Taking care of yourself in a pandemic

Hey guys! Long time no talk…a lot has changed since my last post.

First, I lost access to my Instagram account @finding_francesca. I woke up one morning in early February and I was signed out of my account, I tried to sign back in, change my password, etc and kept getting error messages. I tried from countless other computers, phones, VPN’s etc. I contacted Instagram support hundreds of times and they didn’t respond. I even went as far as getting someone to try to hack into my account so I can log back in and they were unable to get me in. I then went even farther and contacted the Better Business Bureau to try to get Instagram support to respond to me, they were also unsuccessful. Instagram is more than just a place for selfies for me as a blogger. It is how I grew my network and shared my blog, and a creative place to create content. I was pretty devastated when I came to the realization that the account is lost. But then, I had much bigger problems. COVID-19 happened…

We are in the midst of a horrifying pandemic, something we couldn’t of dreamt in a million years. This is our generations World War, but we are all fighting a common enemy – this terrifying virus which has attacked hundreds of thousands of people. The entire world is quarantined, and unfortunately, I am living near the epicenter of the outbreak, NYC. Graduations, weddings, and funerals are all canceled. We are all in shelter in place and working from home. Many people have lost their jobs if they don’t have a job where they can work from home. We only leave the house house for essentials like food or medicine, and when we do, we must wear masks and gloves.

Thankfully, my family, friends, and I are all safe and healthy at this time. I have fortunately not lost anyone due to this virus, but so many people have. The death rate gets higher and higher each morning when you turn on the news. They have started building mass graves in New York and put dead bodies in meat trucks. The hospitals can not keep up with all of the people who are ill, they do not have enough ventilators or staff to save the sick. The reality of what is happening is absolutely horrifying, and it is really taking a toll on everyone around the world.

We are always home, many of us alone, being completely consumed by the news. We have had to adjust to working from home, and just focus on surviving. On top of all of that, there has been this strange push for everyone who remains healthy, to “come out of quarantine better than you went in”. There is a huge push to lose weight, learn a new language, or take a course. This is extremely overwhelming to many people, when we really just need to focus on staying healthy and alive.

Due to all of this, many people, including myself are feeling constantly anxious and our mental health is suffering. I have been home alone for about a month now in my tiny apartment with little to no real human interaction. I am just alone with my thoughts, and I am unable to stop my mind from racing. I have a difficult time separating work and home, and use work as a distraction from reality. It was really taking a toll on me, so I finally stopped and came up with a plan that works for me.

I know many people are going through this too, so here are some tips that have helped me care for myself:

Avoid excessive exposure to media

Stop spending the entire day and night on social media, everyone is talking about COVID-19. You need to breaks from it throughout the day.

Facetime your family and friends

Alot of us need the human connection and facetime is the closest we can get for now.

Move your body

Basically all gyms have free workout videos to do at home. I am really not into at home workout videos. Instead I walk or run early in the morning before anyone is out.

Maintain a daily routine

It is a scary time, but creating and setting a routine will help normalize things for you.

Shower and get dressed every day

Staying in your PJs for a few days were cute for a little while, but enough is enough. Pick yourself up and get dressed, I promise you will feel better.

Dedicate an hour a day to self care

This can be anything from journaling, to baking, to coloring, etc.

Set boundaries

ON EVERYTHING. Stay away from things that make you feel anxious. You do not need to go back to talking to toxic people because we are in a pandemic. Protect yourself and peace at all costs.

These tips have helped me stay sane. Additionally, a strict routine has helped me as well. Here is a routine that works for me

Quarantine Schedule:

7:00 AM: Wakeup

7:15 – 8:00 AM: Walk or run

8:00 – 8:30 AM: Shower and get ready for the day

8:30 – 9:00 AM: Cook myself a great breakfast

9:00 – 1:00 PM: Work

1:00 – 1:30 PM: Lunch break away from the computer

1:30 – 6:30 PM: Work

6:30 PM: I set an alarm which means I need to sign off then. Otherwise I would stay online all night. I stop working then and have dinner

7:00 – 7:45 PM: Evening walk

7:45 – 8:30: Self care – journaling, coloring, writing blog posts, baking

This is how I have taken care of myself, and will continue to do throughout the pandemic. You do not need to come out of this pandemic better than you went in. You need to come out alive and well, and you will do that by taking care of yourself physically and mentally.

If you can, it is also important to help care for others during this time. In my next post, I am going to share self care packages I am sending to some of my loved ones. Stay tuned, but more importantly, stay safe!


Finding Francesca


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