10 things to help you stick to a routine during quarantine
Here's what you need to stay productive, healthy, and sane.
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Being stuck in quarantine might seem like the perfect excuse to lay on your couch all day binge-watching Netflix and forgoing meals for that bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos in the pantry—but in reality, sticking to some semblance of a routine will make you healthier and happier (trust us).
That's easier said than done, though, especially when you're hooked on Riverdale reruns and those pre-packaged snacks just taste way too good. Fortunately, there are some products that will help you keep—or get back to—your regular routine, even when you're staying home 24/7. Below are 10 of our top picks, from the best fitness tracker to favorite Instant Pot.
1. Our favorite smart speaker
From waking up the kids to reminding you when it's time for a work break, smart speakers can do a lot of things—including helping you stick to a routine. Here at Reviewed, we recommend the Amazon Echo because it has great sound quality, tons of helpful features, and far-field voice recognition so you can talk to Alexa from any room in the house.
2. A coffee maker to make mornings easier
We're not saying you need coffee to make it through your work day but we're not, not saying it either. If your daily cup of joe helps you stay focused—and let's be honest, motivated—don't give that up just because Starbucks is closed. Brew your own at home with our favorite single-serve coffee maker. The Keurig K-Cafe is not only speedy and efficient, but it also has an attached milk frother for when you're craving your fancy lattes.
3. A ClassPass membership for home workouts
Just because spin class is canceled for the foreseeable future doesn't mean exercise, in general, is canceled. Maintain your weekly workout schedule at home with a ClassPass membership (which is free right now!). You'll have instant access to thousands of workouts taught by expert instructors—from barre to yoga to boxing—that you can do from the comfort of your own living room.
4. This alarm clock that mimics the sunrise
Tempting as it may be to sleep until 11 a.m., one of the most important parts of sticking to a routine is sticking to a sleep schedule. And while you don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn, getting out of bed earlier in the morning can help you get your day started. Rather than a blaring alarm clock, one of our editors is obsessed with this wake-up light from Philips, which mimics the sunrise and wakes you up gently with nature sounds.
5. These meal prep containers for homemade lunches
No, you don't need to pack lunch every day now that you're working from home but it can help you keep up with your healthy eating goals (and avoid eating a box of Cheez-its and a slice of cold pizza and calling it "lunch"). For that, you'll need some solid meal prep containers, like these ones from Pyrex. Our experts love them because they're made of durable glass, keep food fresh, and stack neatly in the fridge.
6. A fitness tracker to keep you active
If your movement for the day simply includes walking from the kitchen to the couch and back again, you might want a [https://www.reviewed.com/health/features/fitbit-charge-4-review-is-it-the-best-fitness-tracker-yet) to help you get moving (and to prove that no, those hourly refrigerator trips do not add up to 10,000 steps). All of our testers—including our editor who's tried almost every fitness tracker there is—chose the Fitbit Charge 4 as the best one because it's super easy to use and navigate and offers tons of activity- and sleep-tracking data. Plus, it'll buzz every hour to remind you to take 250, which can help you move a little more throughout the day.
7. A weighted blanket to help you fall asleep
As we mentioned before, sleep is essential for a healthy routine. If you're someone who struggles to fall—or stay—asleep, you might want to try out a weighted blanket. As an insomniac myself, my own weighted blanket has completely changed my sleep for the better (a.k.a. I can actually sleep!). Of all the ones we've tested, we like the Gravity Blanket the best because it's super soft to the touch and provides just the right amount of pressure that's comforting without being suffocating.
8. The best Instant Pot on the market
Ordering takeout in quarantine can be a great idea. But ordering takeout every single night in quarantine? Not so much. Get back to your healthy habits of making dinner at home—without tons of extra work—with an Instant Pot. We've tested almost every model out there and found the Ultra to be our favorite. Not only does it have 10 different cook settings (from slow cooking to pressure cooking to steaming) but it can have a meal ready in just 20 minutes.
9. These noise-canceling headphones to keep you focused
It's easy to get distracted when the dogs are barking, your kids are begging you to come play, and your S.O. is watching Tiger King in the next room. How are you supposed to get any work done let alone actually meet your deadlines and tune in during your daily meetings?! Enter these noise-canceling headphones. They're the best ones we've ever tested thanks to their comfortable fit (you can wear them for hours!) and their effectiveness at drowning out distractions (you can even customize the amount of noise-canceling to choose how much of the outside world you can/can't hear).
10. A planner to keep track of everything you have to do
Wake up at 6 a.m. Conference call at 8 a.m. Tune into barre class at 10:30 a.m. Part of having a solid routine is planning out your day—which is where a planner comes in handy. We like the Panda Daily Planner because it has plenty of space to write out your daily activities and to-do lists along with separate pages for planning and tracking longer-term goals.
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