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Crossing the Finish Line: Combatting the Quarantine Slumps

By Kimberly Staley & Liana Cannon

If life had a mantra right now, it would be: “Just hang in there!” We are well into month two of quarantine life, and you’ve got your temporary routine down by now (or not). You’re tired. But, with rumors of ban restrictions being lifted soon, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Here are a few ways you can make it to the finish line.

Maintain some structure.

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By now you’ve probably realized how much your life was structured by all the external things you had a few months ago. With that all being removed, it’s important to maintain your own structures. Don’t forget, you get to decide what you want, and you can adapt it at any point if it isn’t working. Use a schedule or natural routines like mealtimes to keep things moving.

One key point to keeping a successful structure is to not make it too strict! At my house we decided that sleeping in a bit was OK! We move slower in the morning and enjoy our time together without the rush to get out the door. With that being said, we still have structure. We have a set time we start school study, eat meals, and we have certain tasks that are daily requirements to keep our family and home in order.  Remember, structure gives us a sense of security and predictability, two things we truly need right now.

Give yourself something to work towards.

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We all need to feel some momentum and forward movement while the days naturally begin to blur together. Find accomplishment in projects, goals, and opportunities to explore. Remember even small projects can reap big benefits in our minds. Beginnings and endings are powerful to the human mind, so pick a project (even if it is to finish the laundry), set a time limit, and go!

Give yourself balance in the ‘internals’ and ‘externals’ of life.

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Remember, balance does not necessarily mean equality. A dash of salt is enough to round the flavor of a delicious meal, and so it goes in life. We all need a bit of free, unstructured time, but too much of this leaves us feeling discouraged and unmotivated. Your own personal balance of external and internal needs is the key to keep things moving. External needs include physical health, and social interaction (even if that only happens on electronically and from a distance right now). Our internal needs include engaging our minds in lifelong learning and giving our hearts time to ponder and reflect. Evaluating these things on a daily or even weekly basis can create more motivation and direction than you would think.

Don’t underestimate the power of your own decisions. Maintaining a structure, working on projects, and finding balance can create a sense of purpose and movement that we need during these unusual times.

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