With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all experiencing disruptions to how we occupy our time. Whether it be switching to working from home, having structured leisure activities cancelled, not being able to go out with friends to your favourite restaurant, or any other change to your normal activities…these things are stressful! Here are a few suggestions I have to support you in maintaining a routine while spending more time at home:
- Prioritize self-care – Even if you are working from home, making sure you get dressed and showered every morning can have a significant impact on your mood. Also think about other ways you can attend to your body’s needs – this includes giving yourself permission to rest and slow down when you need to. Limiting your exposure to news can also be a good way to manage stressful emotions during these times.
- Have a schedule – Try to schedule regular activities throughout your week. It is important to have some flexibility with this, but setting aside time for activities such as working, meal preparation, or self-care activities can help you feel more efficient with your time.
- Think about how you can set up your home environment optimally – If you’re working from home, a designated area you can do your work from is ideal. If you don’t have this, try to put work aside at the end of the day (move your laptop, etc) so you are not thinking of it outside of these times.
- Move regularly – This does not have to be a lengthy or intense workout routine, but taking a bit of time each day to do some simple stretching or getting outside for a walk if you are not self-isolating can be helpful.
- Maintain social connection – We may not be able to socialize in the ways that we are used to, but connection is so important. Keep in contact with your support network, whether personal or professional. Look into online support group options if you are struggling. Remember that although you may not be able to see people in person, you can always have a phone call or video chat.
- Consider how you can modify activities you enjoy – For example, you may still be able to order take out from your favourite restaurant or do a streaming video from your favourite yoga or barre studio. It may take some thinking out of the box, but there are lots of ways to still engage in the activities that are important to you.
- Try a new hobby – Now is a good time to think of anything you’ve wanted to try at home that you may tell yourself you don’t have time for. Take up a new craft, learn a new language, learn how to cook something new. There are plenty of online resources offered through the library, virtual museum tours, and even musical artists offering online performances that are worth checking out.
- Practice self-compassion – It is important to limit the pressure you put on yourself. On social media, I’ve seen so many posts about trying to come out of the pandemic with a new exercise routine or habit. Remember that sometimes surviving through difficult times is enough. You don’t have to be productive all the time. Sometimes it’s okay to just be, and accept that the emotions that may be coming up for you are valid given the circumstances.
To chat more about ways to maintain routine and find balance, book a free consultation with one of our Therapists today!