There is no doubt we are in a time of high stress and anxiety as the world is facing profound uncertainty with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While we all take precautions to shield our physical health from COVID-19, protecting both ourselves and others through self-quarantining and social distancing, this disruption of our daily routines, diminished socialization, and financial impact may subsequently be putting our mental health and wellbeing at risk.

While not under our own circumstances, COVID-19 has granted many of us the time to slow down and reset from the usual fast-paced and work-centered lifestyle. Among all the chaos, we may find that we actually have a chance to think about what adds value to our lives, although it may feel like an indefinite period of isolation, we have the opportunity to interact.

Regardless if your off of work all together or have an extra hour or two each day without your normal commutes, we have been given the opportunity for more time. We have time to create simple and meaningful moments with loved ones, whether your at home or through virtual communications. We have more time to sit down and reflect on the life we have and the life we want to create. We have time to catch up on those to-do’s lists around the house we’ve been putting off for months. We have more time to read the book we keep hearing about, cook a homemade meal we haven’t had time to make, or finally start learning a new skill or future hobby that’s been sitting on the back burner.

Here are a few things you can implement during this quarantine to stay positive and well:

Early to rise, early to bed routine

I am waking up around 4 am. I wash up, make my hot green tea, and go and pray. I spend time praying and meditating. I start my day on a great note. I’m able to go to the beach for my morning run or walk. I go to the supermarket to grab any items I may need. I can now begin my day. In the evening, I take another walk at the beach then come home and take time to pray and meditate before bed. I am sleeping more profoundly so this change in routine is helping my well-being.

Reading

Turn the television off! This is the time to read as much as possible. Choose books that challenge you to learn new ideas and open yourself up to different perspectives. I have been able to read 5 books and enrolled in a short class online just in one week!

Cooking

Cooking is something I love to do but can be time consuming. I’m using this time to really plan out healthy meals and prep dinners in advance. I’m even trying new recipes! Take this time to gather your loved ones around the table and connect by having meaningful conversations over delicious food. Don’t forget to put those cell phones down!

Writing

Between commuting to work and life, I was only able to write 2-3 hours a day. So, that’s exactly what I’m doing to keep my mind challenged and busy. I’m finding I now have more writing time! We are experiencing very trying, and uncertain times and there is no better way than to keep you mindfulness by journaling your thoughts.

Connecting

While it may seem social distancing can hinder social connection, it is important that we remain socially connected, as it is critical to our wellbeing. Humans need social interaction-its how we were created. Since more friends and family are working remotely, I’m finding it easier to communicate with them regularly. Yes, there may be more time for the endless scroll through social media, but join me in using that time to call a friend, shoot someone you haven’t caught up with lately a quick text, set up a FaceTime dinner date with your significant other – get creative!