Do you remember what it was like last year, just as the entire world was going into Lockdown Mode for the very first time? Panic. Chaos. Fear. Buying tons of toilet paper and canned goods. And most of our daily habits and routines being thrown completely out of whack by Covid-19 and the new health and safety regulations.
As human beings, we need structure, order, and routine to thrive and survive. They all help us make sense of the world and work as a safety blanket of sorts. So it’s only natural that, while in mandatory lockdown, we’ve picked up some errr, shall we say, slightly peculiar habits. And by that I mean they’re so incredibly bizarre that we couldn’t wait to share them with you, dear Pandas.
The folks over on TikTok revealed the ‘mundane but unhinged’ things they started doing during the lockdown after entrepreneur Nikki Blank, aka Moneyintheblank, revealed how her weird lockdown habit is eating a sunset pickle. Yup! We love that so much, we can’t even put it into words. Don’t forget to upvote your fave answers as you scroll down and share your own Twilight Zone pandemic rituals in the comment section at the bottom.
Image credits: moneyintheblank
The whole family is in on it like a communal descent into madness. We have a plastic duck. Her name is Martha. We move her around the house and then act like she got there on her own.
I learned what all the birds mean according to native mythology and now I use them to predict the weather.
So for the past six months, every night I go down to the Mississippi River and I stare at the huge container ships that go by. And then just like any date, I have to google them. So I log on to marinetraffic.com to see where they’re coming from or going to. And they’re all coming from really exotic places like Hamburg, the Cape of Good Hope, or Trenton, New Jersey – just, like, really cool places that we can’t go to right now. I’m in so deep that now I’ve read three nonfiction books about container ships.
While having a routine in your daily life is vital to prospering (that way, we don’t always have to be on edge and we save a ton of energy), not every habit appears to be built the same. Obviously, some habits like binge-eating junk food, binge-drinking, and smoking are harmful to our health, even if they help structure our day.
The helpfulness of other habits depends on how much we engage in them. For example, while the science on the benefits/drawbacks of drinking coffee might flip-flop a tad, the general consensus appears to be that it’s good for your health in moderation.
This took me year and a half.
I bought my cat and I matching red silk robes and I put them on us on Sundays to watch true crime shows.
I found this thing online about this person who kept feeding the neighborhood crows and eventually they would start to bring her gifts like little bottle caps or shiny things. And I’ve been walking around the neighborhood a lot so I figured, why not? So I just kept buying huge bags of peanuts to bring with me on my walks. And then, anytime I’d see a crow, I’d throw out handfuls of peanuts through the neighborhood. Literally just in the hopes they’ll start bringing me garbage gifts.
I don’t know where the drop location is supposed to be. I don’t know if they’re supposed to figure out where my house is. Although, I have also started leaving peanuts around my house so they can maybe connect the dots. Because of this, I’ve become crazy tuned into the sound of crow calls. So yeah, it’s been a pretty special time for me and the neighborhood creatures.
However, going overboard with your love of coffee can wreck your health and even result in a caffeine addiction which is a very nasty thing to kick later on down the line. Hello, headaches and irritation. Starting your morning with a cup of Joe might be romantic (hey, everyone does it in the movies!) and might be a small ritual, but you have to ask yourself if you need the coffee or if it’s simply something that you want to drink. There’s a very important distinction there.
On the flip side, habits like exercising, eating fresh food, getting plenty of fresh air, being in the sun more (remember your sunscreen), socializing (even if it’s via Zoom or Facebook), and staying hydrated are positive and improve our mental and physical health. They very obviously help improve our quality of life, though they can be a pain to upkeep until we get in the habit of doing these things on a regular basis. We all know the benefits of exercise, but far from every one of us gets as much daily movement as we should.
I tell my dog everything about my life. And when I feel like she has done her fair share of emotional labor for me, I go to my rabbit and I tell him stuff as well.
There’s a group of squirrels that bury their nuts in my little backyard. I gave them all names, back stories and a clan rivalry.
It’s been pretty cold and I haven’t seen them for a couple months and I really miss them…except Jason. That little fucker used to come around at 4 p.m. everyday and dig up the other squirrels nuts. But I caught on real quick. I’m watching you, Jason
Every night at sunset I eat a pickle, and it's my sunset pickle.
