It’s said that it takes, on average, 66 days for a behavior to become a habit, and now with about 30 days of sheltering in place under our belts, we’ve had time to settle into new routines. We’re well on our way to forming new habits.
After indulging in a few days (or, let’s be honest, a few weeks) of distractions, we have directed our energies toward self-care. That means different things for different people, and we asked the FemmePharma team to share the things they are trying to do every day to stay well in the time of corona and lessons they’ve learned from being isolated from others.
Gerianne DiPiano, founder & CEO
My daily routine has been positively impacted during this period of social isolation. It’s hard to believe that I am confessing this, because I’m a people person. Initially, I found it difficult, if not depressing, to remain homebound with my husband (whom I still like and love after 30 days of quarantine) and two dogs — no distractions in the form of colleagues, friends, and neighbors. I’m a talker — it was always an area needing improvement and where I was cited by teachers and professors — so remaining quiet was, at first, torture.
However, after four weeks, I’ve stopped talking, talking, talking (unless I happen to be on a conference call.) Today, I practice being quiet, listening to the sounds of nature, in contemplative meditation. It’s given me the opportunity to appreciate the art of remaining silent and to truly feel grateful.
Dr. Deborah Saltman, medical director
This is a scary time for lots of people with only some medical knowledge. I spend a lot of my day talking to people, both those who are and aren’t “COVID-ly” about their fears and managing their expectations. As a family physician and public health doctor, I try to translate the medical knowledge as it comes through in my blog, thethinker.co. I have written a paper for my colleagues about how to manage telemedicine meetings, which will come out soon. I am also a registered volunteer with the local disaster medical services. Otherwise, I have taught my wife to play canasta — too well. Wishing you all a safe spring.
Lauren Perez, vice president of marketing
Daily showers are a thing of the past. When our 16-month-old wakes up, it’s full speed till bedtime. It starts with making breakfast every morning and playtime before heading off to work upstairs. We try to go for a walk or two per day, which has been a great addition to our daily routine. My husband and I usually feel like we both have three full-time jobs now instead of one — and we’re not even home-schooling! How can you be so exhausted at the end of a day when you probably didn’t get out of sweatpants? Parents, you’re doing great!
I love to cook, but before all this, if it wasn’t a 15-minute meal or something in the Instant Pot, it just wasn’t happening. Since we’ve been home, I’ve dusted off my old favorites and gotten back to cooking. And since we’re grocery shopping only once a week and especially since some items have limits, we’re making sure to get food specifically to take to our local food pantries. We’re lucky to be able to work, so we want to make sure we help in whatever little ways we can.
Rashmi Daga, marketing manager
A lot of what’s changed for me revolves around food. I’m now planning for groceries two weeks in advance and ordering online. I am trying my hand at growing veggies and herbs, and spending a lot of time looking at recipes online and asking my mom and sisters for their favorites. I’m cooking 10 times a day (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point). I’ve also really embraced cleanliness. I’m wiping doors and door handles every day and using hand sanitizer after washing my hands (I know! I’m just super scared). I’m taking lots of walks but secretly looking at everyone I pass with suspicion. I smile, but I wonder!
For my kids, we’ve been doing virtual playdates and dinner dates with people from around the globe — that’s been fun!
Allison Hatfield, content manager
I’ve tried very hard to maintain as normal a routine as possible. Even in the best circumstances, I have a strong desire to stay in bed all day and eat only sugary foods. For my mental and physical health, I’ve stayed the course — sadly, no baking bread for me! The biggest shift has been in the kind of exercise I do and the timing of that. Instead of hot yoga in a studio five early mornings a week, I now take a 75-minute walk outdoors most afternoons.
Other things I do every day that were not part of my life before the pandemic: listen to the live briefing from New York Governor Cuomo and listen to The New York Times podcast The Daily. I’ve also made a point to give myself the time and space I need to process what is happening in our world without labeling that time as “wasted” or “unproductive.”
Deanna Leone, social media manager
In recent weeks, I have found myself rekindling friendships with people I haven’t talked to in ages, as well as finding new friendships blossoming in solidarity. I find it important during these times to keep a regular routine to maintain a sense of normalcy, so I have been going to the gym as I normally would — but remotely.
Additionally, the time at home has given me more opportunities to read, so I’ve switched from TV before bed to a good book!
Maureen McCloskey, online community engagement manager
I am also staying connected to friends and family more than ever. I have a group chat with my large extended family that has been a welcome comedic relief.
Keeping my morning routine is important to me. Even though I am not commuting to an office every day, I still set an alarm and try to get my day started around the same time. I make coffee and a little breakfast, and I check my email in my backyard (weather permitting). My best friend and I have a FaceTime date every Friday, similarly to the way we would meet up for a drink after a long week.
We asked our friends
Each of us is having a different experience. Here’s how the women in our lives say their routines have changed.
I take a real lunch break now — get up and walk away from my computer, eat a good lunch, and do another activity for a few minutes. It’s amazing how much it helps me recharge and focus better on work when I get back to it. — Heather
I don’t think I’ve put on a bra during the day or bottoms other than sweatpants or leggings for 30-plus days. My boobs will cry when I have to go back into the office! — Jen
I’m recently retired, with no kids at home and a formerly packed schedule (by retirement standards!), so first being stuck at home was a real drag on me mentally. After allowing myself some time to wallow, I tried to focus on things I could control. I decided to focus on my wellness routine. All the lotions and potions had been piling up, and I finally set about trying them regularly — and I found some worked! I’ve found Mia Vita especially effective when I started using daily, instead of when the issue really flared up. Now, in my second month at home, I’m comfortable all the time. — Fran
My husband has discovered the pantry and no longer buys every single ingredient on a recipe list because he knows that, yes, we already have four Ziplocs of frozen thyme in the freezer from the last four times he roasted a chicken. — Rina
Since I have no break from watching my child as a single mom, I now do super awkward YouTube workout videos led by a German model to songs like “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan (see here). And, yes, I know I could do Tracy Anderson or The Class on my laptop, but I need it to be on my giant TV, so YouTube it is. — Ashley
My dog walks have become a new kind of exploration. Instead of trying to figure out where everyone is going so I can join the fun, I find myself trying to find new places to walk where nobody else will be! It’s become a search for solitude in a big city. — Patricia
One part of shelter-in-place has been good for me. I have several autoimmune conditions with fatigue among the symptoms. I have finally been getting all the rest I need without feeling like I’m missing anything and feel better than I have in a long time. — Carolyn
I haven’t been able to get together with my daughter, son-in-law, or grandson in a month, and that is very painful. However, my daughter sends many photos and videos each day, and we have FaceTime and Zoom get-togethers so our grandson doesn’t forget who we are! — Sue
Have a routine or a lesson you’ve learned while in isolation? Something you do every day? We want to hear from you.
Photos: Jasmina007, Kate_Sept2004, Linda Raymond