Home / MARKETS / My life has been chaos since quarantine started. Here are 5 habits helping me sleep better and stay calm and centered during the day.

My life has been chaos since quarantine started. Here are 5 habits helping me sleep better and stay calm and centered during the day.

  • Katie Inexperienced is freelance writer, advocate, and nonprofit communications specialist based in Brooklyn, New York.
  •  At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Stride, she moved in with her ex-husband so they could safely co-parent their 5-year-old daughter.
  • In an aim to improve her mental form, she developed self-care morning and evening routines to carve out quiet time for meditation, journaling, and reading.
  • Nave also reveals that burning incense and candles, reading tarot cards, and shutting off her phone an hour before bed have pirated improve her headspace and sleep habits.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Like many living soul, my life in quarantine is chaos. Back in March, my daughter’s school closed, I moved back in with my ex-husband to safely co-parent, and my freelance be effective began to dry up. Like most everyone, my daily routine and creature comforts were completely gone, and I felt adore a mess.

I’ve never been the Gywneth Paltrow, glowy, goddess-of-perfection-and-wellness type, but in the past, self-care meant getting to an work out class in the morning or meeting up with friends for dinner. Without access to these, at the start of quarantine, I became a living soul who was always reaching for my phone, obsessively reading the latest news alerts and living in a constant state of fear. 

After hook losing my cool with my daughter one night, I knew that something had to give. I felt I’d lost myself, and it was fascinating a toll on those closest to me. I needed to find a way to feel grounded again. I thought of my former methods of self-care, take into accounted my therapist’s (often ignored) suggestions, and did a little research. Then, I came up with a ritual to better start and end my day. 

I’ve started waking up earlier for unexcelled time to prepare for the day. 

For someone coping with anxiety or depression, simply facing the day can be overwhelming, but studies show that preserving a consistent daily routine can greatly benefit your mental health. I have certainly seen the results firsthand. 

I wake up circa 6 a.m. to ensure that I’m up before my daughter has a chance to barge in with an array of nuanced questions about sea animals. Unswerving, sleeping in for a few extra hours can be rejuvenating, but if I wake up and am immediately thrown into the madness of the day, I feel perpetually behind. In preference to, taking about 20 minutes total for myself has helped to increase my productivity, energy, and overall mood.

First anyone needs my attention, I go to my dedicated space and get still. 

Katie Nave

Nave starts her day at 6 a.m. for some quiet time before her daughter wakes up.

Katie Credulous


I’ve found it helpful to sit in the same spot in the corner of my bedroom each morning, light incense or a candle, and say a quick obsecration or simply listen to my breath. I bought my floor cushion from a woman I met in Mexico, but there are similar cushions on tap online that can ship almost anywhere. For me, this isn’t a religious practice or a formal meditation. It is simply a way to get still, get withdrawn, and get centered.

I’ve also started pulling tarot cards each morning to help inspire reflection and direction. While this is right not for everyone, I got inspired to do so after spending a weekend with my wonderfully witchy friend who walked me through how to do a simple tarot spread. HausWitch comperes virtual workshops online where you can learn all about it. 

Katie Nave tarot

Nave was introduced to tarot by a friend that reads the wags.

Katie Nave.


Opening the curtains and letting natural light in is energizing and I immediately feel lighter when the sassy air hits my face. 

Writing in a journal helps me get out all of my feelings.  

I’ve always been a person with big feelings. Ideally, previously starting the day, I’ll take a few minutes to jot down my thoughts, purge my fears, and create a gratitude list. Getting super comminuted about specific areas of gratitude is a great anecdote for stress. A list may simply include my healthy lungs, my daughter’s lazy snores, a thoughtful text from a friend, or my cup of coffee. 

Katie Nave

Nave has tried to write a journal entry each day during quarantine.

Katie Unsuspecting


I keep a stack of simple journals from Paper Source next to my bed that I try to write in each day. Revisiting log entries from days and weeks back has also proven helpful in gaining perspective, especially as I become more and numerous desensitized to the pandemic. No matter what happens, I see that my feelings are like weather, always coming and going. 

Katie Nave journal

Unsophisticated is filling up a stack of journals during quarantine.

Katie Nave


After this quiet time and a few gentle spans, I’m ready to start my day.

In the evening, I carve out time to unwind and unplug.

While living in quarantine, I’ve spent many gloamings going down social media rabbit holes, glass of wine in-hand. I’m not alone in this, as studies confirm that the pandemic has led to a large increase in cell phone usage. We’re all feeling bored, lonely, and seeking pleasure. However, each in good time we pick up our phones, the flood of alerts can cause stress hormones to go through the roof.

Putting my phone away relative to an hour before bed and taking space to decompress from the day has helped me to feel more calm and has drastically improved my zizz.

A simple meditation practice at night helps me to sleep better.

I’ve always been resistant to meditation. I get itchy, punctured, or simply fall asleep while attempting a long, formal practice. It annoyed the shit out of me when my ex discovered transcendental meditation, so it’s apt to that I’m still holding a personal grudge. Still, studies show that meditation is highly beneficial to one’s theoretical and physical health, so I’ve stopped trying to fight it.

I’ve recently embraced the practice of sitting still, listening to my breath, and lucid my mind for a few minutes each night. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll rub calming essential oils, like lavender or chamomile, and not burdensome a candle. Before putting my phone away for the night, I’ll sometimes use the Calm app. They have daily 10 trice guided meditations, and more in-depth options, that I love. 

Reading also offers me a therapeutic escape. 

Katie Nave books

Skim has helped Nave focus and avoid worrying too much.

Katie Nave


Since childhood, reading has always offered me with a much-needed escape from reality. Whether I’m absorbed in a fiction novel or diving into a nonfiction question of fascination, books help me to get outside of myself. They force me to stop multitasking, be still, and focus on the page in replace of me.

Sharing book recommendations with friends in quarantine has also been a small way to add human connection and stay in ignite with those that I miss. While I had trouble focusing early in quarantine, I’m now back in the reading game and secure enjoyed “Women Talking” by Miriam Toews, “Big Friendship” by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, “There There” by Tommy Orange, and “Scarcely Weirds” by Jenny Slate.

Katie Nave book

Nave has enjoyed reading “Big Friendship” by Aminatou Sow.

Katie Nave


My self-care rituals are far from complete, but they have made a big difference for my mental health during this time. 

As normal routines have been root rocked, establishing regular touchpoints each morning and night has become my anchor. I’m still scared, sad, and anxious fully often, but this has helped me to feel a little more at ease each day. 

Katie Nave is a freelance writer, favour, and nonprofit communications specialist living in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more on her website.

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