6 Questions to Ask Yourself Daily for a Healthier Quarantine Mindset

Brooke Anderson wrote these questions on a sticky note and put them on her computer. Brooke Anderson

You might be under an official lockdown or shelter in place order. Or maybe you still have to go to work, but are trying to keep life as normal as you can in today's surreal world.

There's worry, fear and uncertainty about everything from health to money. That's why self-care and making sure you are OK is so important.

San Francisco Bay Area photojournalist Brooke Anderson found herself stressed by the constant coronavirus headlines as she hunkered down in her home.

"In the first few days that I had been sheltering in place (even before the official order to do so came in) I had noticed that my days were unstructured, I was spending too much time on social media reading the news, and that it was making me anxious," she tells MNN. "So I just made myself a Post-it note of the things I should ask myself in the morning to structure my day, and put it on my computer."

The questions are simple, but thoughtful.

Daily quarantine questions

1. What am I grateful for today?

2. Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?

3. What expectations of "normal" am I letting go of today?

4. How am I getting outside today?

5. How am I moving my body today?

6. What beauty am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

Anderson posted the questions on social media "in case it could help others."

Her photo of the Post-it has since been shared at least 100,000 times. Her questions have been translated into several languages and some people have added their own versions of the questions like "What healthy food am I cooking for myself today?" or "How am I taking care of my physical space today?"

Sticking to the list

As for Anderson, she references the questions daily. She says she's mostly been able to stick to her list and feels that it is helping.

"The hardest for me has been 'what expectations of normal am I letting go of?'" she says. "I've felt the pressure (only from myself!) to use this time to really get through a backlog of projects, to-do's, my inbox, etc. and have had to remind myself that we're living through a global pandemic, that these are terrifying times, that of course I'm distracted, and that it's OK if I don't photograph, don't write, don't 'produce.' That it's OK to just take care of my health, my heart, my housemates."

When making the questions on her list, she says she thought about what was important to her and made her feel better.

"I know for me personally that I always feel better when I get outside. There's a particular trail in the redwoods that I love, that I go to when things get hard. And that moving my body helps — running and climbing in particular. I've also found gratitude to be a big antidote to anxiety and fear. I have so much to be grateful for," she says.

"I've also really noticed the days that I don't move my body (i.e. I'd intended to run but then it rained, and I said I'd do pushups, etc. but then don't). Those days I'm more anxious, less patient. But that's true pandemic or no!"