We’re currently faced with a time of great upheaval, uncertainty and, for many, anxiety. With as many people as possible staying at home across the country, everyday rhythms and patterns will undoubtedly be disrupted. To help with this, I’d really recommend putting a daily routine in place for your new setup.
I’m not talking about the beautifully-drawn, laminated timetables you’ve probably seen some people sharing on social media (more on the problems of comparison coming in another post). However, I do believe that giving your day a regular, natural shape and putting in certain regular activities or touchstones will help you at this time.
I’ve previously shared this post about the 8 things every person should do before 8am but, in the current situation I would counsel a more gentle approach. We should be taking life one day at a time at the moment and implementing some positive, structured elements to give ourselves the reassurance of routine and self-care when it is most needed.
- Start your day with a focus activity like meditation or journaling; whatever will give you the headspace to be present for yourself and prepare you for the day ahead.
- Eat well. I know food preparation is getting a bit trickier with limited access to certain ingredients but you should still focus on how you’re eating and what. That stockpile of chocolate and biscuits may feel like a comfort but ultimately, eating as many wholefoods and as little refined sugar as possible will help both your gut and brain to reset from a state of stress response. (You can read more about the connection between your gut and your brain in this post.)
- Practice gratitude. When you’re starting to feel a little stir crazy, just take a moment to look around you. You are safe, you are sheltered and (at the time of writing) the sun is shining. Listen out the window to the birds singing, and children playing in gardens with their families and remember all that you do have.
- Just because you can’t go to the gym, doesn’t mean you can’t get moving. Whether it’s your daily exercise outside – a walk or run round your local area perhaps – or watching one of the many free videos online to inspire you in your living room, get moving! (I’ve talked before about the benefits of exercise in combatting stress.)
- Curate your content. This would be a good time to go on a digital diet. Reduce your social media time and make sure that you are only following accounts which bring something of value to you – anything that doesn’t uplift or inform you has no place right now.
- At the end of each day, write down the best thing that happened. It could be as simple as a quiet cup of tea in the sunshine or curling up on the sofa to watch a film with your child. The process of remembering all of the good moments and choosing which to record will help you to close your day with a positive attitude.
- Develop a bedtime routine and get as much sleep as you can. I know sleep might not be coming as easily at the moment but it’s vitally important. Have a look at my advice for beating insomnia for suggestions of how to unwind at night.
This is a very strange time for everyone, making self-care even more important – please do look after yourselves during this period. Be kind to yourself, don’t put too much pressure on productivity at this point and just take each day as it comes.
If you’d like to talk more about ways to manage your current experience, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07837993241.