How Quarantine Has Changed Me (For The Better)

Staud Meadow Colorblock Maxi Dress | Social Distancing Mindset by popular D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a woman standing outside on her deck next to a Target Royal Stripe Outdoor Rug and wearing a Neiman Marcus Staud Meadow Colorblock Dress and Revolve Karen Walker Number One sunglasses.
Shop the Dress | Sunglasses

Is it Day 30 of Quarantine? Day 40? Honestly, y’all, I’m losing track.

Social distancing has been quite the experience. I don’t think anyone realized how social they were until we were all mandated to stay at home. Yes, I usually work from home anyway, and Tom travels quite a bit, so I have the house to myself fairly often, but I never took into account how even the minimal social interactions I have during the workday can make me feel socially fulfulled.

As we’re all settling into this “new normal,” I’m finally starting to adjust to this weird time in life and slowly but surely, trying to make the most of it. Sometimes, I have really productive days. Other times, I need to take a mental health day, and binge watch something on the couch. Oddly enough, working on my social distancing mindset has changed me for the better.
 
Karen Walker Number One in Crazy Tort | Social Distancing Mindset by popular D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a woman standing outside on her deck next to a Target Royal Stripe Outdoor Rug and wearing a Neiman Marcus Staud Meadow Colorblock Dress and Revolve Karen Walker Number One sunglasses.

Weber Color Grill, Patio Decor Ideas | Social Distancing Mindset by popular D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a woman standing outside on her deck next to a Target Royal Stripe Outdoor Rug and wearing a Neiman Marcus Staud Meadow Colorblock Dress and Revolve Karen Walker Number One sunglasses.

Colorblock Dress for Spring | Social Distancing Mindset by popular D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a woman sitting outside on her deck next to a Target Royal Stripe Outdoor Rug and wearing a Neiman Marcus Staud Meadow Colorblock Dress and Revolve Karen Walker Number One sunglasses.

Shop the Look: Dress (Also Here and Here) | Sunglasses | Outdoor Rug

I want to be completely candid here: this quarantine has been a roller coaster for me mentally. I’ve lost a good chunk of my income (not all, but a considerable amount), and the fact that I can’t hug my mom or see my loved ones right now is hard. I have good days, and I have bad days. We’re living in a pandemic after all, and I don’t want to sugarcoat this post and pretend like life is perfect.

However, it has helped me to think of the ways this situation has improved the quality of my life. Looking on the bright side never hurts, and I encourage you to show gratitude whenever you can during this period.

Social Distancing Mindset

I Finally Have A Routine

Pre-quarantine, I was all over the place. When I was at “home,” I bounced between Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. On top of that, I would spend 2-3 weeks every month traveling to other states/countries. For over two years, I was never able to fully unpack a suitcase because I was on the go so much. Life was exciting and fun, but unfortunately, my anxiety was at an all-time high in the last few months due to the constant travel.

As much as I love traveling and miss it dearly, I think I needed to slow down a bit. I was burning the candle at both ends, and I wasn’t able to give anything 100%. Now that I’m home for the foreseeable future, I’m able to slowly but surely develop a routine. During the workweek, I’ll wake up at a particular time and work out in a certain block, which helps give me a bit of structure during the workday. As a result, I’ve been able to focus on the tasks at hand and produce more content. We’ve also incorporated a few other things into our routine: we now go to the grocery store on Mondays, I do laundry on Sundays and Tuesdays, and we’ve been able to develop a cleaning schedule for the first time.

I used to have a routine when I worked my 9-5, but ever since I became self-employed and started ramping up travel, I lost that sense of structure. Travel is really exciting, however, nice to finally have some sort of routine again.

I Can Finish Unpacking and Decorating My House 

Remember when I moved into a house last summer? Let me be real: I still have unpacked moving boxes lying around the house.

The day we moved into our new home, we had to leave for an event in D.C. an hour after the movers left. And then we just kept going. I had some overnight guests in the fall, so that pressured me to clear out the common areas, but my office and basement are still a hot mess.

I’ve always wanted to finish decorating our house. We have a lot of space to work with: we went from a 2 bed/2 bath apartment to a 4-story townhome with 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 half baths, and a basement. I’ve been able to unpack a few more boxes over the last few weeks, and I’ve placed some home decor orders to get our house back on track.

I’ve Done More Video Chats With Out of Town Friends Than Ever

I don’t live near a lot of my closest friends. We’re all spread out across the country. I usually get to meet up with my friends at some point every year due to my travel schedule, but we rarely chat on a regular basis. It’s nice that we’re so close that we can always pick up where we left off, but I always knew I could be a better long-distance friend.

With this new social distancing mindset, I’ve set up more FaceTime dates and virtual happy hours now more than ever, and it’s been awesome to keep in touch with my friends who live all over the U.S. After quarantine, this is a habit I definitely want to keep up. Once you find a good friend, keep in touch!

More Motivation to Exercise

I finally got into a good workout routine weeks before the quarantine. I alternated between OrangeTheory and Barre class, and I never felt better.

And then…the gyms shut down. Initially, I was pretty upset. Working out really helps me with my anxiety, so I felt like that was suddenly taken away from me. I moped around for the first week of quarantine, but then I finally started diving into home workouts and found routines that work for me.

Working out has been a savior for me and my mental health, and I consistently do it Mon-Fri. I usually work out for 30-45 minutes a day to break up my workday. I often have a lull between 10 AM-12 PM on weekdays, so that’s when I’ll aim to get active. If it’s nice out, I’ll go on a 2-mile walk in my neighborhood after my workout to get some fresh air. I’ve never worked out so much in my life, and I hope this is a habit I can continue post-quarantine. 

How has quarantine changed you?  What social distancing mindset tips have you found helpful?  Let me know in a comment below!

Photos by Tom McGovern