How's the self-isolation going? At first this whole idea of quarantine seems almost like a respite from the modern mania that is the American work schedule. Unfortunately, it was brought about by a pandemic that is wreaking havoc across our great country and now East Texas communities. After a few days, we may also start to feel a bit stir-crazy and lose a sense of schedule and purpose. That can lead to depression and burnout. It's imperative, especially now, but always, to develop a self-care routine to avoid "quarantine burnout."

Inevitably, many of us find ourselves feeling completely off the rails and struggling just to keep the basic daily doings going. I feel you. Here are a few ideas to help you get started on taking care of yourself--both physically and mentally:

Pick and time every morning and meditate or pray. Whatever you prefer is fine. The point here is to take a few moments--maybe five minutes or up to thirty, if you have the time. Meditate or spend time in the quiet and pondering what you're grateful for in these moments. As simple as it sounds, just this simple activity can change the entire tone of your day.

Plan a simpler schedule, but stick to it. Obviously, our days won't look quite the same way with the family at home. Working and/or schooling from home carries a much different vibe. It's easy to go off the rails and surrender to the need for Netflix and chocolate-eating. However, too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing. Let yourself plan a simpler day, but do stay on some sort of a schedule for both your health and peace of mind.

Give yourself the gift of a spa day. Hey, some of you may already indulge. However, for some people who spend so much time caring for everyone else around them, they struggle with "wasting" time on themselves. It is NOT a waste. When you feel good, it reverberates around you and helps others feel better, too. Obviously, right now you can't call and schedule an appointment. However, you can take a longer, more luxurious bath. Take extra care of the little things you normally gloss over in the frantic pace of your days. Whatever it is that'll help you relax and feel cared for.

Start going to bed a little bit earlier and get up at the same time everyday. OK, this is already a challenge, no matter our circumstances. However, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of having good sleep habits. That is when our bodies heal and sort things out, if you will, in our minds. It helps relieve stress. If you're not sleeping well consistently, it is affecting every hour of your day. A stressful pandemic only means we need to take even more care of ourselves.

Stay well, dear ones.