We cannot control the external world, but we can control the inner one. We can take charge and adopt a few strategies to help us cope with this crisis better. One of them is designing a new routine for ourselves and adhering to it as much as possible.
When life becomes uncertain, challenging and stressful, we can ground ourselves by having a daily routine. A dedicated routine reduces anxiety, provides comfort and predictability, and helps us cope with change.
Our lives have changed drastically and we never truly know when things will get restored to normal, or at least close to it. So, it’s time to get rid of the old routine and create a new improved one for yourself that is more suited to your current demands. Of course, the new routine will be different in many respects as compared to the pre-COVID-19 one and it’s totally fine. We, humans, are adaptable beings and with time, we’ll get used to it. Just do the best you can, and try to stick to it as much as you can.
Treat meal times i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner, movement/exercise, recreation and sleep as non-negotiable appointments every day in your calendar. What we need most at the moment are structure and healthy boundaries. We need both dedicated physical spaces and some tangible or digital reminders to keep us on track and stick to our plan.
A good way to bring a sense of routine into your days is to start waking up and going to bed at the same time and to bookend your days via morning and evening routines as suggested by Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect. This will give you some groundedness as you navigate the new normal and all the challenges that come with it.