Staying Sane When Staying Home

If you’re not used to staying indoors day after day, how do you protect your sanity? I haven’t seen anyone face-to-face or stepped outside my front door for over a week now. What I have found that helps the most is forming some kind of routine. I can’t work remotely (properly) for another week so I don’t have that structure as yet. What I’ve done in the meantime is come up with a list of things to do each day that help to protect my mental health:

  • I subscribe to the Calm app and do their daily meditation, which isn’t easy to focus on when you’re anxious but it helps. I also listen to one of the excellent Sleep Stories at night. A free meditation app is Insight Timer.
  • Everyone and their granny seems to be doing Yoga With Adriene on YouTube and for good reason. She’s very down to earth and has a nice chilled, slightly quirky way with her. I’m currently doing her 30 Day of Yoga which is suitable for anyone of any level but particularly beginners and those who have slipped since the gyms/yoga studios shut.
  • It’s tempting to treat every day like a pajama day (what day is it again?) but acting like this is one long weekend only adds to the sense of this being never-ending. Getting up on weekdays, making my bed and getting dressed makes me feel like I’m in the land of the living.
  • Linked to the above is carrying on with my skincare routine. Staying inside with central heating, stress and comfort food has played havoc with my skin and it’s part of self-care. I may do a separate post on what I’m using.
  • Regular Housepartys!!! This video chat app has taken off during the pandemic – it seems everyone I have ever known is now on it. Phone calls are great but video chat makes a real difference. I have been doing this every day with my sister and it’s the highlight of my day. (We mostly talk about what we’re going to have for dinner and watch on Netflix).
  • Lastly, I do something productive. This could be cleaning out a cupboard, finally washing that throw or even putting a treatment on my hair. I use the word ‘productive’ loosely. Feeling like you should be using this time to learn a new language or how to play an instrument will only add to your anxiety if you don’t feel up to it. If we just get through this with our bodies and minds intact, that is more than enough.



If you have anything that’s helping you get through this strange and difficult time please let us know in the comments.


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25 responses to “Staying Sane When Staying Home

  1. Gina T.

    I am a Type A person who is always on the go, scheduled, structured, leaves at 630 a.m. and gets home 7-10 p.m. I am loving this. It would be vacation if I still had a job and income. But, I have no schedule, sleep in, stay up late, read to 2 a.m., stream movies, spend time with my pets, cook recipes, build fairy gardens, write. What’s not to love? If people can’t be alone for a week, that is a bit terrifying. I like myself. I like my home. I like my hobbies. I like time. Time is the one thing we never have enough of. We spend so much of our lives working and running and prepping for work and taking care of things and people. It is a relief to take care of me.


    • That’s good to hear Gina, aside from the lack of income of course.

      I’m coping surprisingly well considering I suffer from anxiety. I am an introvert but it’s hard to enjoy this time with so many people suffering and losing their lives. I can’t switch off from that completely and I guess I don’t want to.


      • Gina T.

        Oooh, I can understand that. Oh, you sensitive soul. Thank God we have people like you. We need empaths in the world. That is NOT my strong suit. You have a gift, but I am sorry to see it causing you to suffer. Very Buddhist! LOL. When the world suffers, I suffer. May you soon delight with joy and may the world, too. Namaste dear one.


  2. Jillie

    I feel soothed reading your calming, wise words. To be honest, life isn’t so very much different for me right now, having been a bit restricted to home for a little while, but I do feel so much more stressed and anxious. There’s no way I am going to let anyone see me on a screen (!), but it has been immensely comforting and cheering catching up with people via email and phone, some of whom have only been Christmas card friends for a few years.

    In spite of the stories of people greedily sweeping supermarket stores’ shelves clean, I have been touched by news of kind acts; our sweet neighbours have all offered their help to us.

    I so agree that this is the time to “beautify” – I have a Philip Kingsley rose scented elasticiser ready to be slathered on my hair later on today! I’m looking forward to reading your skincare tips.

