It has been roughly three months since the global crisis of COVID-19 began, and it is likely that even though some of your home states might be opening up more and more, you are still limited in the activities that you once deemed normal. Perhaps sweatpants are still the only star in your wardrobe (I personally don’t think I can ever go back to buttons and zippers J). Maybe you are still charged with responsibilities that you never thought you would have to sustain while staying home. However you are currently situated, three months is a pretty long time to be without normalcy.
That is why I’d like to give you a reminder to reintroduce or recommit to some sort of routine in your life, because sustaining some order can not only help achieve that feeling of normal, but can also greatly benefit your mental health. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, but setting your mind to follow just a few minor things every day, can really impact your sense of wellness. Here are a few tips to get back on track with a routine that you can sustain.
Start the day with predictability:
Having one thing that you know you can commit to when starting your day can make a world of difference in improving your quality of mental wellness. You can start with something as simple as making your bed, brewing yourself a cup of coffee or tea, drinking a full class of water, enjoying a nice hot shower, or my favorite choice, writing a quick to-do list of attainable things you want to accomplish for the day. Sticking to this one choice can set the structure of your day, and when you have more structure, there is less room for the mind to wander to less desirable places.
One physical activity:
I have written before about moving your body and the impacts it can bring to your mental and physical wellbeing, however truly incorporating one element of movement to your day on a consistent basis can seriously benefit you in your quest for normalcy. It can be as simple as going for a twenty minute walk, doing a few lunges when walking from your kitchen to your living room, or even taking the commercial breaks for some quick jogging in place. However you choose to move, make sure it is something that you like and can feel proud of yourself for accomplishing on a daily basis.
If you have other major fitness goals that you would like to attain, that’s great! Feel free to stick to those. However, if this quarantine has left your body feeling way more sedentary then you used to feel, then go ahead and let some of that movement back in. Even if you don’t feel that burst of energy that some people talk about, the long-term benefits will help your wellbeing tremendously.
Connect with others:
I am sure you have read or heard a ton of information (including some from me J) during these past few months as to why you should maintain connection during this time of isolation. So you already know that sustaining relationships can be helpful for your mental health and wellness. However, the actual task of reaching out to someone and adding it to your daily routine is the tip I’d like to cover.
Try identifying one to four people per week with whom you can intentionally connect. This can be your partner, friend, family member, or colleague for a happy hour call after the workday is done. Carving out the time to proactively engage with others will ultimately bring you back to that sense of relational normalcy that you might be really craving right now.
However you might find step back in to that routine, make sure it is right and attainable for you. I hope that achieving some normalcy brings you comfort during these still ever-so-strange times.