Our days are going to continue look different for a while, so it’s important to establish a “new (temporary) normal.” In these unprecedented times, we need to remain flexible to best handle the situation. However, implementing some structure into our days can go a long way in helping us maintain our health, our productivity, and our social and emotional well-being. So, let’s look at some simple things we can do to keep life feeling structured, fulfilling and somewhat normal.
Keep Your Morning Routine
Whether or not you’re leaving your house, you should still get up, get dressed and carry on as usual. Shower, brush your teeth, shave, do your hair/makeup — even if nobody’s going to see it, you’ll feel it. These are undoubtedly stressful times, and it’s important to maintain a feeling of optimism and normalcy. A pajama day here and there is fine, but too many may dampen your spirits.
Set Work Hours
If you’re one of the many Americans working from home during the pandemic, you may be trying to figure out how to be productive in both your home and work roles, without sacrificing one or the other. Setting work hours for yourself during this time, can help you get more done and alleviate guilt. For example, you won’t feel pulled to clean the house during work hours and you won’t feel pulled to reply to work emails outside of work hours. Another way to help you transition between work- and home-mode is to establish a dedicated workspace. You complete all your work in this space and leave it when the workday is over.
Helping Your Kids with School Work
For those of you trying to work from home and simultaneously school your kids during all this, the best advice we can give is to adjust your expectations and be kind to yourself. You’ve got a lot on your plate but having realistic expectations can make the situation much easier to navigate.
One of the biggest ideas to understand is that you don’t need to try to replicate a school day for your kids. Set school hours for them, just as you set your work hours, and do what you can during those times. You can reach out to their teachers to gauge what their expectations are, but most of them understand that we’re all just doing the best we can.
Keep or Establish Healthy Habits
If you had been living a healthy lifestyle before the coronavirus hit, don’t stop now! It’s important to keep our bodies healthy and our immune systems strong — especially in the face a pandemic. If your lifestyle wasn’t the healthiest before, why not use some of this extra time we have on our hands now to improve it now?
Healthy habits include:
- Eating nutritiously
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining an adequate and consistent sleep schedule
- Spending time outdoors each day
Be Informed, but Not Overloaded
With things changing so quickly, it’s important to stay informed about the virus and the actions we as citizens are being asked to take. However, there’s a difference between staying informed and being sucked down the rabbit hole of information. Checking the news a couple of times a day is useful, but set a time limit for yourself — maybe 20 minutes or so — and then cut it off.
Humans are social beings — we’re designed that way! So, even though we’re not able to be physically close to one another right now, it’s imperative that we stay socially connected. Thankfully, we live in the digital age, which makes that so easy. Using Zoom or FaceTime or even a good old fashion phone call, aim to have at least one personal conversation a day.