I had never been one to make my bed. Yes, I have heard successful people do it but I believed I sleep better in an unmade bed — or so that was my excuse. But I moved to my very first, completely mine, apartment Feb. 28. I was thrilled and I spent two weeks making it everything I wanted it to be. I bought the expensive French bed linens I always wanted, the furniture and art work I wanted, and I organized everything just the way I wanted. And then Argentine happened and I was now living and working in my new apartment.
I make my bed every morning
Since quarantine started, I have made my bed just about every single morning. And the couple of times I didn’t make it in the morning, I made it later in the day. A couple of unexpected things have come from this practice:
- I feel like I am “ending” my sleep/bed time in the morning. I wake up, I go to the bathroom, I come back and I make my bed. Once I make my bed, I have effectively ended sleep time and have officially begun my day. I noticed that this was creating a definite end in my mind that separated sleep time from work time.
- I sleep so much better when I climb into a made bed. Mind you, I am not making my bed perfectly. I just fix my pillows and sheets, but it really helps me feel relaxed when I get ready to climb into bed.
So from making my bed, I am not only sleeping better but I am creating distinctions between the different parts of my day, despite the entire day happening in my apartment. I find when I forget to make my bed or chose not to, the draw it has on my is strong. It is easier to find my way back into bed to “rest” or take a quick nap. But then this messes up my sleep schedule and I have to spend a couple days to get back on track.
I wear a dress to “the office”
I work in an office normally. I sit at a desk all day. So sandals and dresses are a normal outfit for me. At first when we started quarantining, I (like many) decided I would wear lounge wear. Then when I would walk to the mail or get lunch somewhere I would change into a dress. When I came back home, I would continue working in my dress and I found I was much more productive. Now, you can say this is because of the time of day, but personally, I am much more productive in the morning. So that logic doesn’t stick with me. I truly believe being dressed would make me more productive.
So I started getting dressed every morning. Sometimes it is still lounge pants or leggings but paired with a cute blouse. Never anything I wouldn’t leave the house in. I have found the action of getting dressed and ready for work has helped me feel so much more productive and positive about this quarantine experience. I feel more presentable which helps me feel better about myself (even though I have gained weight) and I find my disposition to be much sunnier. Which is very welcome for me because the first couple weeks were hard for me, as I am sure they were for you too.
I clean my kitchen everyday
When nobody can come over and you’re stuck t home, things like cleanliness can be easily ignored. But for myself, I make a point of cleaning my kitchen daily with a deep clean on weekends. This may not apply if you do not actively cook, but I cook most days. So every evening, I put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher and run it. Then the next day, when I need a break from work, I walk into the kitchen from my home office and I empty the dishwasher. It is not an enjoyable activity, but it greatly helps my emotional well being by breaking up my work day. I focus on emptying the dishwasher and everything I was thinking about work flies out of the window.
On top of this, having a clean kitchen relaxes me. Walking into a dirty kitchen in the morning makes me anxious because I have to move things out of the way to make breakfast. It isn’t a relaxed way to start my morning. Whereas when my kitchen is clean, I feel calm as I make breakfast. I can enjoy the process of frying an egg, making toast and coffee without having to rearrange dishes or clean a fry pan or look for a spatula. I simply make my breakfast in peace and then continue on with my workday.
All three of these habits I have created may seem simplistic — and that is because they are! They are simple everyday tasks that require very little time or effort yet they give me such a huge return. As stressful and difficult as this time has been for all of us, the last thing I want to do is find ways to make things any harder. So these simple tasks have become anchors in my day that help me move through each day of quarantine. I have found I am much more apt to achieve more during work time and I constantly feel like I am accomplishing something. The first few weeks, I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing much and I was beginning to feel a but depressed. But since creating these daily habits, I feel like something is being accomplished that I can actually see. And as a result, I am happier and experiencing better mental health.