Things seem upside down right now and we are all thrown out of our regular routine. For me this drastic change has brought up feelings of anxiety and instability. It's as if someone abruptly hit pause on life and said, "Nope. You will be on a mandatory stay-cation, and we don't know for how long."
It's been almost two weeks and we are now at a point where we have to make some choices regarding how we will live during this quarantine.
The great majority of us were not prepared to handle this. Some of us might have been so deep into our groove, that we were floating along through it, feeling comfortable and safe. And yes, I took my regularity, my routine, for granted.
For me, Monday through Friday was fairly consistent: wake up at 5am, train my morning clients starting at 6am until about noon. Then I'd workout, eat lunch, send emails and program for clients, read in the afternoon, and see two or three more clients in the evening before going home to eat dinner and relax. Bedtime for me was usually around 9:30pm. That was my routine in a nut-shell. Of course there was some variance; some days I would be home by 4pm and have the evening off to study, write or just chill.
Now that I am home, and I can't meet with my clients in person to train them, I have a lot more time on my hands (as I'm sure most of us do). Even if you are able to work from home, the day probably seems a lot longer and the amount of free-time you have feels overwhelming. It'll be easy to sit on the couch and Netflix-and-Chill. And that's ok if you really need to do that, especially if it helps you process all that is going on.
Though the reality of the situation is that this is not as temporary as most people first thought. It has already been over 12 days that I've been home and isolated with my hubby and cat. And for some places around the world, it has been much longer. So we know that here in the U.S. we have many more days to look forward to in isolation. It could be really rough, and let's be honest no matter how we try to spin this in a positive direction, there are still going to be moments that feel challenging. So what can we do to counter these negative effects of being quarantined?
We each have the ability to help ourselves create stability throughout these next weeks. We can develop a routine, plan it out, and hold ourselves accountable to it. It seems fairly simple and yes, that's the point! When we create a simple task for ourselves, such as planning a daily routine, we will be able to feel successful in its creation and implementation. Each day that feeling of success will grow and expand as we continue to bring awareness to how we are living and experiencing this quarantine.
I have done this for myself and I'm sharing my daily routine with you so you can see an example. I took a few minutes (maybe 15 total), to write out a daily schedule. Here's what it looks like:
I decided to break up segments of my day into fairly small increments, but you can start by using bigger chunks of time (that might feel more manageable). Or if you're the type of person that needs to schedule every half hour of your day in order to hold yourself accountable then that is an option as well. You are the creator, so get creative!
As you can see, some of my tasks are very specific and some are a bit more general. I decided to give myself some breathing room so that way I can choose from a few different options, depending upon the day.
I am also giving myself the freedom of having an open weekend, which was typical for me before the quarantine. It feels necessary for me to have two days throughout the week during which I can sleep in, do what feels right for my body, get some creative projects done, and spend time having fun.
I will be using this schedule daily and will be posting it up on the walls near my desk. This way I will be able to see it easily. There are also numerous apps that you can use on your phone that will set you up for great success. There are some that have many features to help you keep organized and punctual with your tasks.
I prefer handwriting it, rather than looking on a digital screen since I am on my screen more during this quarantine.
One other small point that I'd like to share is the idea of a "success list" versus a "to-do list". You can see at 4pm each day I have an hour of writing which will include a few minutes of creating my "success list" for the following day. I learned about this concept when reading Gary Keller's book "The One Thing" (a great read for anyone that works from home, which we are all doing now).
The main difference between a "success list" and a "to-do list", and why it is important to differentiate between the two, is that a success list is comprised of things that relate to the main goal of your business, career, and life. These tasks directly impact your ability to feel successful and accomplished once they're complete. So these aren't tasks like "do the dishes" or "organize my sock drawer" (which I did the other night lol).
Your success list will probably look drastically different than mine because it is inherent to what you truly want. The small tasks you put on your "success list" contribute to accomplishing your big goal. For instance, one of the items on my "success list" for tomorrow is to post and offer a 2 week program on my website that consists of bodyweight workouts people can do easily at home during this quarantine. (look out for that tomorrow on my services page)
All in all, there are many different ways that you can feel a sense of control and stability during these unstable times. I hope that this practice of creating a daily schedule helps you feel like yourself. It helps me tune into what I really need and what I really want to focus on each day. We have an opportunity to bring more awareness to how we are spending our time, and that is one benefit of being home during this quarantine.
Feel free to reach out to me if you need more guidance in creating a routine for yourself, especially when it comes to incorporating a regular movement practice into your day. It is so important during this quarantine that we all keep moving for our mental and physical well-being.
Stay safe + stay home.