Our routines are disrupted. Our coping skills and survival strategies no longer fit the new isolation situation we find ourselves in.
Your new normal needs a new rhythm. Why not take the opportunity to create and establish a new isolation routine? You can make your life feel familiar again with some structure and routine.
Be curious about the new experiences that shape your life now. Try to discover new territory, even if it feels intimidating.
In a series of unfortunate events, most of us are now social-distancing and self-isolating at home with our family. Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, re-establishing a new routine during these times is important.
Structure in your new daily life is critical, whether you’re working from home, homeschooling or wrangling young children. Having a structure in place will ensure you keep productive and remain sane during these different times!
As we find ourselves in a period of extreme change and uncertainty, we must remain optimistic and prevent fear and anxiety from taking over and paralyzing us.
We must find the strength within ourselves, demonstrate courage and be good role models for our children.
President Snow in The Hunger Games couldn’t have said it any better, “Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear”.
As you settle into temporary isolation with your family, your routine is probably feeling all over the place – this is completely understandable! For the first couple of weeks I drove myself bonkers, but now as I settle into my new routine I can see light at the end of the tunnel!
So mama … relax, grab a pen and paper or a digital organizer like Life Sorted and get ready to jot down some pointers to help you create a new family isolation routine!
In this blog, I’ll share with you my top tips for establishing a new routine during the coronavirus pandemic:
// Embrace change
The first step to establishing your new isolation routine is to embrace and accept the new changes in your life and routine. Things are simply not the same right now. The sooner you surrender and come to terms with this the better you will feel.
We find ourselves in times of uncertainty, and to take back control we must embrace the unknown and accept whatever is thrown at us over the next few months, with a knowing that (ultimately) it will all be ok. No matter what happens.
If you’re still struggling to accept the changes and find yourself saying to yourself “I don’t want this new normal”, try to:
- express your feelings to a friend or loved one
- look on the bright side and find something positive
- understand why the change unsettles you so much
- embrace your ability to adapt
- keep busy doing things that bring you joy
Know this … accepting and embracing change is vital for your growth and happiness. Accepting that change is the only constant can be truly liberating – for now and all the further changes that will surely come.
Change is not just the new normal, it’s the only normal.
// Define a sleeping routine
As your schedule is flipped upside down (virtual work meetings, kids sleeping ’till noon, sleepless nights) your daily rhythm is going to be thrown completely off.
When your life is in chaos and your rhythm is out of whack you may feel unsafe and anxious. This all boils down to the control and predictability you’ve just suddenly lost in your life. Predictability makes you feel safe, secure, strong, healthy and so on.
You might not be able to rely on the outside to feel secure, but you can cultivate predictability in your own home – I say start with defining your own sleeping pattern.
Sleep is sooooo important (especially) in these times of the coronavirus, sleep restores and heals the body while also being a great immunity booster (which you need more than ever right now!).
If you’re finding yourself more alert than normal, it could be because you’re drinking more caffeinated beverages than usual (this was definitely me with my cups of tea), so watch the caffeine and try not to have any coffee or tea after 3 pm.
Define a time that you will commit to be in bed to go to sleep each night, and also set a regular time you will wake up every morning. Ensure your children have their own sleeping routine too and make sure they stick to it!
TIP: Now that you don’t have to travel to work or school, you might have more time on your hands! Fill this time with self-care or getting a head start on the day!
// Create a ritual to unwind
When you work and live in the same space it can be challenging to switch off. Especially with laptops and phones in such close proximity, it’s easy to check a few emails or browse social media feeds for hours on end.
Scientific studies have found the blue light that’s emitted from our phones stimulate the brain, preventing us from falling asleep.
To combat this, create a night time ritual that best prepares your body for bed. Begin the unwinding process by turning off your electronics 2 hours before you go to bed this will help to slow your mind down.
After a few days this will form part of your new routine which will signal your brain to slowly switch off and help you drift off into a slumber.
TIP: Take a warm bath or shower to soothe and calm your muscles and prepare your body for sleep.
