Spain has been under a strict lockdown for two and a half weeks already due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and there are probably many more to come. The official end date of the lockdown is April 11, but it is expected to last longer. We are only allowed to leave the house to buy food, walk the dog (not too far from the place of residence), help someone we are taking care of, take the rubbish out and go to work – only if it’s an essential service. People who don’t follow the rules will be fined (and fines are high) and can face potential prison.
Even though I stay positive most of the time, I admit that it hasn’t always been easy for me. I’ve had ups and downs, from feeling energetic and motivated to feeling just plain miserable. I know that many of you have been feeling the same. My heart goes especially to business owners and freelancers like myself, who can’t work at the moment. I feel you.
Having said that, the fact that there are not many external distractions (just turn off the news!!) and we are forced to stay at home, it’s a great opportunity to self-reflect, learn something new, create a plan of action and work on all those things we’ve always said we didn’t have time for (website update task, I see you…).
I know that many of you will be doing just that, so I thought I would share with you some tips on how I stay motivated during those unprecedented times.
- Accountability friend
I made a deal with a friend ( thank you Julia!) that we keep each other accountable. Every morning we text each other our to-do lists and in the evening we send each other a summary of the day. The list doesn’t only include “work” projects, but anything really. Sometimes it looks like this “cook a dinner, take the rubbish out, Skype with a friend, send an email to xx”. We congratulate each other even on the smallest achievements. It keeps us motivated. I highly recommend finding a friend like that!
- Dream list
I have a list of things I want to do once it’s over and places I want to go to. I keep on adding to it every day. It makes me look bright into the future.
- List of achievements
I have another list of things I want to achieve by the end of the quarantine. These are things like “finish xx project”, create an online product, feel healthy and flexible, finish a course. Every day (except for Sundays) I do at least one thing that will bring me closer to my goals. Motivated or not, every day I make sure I do something towards them. That makes me feel productive.
- Home workouts
Every second day I work out (yoga, pilates or anything exciting I find on YouTube). After two weeks I’ve created my little workout routine of the exercises that just work for me. It’s a lot of fun!
- Limit the phone
I put a limit on my phone usage. The first few days of the quarantine were crazy. I wanted to text and talk with everybody, but after some days it started draining me. Now I only use my phone during certain times and instead of never-ending texting, I schedule calls or online get-togethers. That way I can stay productive when I need to and be really present when I feel social.
- Doing what is in my power
I focus on the things I can control, as there is so much out of my control right now. I cook good food, I work out, I keep my house clean and organised, I work on all the things I can do from home for my business, like updating my website, creating new offers, etc. Anything besides shooting, which obviously is out of the question for now.
- Quiet mornings
I schedule “quiet mornings”, 30-40 minutes after I wake up. I take this time to meditate, journal and stretch. Only after that I have breakfast and check my phone.
- Media detox
I check the news maximum twice per day – enough to keep me updated and not go crazy!
Lastly, I like to remind myself that it’s okay to feel all the range of emotions. This is an unprecedented event and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed, confused and lost. So, give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel.
And remember, we’re all in this together. It’s not about you. This time it’s about humanity.
What are your ways to get by during this time? Let me know in the comments!
PS The photo is from last summer, taken by my dear friend Luna Vega.