    Stay well, Tara. Good wishes to you and your readers.


    • Hi Jillie

      Hearing of all the help people have been offering others really does counter the awfulness to some extent.

      I know what you mean about others seeing you on video right now. I’d have to make an effort if it were anyone but family!

      Didn’t know there was a rose version of the Elasticiser. I’ll have to check that out.


  3. I noticed that Adrienne is suddenly popular. 🙂 I’ve been following her for some time though as I like her videos. And her voice, that is quite important for me.
    I’ve been working from home for 5 weeks now and don’t have much free time (we have quite a lot of work at the moment). I try to meditate daily and get enough sleep (I’ve been needing more after the earthquake here) and eat quality food. I don’t mind spending time alone, I like that, but I miss being able to walk as I used to.
    Wishing everyone calm and healthy times ahead.
    Talk to you soon I hope. 🙂


    • Hi Ines

      Yes, she has a great voice. I actually watched her making yogi tea yesterday because she’s so calming.

      Sounds like you’ve had quite a time of it. Getting enough sleep, eating well and meditating are all important. I hope things settle down for you before long.

      Fingers crossed for that proper catch up!


  4. matty1649

    I live alone but this lockdown is really getting to me now. Before all this I could choose to go out, who to see,where to go etc. Now we hav eno choice.Most of my family live nearby.They have been food shopping for me.I really miss spending time with them,we have a group chat going every day.At least we keep in touch.


    • Hi matty

      Keeping connecting in some way is so important right now. I miss my sister and niece so much but seeing them on video helps a lot. I sang happy birthday to my niece over Houseparty yesterday!

      Good to hear you have people nearby that can shop for you.
      Stay well.


  5. Tara C

    I feel really sad about not being able to see and hug my friends & family. I can’t watch the news at all and take anxiety meds to sleep. I am in preventive quarantine after travel and haven’t left my flat in 10 days, I’m really looking forward to going out for a walk Monday.

    I have been keeping up with housecleaning, dishes and bed are made daily, but I don’t bother to get dressed or put on makeup, just wearing sweats. I do an hour of yoga a day. My hair desperately needs to be cut but who knows when that will happen. At this point I’m just hoping the parks will be reopened by late July so I can go on my planned camping trips. I feel like a rat in a trap in my large city, I want to be out in the woods so badly.

    On the productivity front, I have a reading schedule and am teaching myself to play the piano. I also have some sewing projects I can’t face right now. I have baked bread. That’s about it. I listen to meditation podcasts. I also spend a lot of time just staring out the window, waiting for the days to pass.


    • Tara C, I do think somehow it’s particularly hard being a large city.

      The fact that you are doing yoga for an hour a day and learning to play the piano is brilliant. Wish I could bake bread! You know I’m having problems reading which is never usually an issue for me.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to go on your trip in July and it’ll be better than ever.


  6. Like several other commenters, I find the isolation from friends a big challenge, and realise how much of a social butterfly I was before! Family are too far away to easily visit anyway, and my brother is being officially ‘shielded’ on account of his particular illness. I have seen a few friends from a distance before the prohibition came in about not being out and about unless you are with members of your own household. This lockdown is definitely more family- than singleton-friendly, and I am struggling with that a lot. On the plus side I am sleeping much better than before the virus (till 2pm today!), and am doing uncharacteristic amounts of cooking. So that has to be good. I am, however, terrified that the state pension age may get pushed back beyond 66 in order to pay for the massive economic damage that is the unfortunate consequence of the virus. I am one of the people who falls between two stools in terms of the Government’s rescue measures, as having paying guests is not recognised as ‘self-employment’.


    • It’s rotten your social butterfly wings have been clipped V! It’s funny but I know so many people who just feel like sleeping all the time. All your cooking is a good sign though. It shows you’re still feeling motivated.
      If having paying guests is how you get your income then you should be compensated. I hope you won’t be penalised further once all this is over.


