5 Tips For A Better Quarantine Routine
The current quarantine has caused a lot of disruption in our lives. Our daily routines have been compromised. Normal is no longer normal. Demands may have been added to your schedule, removed or replaced. Now more than ever in this changing world and uncertain time we need something with structure. Something that is somewhat in our control. And for many people that is their daily routine. Maybe it's just a matter of tweaking your pre-quarantine routine to the current circumstances but more than likely it's scrapping the old schedule and making the new and improved quarantine version. You may be discouraged and wondering what's the point. Why even bother? Well, sometimes it's just completing the next task that keeps us moving forward. A routine can give you a sense of accomplishment or simply help you decipher what day of the week it is. It grounds you. It will give you a little more structure, a little more purpose and hopefully a little more hope. Follow these 5 tips for a better quarantine routine.
Keep using your planner
Whether you use a virtual calendar or you put pen to paper in a physical planner, don't trash them! Yea 2020 seems like a write off, but it's not. Keep using your planner to schedule your day-to-day. It will help you focus on the present. Use your planner to list out What you actually need to do v.s. What you just want to do. Your planner will help you establish and prioritize your actions for the day. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with all the things, you've probably gone off-track. You've gotten distracted from the task at hand. Drop whatever you're doing and look back at your planner. Get back on track and finish whatever's left on your What you actually need to do list. There's nothing like the satisfaction of crossing out that last checkbox on your daily to-do list.
Set a recurring meal each day
Have you ever asked yourself the question "What should I eat?" and then spent the next consecutive 30 minutes staring into your fridge or pantry, just to end up eating empty calories? You can't just go to your normal lunch spot and pick up the daily special anymore. You may not be a good cook, or you may be a great chef but don't have the time to create world class dishes for every meal. Whatever the circumstance don't let lunch eat up more time then is needed. Meal time should not be a source of stress. Plan at least one recurring meal each day that you're comfortable making and enjoy eating. For example if you're used to having oats at work in the morning, set yourself up at home to have oats when you wake up. Have the ingredients ready-to-go so no extra effort is required.
Schedule some time to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. While you are stuck inside you're probably not that motivated to move around. You only have so many places to go and you've already been to the kitchen way too many times. That's why scheduling some physical activity ahead of time is so important. Planning is only one part of the equation though, sticking to it is the other. Recruit a friend or family member to workout with you or just to hold you accountable (in person or via video chat). Plenty of gyms, fitness groups and apps are sharing workouts for free so that you can follow along at home. Don't let the lack of outdoors get between you and a fresh supply of stress defying endorphins.
Catch up on zzz
This does not give you an excuse to stay in bed all day! What it does give you is the opportunity to clear the sleep debt you may have built up from your busy lifestyle. If you need some extra sleep, now is the time to get it. If your schedule is flexible, implement a nap-time at some point in your day. Replace your normal commute, happy hour or socializing time with a quick shut eye or just go to bed earlier. There will (hopefully) never be another time like this in the future. So take this time to recuperate, reflect and slow your fast paced life down to a still calm. This is your chance to level set, with minimal distractions. There will be a day when the cogs of society start churning again and everything will go back to a blur. Then you will wish you had rested a little bit more when you had the chance.
Reassess when necessary
We live in a changing world. Plans will need to be adjusted. Modifications to your routine will be inevitable. Try to set yourself mini attainable goals, things you can achieve, things you can feel good about. Start with small tasks and then grow from there. Remember, things will get in the way and try to push you off track. Don't let them tailspin your life into chaos just because of a set back. Your routine is a malleable guideline, not a path to perfection. Reassess your routine when necessary. We're living in not so normal times and that will call for resilience and flexibility. What was good for yesterday may not be right for today and that is totally ok.