I’m going to start this off by reminding everyone that we are all living in different states and counties. While I understand that some of the country is acting like COVID-19 does not exist, some of us are still under pretty extreme lockdowns. My county has yet to announce an end date to this lockdown, and even then, going out will undoubtedly be a little scary. That being said, staying in does not need to feel like a punishment. After a little trial and error, I found a routine that works for me, and hopefully you too.

I’m not creative in the artistic sense, so creating a DIY clothing line, graphic design Instagram account, or anything along those lines is kind of out of the question for me. I admire the people who have this talent to distract them because creatively making money in the Q makes you the type of boss b**** I aspire to be. Speaking of making money, I’m unsure if I’ll have a summer job anymore. Theoretically, this summer was supposed to be my last summer as a lifeguard, but I’m not sure if we’re going to be able to safely open. This means that if I wanted to sink into the couch every day, eating chocolate and binge-watching Friday Night Lights, I could. Honestly, some of my days do look strikingly like this scenario I just laid out. But that’s not who I am, and I don’t think that’s who you are either. For weeks, I’ve been readjusting and reframing how to go about my daily routine, and I am finally ready to share my knowledge among the masses. 

My first and arguably most important tip: DO NOT sleep past 10 am. My alarm is set for 9:30 on the dot. I give myself 15 minutes to scroll through Tik Tok, but then it’s time to rise and start the day. Don’t force yourself up at 7 if you aren’t a morning person, but reasonably, we should all be able to crack those eyes open by 10.

After sliding out of bed, wash your face and brush your teeth. Notice how I didn’t say shower! I like to shower after my workout, but a clean face wakes you up and takes no more than 5 minutes to accomplish.

Make yourself an elaborate and healthy brunch. Breakfast is not the vibe these days, but brunch is so in. With a hot cup of coffee in hand, I whip up my favorite three-ingredient waffle recipe. I’ll drop the link below for anyone who likes their breakfast sans refined sugar and/or owns a waffle maker.

My goal each day is to walk a minimum of 3 miles. I have watched every running youtube video to grace the internet, but it just hasn’t stuck, and it probably won’t. Walking, however, has been a much more enjoyable option for me! I listen to a variety of different podcasts, my favorite including The Skinny Confidential, the LadyGang, Thick and Thin, and Straight Up with Stassi. Occasionally, I throw in Unsolved Murders, but I’ve mostly been gravitating towards lighter, feel-good podcasts.

When late afternoon hits and I start craving a nap, I grab my book of the day, or week, and curl up on the sofa. I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, but the new Hunger Games prequel is on deck. I know it’s kind of obvious, the reading thing, but saying you’re going to read and actually doing it are two different things.

Dinner has become a family affair. As a college student, you might be used to eating at weird times, either alone or with friends, but don’t forget to socialize with the people you live with! I’m living with my boyfriend’s family right now, but his mom requires that we all sit down together to eat together. I’m naturally an ambivert (a combination of introversion and extroversion), so the laughter and conversation helps to lift me out of my evening slump. 

Dedicate nights to social activity. I do zoom trivia with my dad on Tuesday nights, and other days my house bounces between movie nights and game nights. If you’re isolating alone, Netflix party has worked really well for me. 

Pro tip: If you’re allowed to go out and see people at a socially distanced minimum of six 6 feet, definitely find a safe way to implement this a few times a week. That doesn’t mean go throw a party with your 50 closest friends, but it’s not wrong to need some socialization outside of the people you live with. Just be safe and bring a mask.

The way I’ve structured my days during this time is very much my own idea of what works and makes me happy right now. At the end of the day, we all have our own ways of accepting the situation that we’re in. So, if you only take one thing out of this, let it be the waffles. You might not like walking, but everyone likes a warm and delicious brunch!

Waffle recipe (also, definitely use the baking soda):

Photo By Maddi Matson