Quarantine helps reporters develop healthy habits and fun self-care tasks

August 29, 2020 — by Kaasha Minocha and Hannah Lee

Kaasha: My grandma and I hold a plank position during our ab workout!

 

Kaasha: 

In late May, I took my driver’s permit test. I had studied the night before, but I wasn’t sure I was going to pass. I grew incredibly anxious. 

When the DMV receptionist began the vision test, I was so stressed out I kept saying the wrong letters. She told me to recite the letters on the A3 line. I recited the letters on B4.

Since then, my mom has helped me get into one of the healthy habits I’ve developed during quarantine: meditation. A week after school ended, I went to Mountain View for a four-day Transcendental meditation course. On the first day, I learned how to meditate by repeating a mantra, and on the following days, I learned about the origins and benefits of meditation.

Today, I thank my mom because meditation has changed my life for the better; I feel much calmer, less fearful, more energetic and more productive.

Aside from meditation, I’ve started taking time for myself after noticing that I wasn’t taking enough breaks. One avenue through which I practice my self-care is exercise.

Since March, I’ve been doing cardio workouts, following several fitness YouTubers, such as Natacha Océane. I do her 15- or 20-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, which consist of three rounds, each with five cardio exercises in 30-second intervals followed by 30 seconds of recovery. I also work out on my spin cycle and follow one of Global Cycling Network’s 20-or 30-minute HIIT workouts, which include a warmup, sets of resistance and high speed and a cool-down. 

Aside from cardio, I’ve incorporated upper-body strength training into my workout routine. My sisters, my grandma and I do our training together following another fitness YouTuber, Pamela Reif.

Exercise has made me more productive, and it has become a great way to relieve stress from school in a group setting — which makes working out much more fun.

I’ve also adopted a new skin care routine. At the end of May, my acne was pretty severe, and I wasn’t taking care of my skin at all — not even washing my face or moisturizing. Watching skincare YouTube videos inspired me to start my own morning and night routine consisting of a cleanser, exfoliator, toner, serum, acne treatment and moisturizer. 

I don’t feel insecure about my acne anymore, and this routine has definitely become a self-care outlet. On top of this routine, I have a self-care checklist consisting of eating one healthy food and drinking at least eight cups of water every day and changing into a regular outfit instead of my pajamas. Changing into “normal” clothes makes me feel like I’m going to school, so I’m more likely to be productive. 

Adopting these healthy habits and incorporating them into my daily life has helped with my anxiety and taught me to take time for myself, something I wasn’t aware of before quarantine.

Hannah:

Waking up to the sunlight pouring in through my windows, I check the time. It is half past noon — I have wasted yet another day. 

In late July, I began to realize how messed up my sleeping schedule had become. With school around the corner, I wasn’t feeling confident in my current routine. My days consisted of waking up past noon, feeling sluggish and unproductive all day and then repeating it all over again.

To make matters worse, I became heavily reliant on different forms of caffeine, such as coffee and tea. And with the coronavirus forcing people to stay at home, you can bet I wasn’t moving more than the bare minimum needed. 

Feeling increasingly unaccomplished, I decided it was about time I threw myself into some new habits. I started off by writing down goals and an accumulative routine of everything I wanted to get in the habit of doing before school started. Certain habits were easier to get accustomed to, such as maintaining good hygiene, keeping my room organized and cutting out late night snacking. On the other hand, I had to confront the not-so-great habits I had adopted during quarantine.

I began with fixing my unhealthy sleep schedule by pulling all-nighters though that wasn’t the healthiest or most effective way to reset my internal clock. Nonetheless, the ungodly hours I spent awake worked within a few grueling days. Going hours without caffeine also left me with constant headaches and drowsiness, but I was determined to stay on track to snap back into a normal routine once and for all.

Before, I wasn’t keeping up with my daily devotionals and journal entries, and I’d come up with excuses to put them off. But with all the extra free time from waking up earlier, I pushed myself to nourish my mind and body, considering it a form of self-care.

Well aware that I wasn’t being active enough, a friend of mine introduced me to an app called Zombies, Run. Zombies, Run follows an interactive format where the user is in an apocalyptic simulation and completes missions by running an eight week course. 

Although the idea of running in my neighborhood was distressing, I quickly fell into the enthralling nature of this app. Running every day was oddly therapeutic, and it was rewarding to see my timed progress gradually increase. As a bonus, I also found myself sleeping better. 

Following through with these healthy habits was certainly a necessary transformation in my lifestyle, and my new and improved routine fell perfectly in time for school. I’ve even discovered a new liking for running. Who would’ve thought? 

 

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