  7. Although in a lockdown, I hardly feel it compared to so many others. And have no complaints except my business is shut. There are at this point no restrictions on the amount of time you can spend outdoors. Alone or with someone you live with. But I have bikes with Judith and we kept a big distance between us. I put on full make up every day and would not think of not doing so. And yeah, the haircut thing freaked me out the most and as you know I buzzed it. I am lucky to live in an area where walking and biking and running are easy to do. There will be an extra police presence here over the next couple of weeks, car parks closed, to prevent people making day trips here, as it is a massively popular destination. I am thankful every single day. I really miss my cookie runs and baking. And we will be up shit creek with the business if things are not relaxed in a week. And now we have to wear masks in the supermarkets. So yeah. My sanity? No change. ❤️


    • Police can give you a 69 quid fine here if you’re not out for a valid reason. They’ve been accused of being over zealous but it’s a tricky one. I hope you can get enough assistance from the goverment to keep you going.


  8. I realized recently that I almost don’t notice the situation any more: I work full work day, from the home office, which I’m used to on account of being sick recently and working from home for 3 weeks straight. In the evening we can go for a walk in the neighborhood – same as we used to do before it got too cold and dark last year.
    I mean, I’m worried about the whole situation and uncertainties of the future, but otherwise I’m fine for now.

    Our friends had just celebrated their 30th anniversary by gathering friends and family via one of the conference applications. It was an interesting experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s good to hear. My parents still go for a walk but say it’s strange as no one is around. I bet working a full day helps. I’ll be able to do that next week.


  9. Asali

    Good to heat that you have some nice strategies in place. My main worry is being outside. We’ve had some weeks of wonderful weather, and then especially young people and families all go out and don’t keep the social distance we are asked too. Children running around, and the parents not telling them to stay away. That irresponsibility is something my moral compass can’t handle, and it totally freaks me out. At least I find that I actually enjoy being outside more now the weather isn’t quite as good. And I’m lucky I just got a balcony, so I can enjoy being outside, from the safety of my own home. I still have work, and at the moment I don’t really find I have a lot of spare time. What I miss most is seeing people and give them a hug. My cat however gets a LOT of attention and additional hugs.


    • It’s going to be a warm weekend here so I’m also worried people will be tempted out. A bit of sunshine and the British can’t help themselves.

      I loved the pic of your balcony. A little sanctuary.

      I do rather envy people with a pet to snuggle!


  10. Hayley

    Hi Tara I’m a real introvert stay at home person so I don’t mind that side of it….I’m gardening, reading, sewing and have a bit of a routine around that. I am very worried about my parents and an elderly Aunt I just want it hug them.
    I have to avoid the news, it’s just too much I know what to do and do it. Thank you for the yoga link I’m going to start doing that again. Stay safe x


    • Hi Hayley

      I’m also an introvert and a homebody but in these circumstances, I need to have create a structure to protect my mental health.
      I hope you get along with Adriene!


  11. Hi there Tara,
    I’m very late to this party but thanks for the tips.
    The only bummer about this C19 pandemic for me so far is the loss of work and income. Luckily Jin is still working and earning.
    What has been nice is the sense of community in our area. there are a couple of older people who live alone or are unwell and people drop by every couple of days to make sure their fine. I think my particular favourite Eva has never had so many visitors.
    I’ve ordered a bunch of heirloom seeds, not the large scale GMO stuff from the big horticultural crews. Kath’s dad and I are going to build a little veggie garden. Mainly for leafy greens like Rocket, Lettuce, Chard, Coriander, Parsley and Silverbeet. There will be other things but these are the major focus. Stuff we can grow quickly and easily. All you need are some left greens and eggs and you can keep yourself fed. My next trick will be talking him into a bee hive. Fingers crossed.

    Love you.
    Portia xx


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