you. For those of us who are … we need to take a deep breath and just let it roll. It’s going to be fine. 🙂

Doing during the COVID-19 quarantine - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

Living by the “one day at a time” mentality.

I’m a forward-thinking looking-into-the-future planner type of gal. One day at a time is not my go-to mindset, but it’s one I’m trying to adopt right now as things change. I’m missing my old routine and definitely missing a lot of things.

When I think that the situation we’re in could last weeks (or months), that scares me. So all I can do is get through every single day as best as I can. And one day turns into several days, and slowly, but surely, time will pass. 

Appreciating the chance to slow down and finding the silver lining.

If you’re lucky enough not to be on the front lines of treating patients or handling essential services, then you are likely just spending more time at home. This isn’t the worst thing for many of us, in this go-go-go way of life we’ve been living. I am trying to see the positive each and every day, and there’s always something good to identify. Cling to it.

A few other things you can be doing right now …

  • Supporting local businesses by buying gift cards, ordering take-out food or even leaving positive reviews to help them stay afloat during this challenging time.
  • Carving out some “me time” every single day so you can sit, breathe, maybe meditate and collect yourself. For me, this means my daily meditation, no matter what, for 10 minutes alone with my headphones.
  • Enjoying and relishing in extra sleep. It’s important to try to keep your daily wake-up and bed-times consistent, so hopefully you can devote more time to sleep right now and adjust those as needed.
  • Cleaning out your closets and drawers, then bagging up your stuff to donate or listing for sale on Poshmark or other. Did this, and it felt good!
  • Throwing out your expired spices and pantry items, and organizing your fridge. You may find some stuff you didn’t even know you had.
  • Choosing one day a week to “get ready” and fixing yourself up a bit. It seems silly, but sometimes we all need to change out of our casuals and actually put some effort in. I’m planning to do this this week!
  • Deep cleaning your house. Yes! Because we’re all disinfecting, may as well be cleaning up too.
  • Reading, reading, reading. If you’re out of books, apparently most local libraries are offering ebooks for free right now too.

All we can do is take it day by day. For real.

COVID-19 quarantine - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

Thank you for reading, my friends! I truly appreciate you! If you have any questions or post ideas, please feel free to leave them below. I’ll be in the Facebook group and over on Instagram, until we meet back here again. Stay healthy! Stay well! Stay positive! xoxo

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

How are you holding up?

Have you been getting outside?

What’s ONE bright spot in this whole mess for you? 

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15 Comments

  1. I love this post, Ashley! Thanks for sharing all of these helpful tips. And thank you for mentioning about checking on your friends. It’s never easy for me to be 36 and single, but I’m noticing it now more than ever. It feels especially hard to be alone. So, my 36 year old mature self has moved in with my Mom during the quarantine. I’m still going back and forth from my apartment to her condo, but it just feels better to have someone to have dinner with and to lean on.

    Sending love and healthy vibes to the Pitt household.
    xoxo.

    1. Hi Courtney! I’m REALLY glad to hear you are with your mom — that’s smart for both of you to have each other right now. Such a strange and weird time we are in! I’m sending all the love right back to YOU! 🙂 xoxo

    1. Hi Julie! A little makeup can go a long way ahha! So good for you! And yessss, mild weather is much needed right now. It’s been chilly here, but still walking weather. I hope your little ones are doing well! 🙂 xoxo Hang in there!!

  2. Hi Ashley. Very interesting and formative blog. I think getting outside is really important. I still get a little run in every morning at daybreak. Don’t have to worry about getting too close that time of the day. Since can’t get to the gym try activities that makes up for excercise. Past week washed both cars. Spent couple days picking up leaves. Finish the week mowing the lawn. We ate take out acouple times from our favorite restaurant. Still nice to eat their food. So you are able to get outside to walk even under your stay at home situation. We haven’t got there yet so I am glad to hear that. Stay safe over there.

    1. Hi Richard! It sounds like you are doing all the right things. And yes, we are permitted to go on walks and exercise outdoors, as well as pick up food from the grocery store or take-out — but that’s basically it! Thank you for saying hi and staying connected! 🙂

  3. Great post, getting outside and going tech free for a while each day is so important! I’m such a planner and it’s a struggle to not be able to not plan things outside the neighborhood for the foreseeable future. I am definitely using the extra time to catch an extra 20-30 minutes of sleep, it will be rough when things get back to normal… but until then!

    Thanks for such an encouraging post!

    1. Hi Jessie! Same here — I’m sleeping about 30 minutes later too, and it feels glorious ahahh — we are lucky we are able to be at home and be safe right now, so can’t complain about that! 🙂

  4. This was great! I especially resonated with the being ok with the chaos and mess. Totally feel you on that right now! Thanks Ashley.❤️

    1. Hi Laura! We are lucky to have chaos around us and not be alone, you know … so yes, embrace it! 🙂 Hopefully we will look back on all this and be grateful for the time, in spite of the hard stuff. Stay well!

  5. It’s still chilly here in MN but I do need to get outside more. I can rake my yard even. I’m focusing on hydration too. Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Stefanie! Yes … Dave and Brady have been outside doing a lot of yard-work here — it’s a great time for that and is not something I like to do hehe. Stay well, friend!

  6. These are great tips! Eating meals without technology or distraction is definitely something I need to work on. It’s one of those things you don’t think of, and likely impacting the quantity that I’m eating along with digestion. Totally agree with getting outside – walking the dog has been a great way to get out and about. Thanks for these and hope everyone staying well.

    1. Hi Michelle! And it’s one of the hardest to do — because I often find myself in front of the computer while eating. But we can all try to be better. Thanks for saying hi, and I hope you are staying well too! 🙂 xoxo

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