A trendy mindset I’ve noticed is that quarantine is being rebranded as some sort of rejuvenating chrysalis, one that I am supposed to emerge from as a beautiful butterfly with a jaw-dropping summer body.
And I bought into it for the first few weeks, but the truth is, quarantine is not a chrysalis. It may relieve some stresses like commuting and attending your great-aunt’s birthday party in West Orange, but it also adds. As someone who is both relieved at not having to go to four engagement parties a week and really needing a hug from my best friend, here is what I’ve learned about myself (and my body) this quarantine.
1. I can’t spontaneously work out, even if I’m at home all day. Making a weekly workout schedule is key. No matter how many fitness classes I bookmark or how many bass-heavy songs I add to my workout playlist, I need a schedule on my fridge and an alarm going off to tell me to do my Pilates.
2. Eating comfort food and emotional eating is not the same thing. Learning the difference between treating myself to a piece of warm apple crumble after a long day and inhaling a bag of chips after a stressful phone call has been massive. It’s all about being aware, being balanced, and eating mindfully.
3. Having a workout buddy made a BIG difference. It’s all about being accountable, motivated, and making it fun. It was also a great way to socialize. Just make sure you’re picking each other up.
4. I was better at keeping up with classes I paid for. It was easy to push off doing a YouTube workout, harder to pass on the class I paid $20 for. Sometimes you need the push of not letting your money go to waste to get you moving. It’s about what works for you.
5. It’s okay to not get fit in quarantine. Everyone’s situation is different. People are still working, still running households, still being parents. The most important thing is stay HEALTHY. There were times where I couldn’t maintain a workout routine but as long as I was taking care of myself physically and mentally, I was doing alright.
6. Be kind to yourself. It’s okay to choose just one or two things to work on and make small improvements. I would love to say being at home means I stopped ordering take out or I’m finally able to do a full split, but that wouldn’t be realistic. But I have been able to cook more meals, save money on food, and get another three inches down on my splits. And I’m proud of that.
Ultimately, fitness doesn’t have to start and end with quarantine. Don’t feel like you “missed out” if you haven’t started yet either. Many workplaces are keeping work-from-home policies for a while longer and you can still “get fit in quarantine.” But even if you’re not working from home, you can still get up and get moving.