You could actually say that Nikki’s habit of eating a pickle every sunset isn’t as ‘out there’ as it sounds. Some fermented pickles contain probiotics that protect our microbiomes and help the friendly bacteria in our gut be fruitful and multiply. We’re not sure how much of an impact a single daily pickle can have, but it can add a tiny bit of variety to your diet and it can actually be a bonus. Compare that to saving the stuffing from Oreos and you can see the difference.
Odds are, you’ve picked up a bit of knowledge about how long it takes to form a habit over the years, dear Readers. However, the science behind forming habits isn’t as clear-cut as we’d like. The time necessary can vary wildly from person to person.
Everytime I go to the beach to walk my dog, I collect either rocks, sticks or beach glass. Here's my collection.
I put my Christmas tree up and I haven’t taken it down. It’s almost been up for a year and I’ve changed the ornaments every few weeks.
Healthline points out that it can take some people a mere 18 days to form a new habit. Meanwhile, others can take up to 254 days to make the behavior something that they do regularly, nearly without thinking. The average time for making new behaviors automatic appears to be 66 days. However, that depends on the person, the habit itself, and how much effort is put into the whole ordeal. Our advice? Start slow. Maybe with a single pickle and a single lap around your neighborhood.
I don’t sleep through the night so at 3 a.m. I get up and eat the croissant on my nightstand. So instead of witching hour, it’s the croissant hour.
I put my stuffed animals in chairs and give them mugs so it feels like I’m working in a coffee shop, when I’m actually desperately alone.
I’m an essential worker and where I work they don’t mandate our customers to wear masks so I deal with a lot of stress. So now on my Sunday I draw a hot bubble bath with epsom salt and light some candles. I put my laptop out, turn on a good show, and I make some good dinner – like something I love. And I eat my dinner in the bathtub.
That would be the rubber band ball made from each broccoli that we’ve eaten during the pandemic.
I live near an airport and at the beginning of the pandemic I downloaded this app that lets you check local airplane radar. Now, every time that I hear a plane go by overhead, I check the app to see where they were coming from and I imagine what it would be like if I were in that place right now.
I got cowgirl boots to wear while watching a horse show on Netflix.
I rent a place by the lake, but I can’t afford a boat. I can’t go boating and I can’t go fishing because I’m vegan. So everyday during my quarantine summer I would come out on my porch and wait for boats to go by. As the boats went by I would pay attention to what songs they were playing and I would count that as fishing for songs. I put them all on a little playlist.
I’ve been obsessed with the turkeys that live outside my bedroom window and every day at sundown I watch them. It’s become a ritual. I call this 'Turkey Time.' And it’s gotten to the point where if for some reason, due to bad weather or something, the turkeys aren’t here, I feel like my world is crumbling. They are comfort turkeys.
I abandoned all my previously held beliefs about religion, politics, gender identity, and sexual orientation…oh, and I started painting wine bottles!
Practicing my goat face. Would you like to see?
Whenever I’m alone for too long and watching TV by myself [and] I have a thought about what I’m watching I will pause the TV. Pause it, look to my left as if someone is sitting there, and I will argue with myself about my opinions on the show. There’s no one there. I only play the show when I’m done saying my thought.
Before I moved, I would go for a sunset walk every night behind my house and write the names of the people I hate in the sand.
I started taking shots of maple syrup whenever I get stressed.
Sweeping my floor while waiting for my morning coffee is a new ritual. Every single morning, like blindly in the dark.
Cutting fabric into pieces and then sewing them back together.
I have this one blonde eyebrow hair that grows super long and I used to pluck it, but now I just let it grow out. It’s probably over an inch. It’s already fallen out naturally once so it’ll probably fall out soon, but I just love it.
I will make stupid lyrics to the songs and sing them out loud to no one. Like fully in public I will sing at my dog telling her to poop.
I keep eating pieces of fruit and when I go to shoot, I grow up and now I have a mandarin tree. A lemon tree, a white guava tree. This one didn't like being reported, but she's bouncing back. I have more pink guava guavas growing some green guava. I have an olive tree and I have a tiny little navel tree, navel, orange tree that I'm trying to bonzai. I also have some yellow dragon fruit in the red dragon fruit. But this one's from a friend. I live in a tiny graduate housing apartment. Why did I choose trees?
FaceTiming men on dating apps without warning.
I eat the end of the bread loaves at the end of the day.
I got, like super into freakin composting. This is my stinky compost bucket full of stinky compost. Smells like sh*t. I have absolutely no purpose for it. I am just collecting stinky sh*t juice. Also, that system is called Bokashi Bucket. If you go to Banning's and ask for Cocchi, it's not going to go down well.