// Make your bed every day
Ever since I’ve heard Admiral William McRaven’s speech, I’ve made my bed every morning and it’s honestly changed my life!
Read what Admiral William McRaven had to say about making your bed each day:
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day.
It will give you a small sense of pride and will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another, and by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things matter.
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day you will come home to a bed that is made, that YOU made.
And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.” – Navy Seal Admiral William McRaven.
// Get dressed
Just because you’re in isolation does not mean you have to stop getting dressed for the day.
Get out of your PJ’s, have a shower, iron your clothes and choose a killer outfit to wear each day!
I’d even consider some online shopping to buy some new clothes for your #isolationlooks (take a selfie and tag us on Instagram @lifesorted).
Psst… for my ladies reading this, try putting on some makeup or even just some mascara to put an extra spring in your step or edge to that #athomeselfie!
For makeup and style tips I’ve been OBSESSED with Trinny Woodall’s Instagram lately, check her out for some hilarious and entertaining beauty and style tips.
TIP: Make it a non-negotiable that everyone in the family has to get up and get dressed for the day.
// Eat a nutritious breakfast
Every productive day starts with a great breakfast!
Now that you no longer have to travel to work you have extra time to be more conscious of what your family eats and cook them a proper nutritional breakfast to fuel them for the day.
Morning breakfasts are also a fantastic opportunity to sit down and check-in with each other while planning the day ahead.
TIP: Set up a repeating event in your Life Sorted calendar so all family members are aware of what time breakfasts starts!
// Exercise regularly
Get your body moving gorgeous one! You might be confined to your own home, but that doesn’t have to stop you from exercising – I say get creative!
I usually get up at 4:15 am with my daughter to go to F45, however, since isolation we’ve now adapted and moved family exercise to 5:15 pm every week day. We hop on a live zoom call with our F45 crew and work out together as a family. We’re loving it.
We set up the laptop and tune into our F45 class and work out like normal!
Remember social distancing is just as important inside your home, so we’ve set up our downstairs area with a plethora of affordable equipment from Kmart, we bought dumbbells, skipping ropes and some weights.
For exercise ideas, browse YouTube or check out the fitness apps on the app store.
See just because I can’t go to my usual F45 studio, it hasn’t stopped me. I’ve just adapted.
Remember: It’s ALL about adapting to the situation and taking control.
// Break for lunch
Just like any ‘normal’ day you need to find time to break for lunch and re-fuel for the afternoon.
Dedicate an hour in your daily routine for you and your family to have lunch together.
A lunch break will do wonders for everyone’s productivity, not only will it re-energize you, but it resets your mind so you can get back into work when you return to your WFH desk.
While you’re on your break you should also take some time out to complete a small activity that distracts your mind from everything going on.
I like to work on my puzzles or go outside and sit in the sun with a cuppa and magazine.
So please find an activity that you enjoy and use it to distract your mind from thinking about all of the uncertainty during your lunch break!
// Sing and listen to music
Ever listened to a catchy tune that’s totally uplifted your whole mood?
Well, according to my beautiful friend Allison Davies, who’s a Brain Care Specialist, listening to music and singing along can release the ‘feel good’ endorphin known as dopamine into your bloodstream.
Allison recently shared a catchy mantra called “Every Little Cell” on Instagram for the world to sing during this pandemic.
Allison says “Melody activates the limbic system which allows us to feel, experience and move our emotions through us. An essential process for anyone experiencing uncertainty, anxiety, grief or fear”. Isn’t that amazing?
Check out Allison singing “Every Little Cell” on this video:
// Enforce short recesses or transitions
After a few weeks at home, I can already feel the cabin fever setting in and my attention span deteriorating.
To remedy a weakened attention span, start enforcing short recesses in everyone’s routine to help transition throughout the day.
A short recess or transition could be a few minutes where you all go for a walk, stretch or move rooms to break up the day.
These mental spaces help your mind breathe and reset amongst all the craziness that’s going on.
// Allow free time for your children
Dedicate some time in the isolation routine for your children to get a well-deserved break from their school work and do what they please.
Whether this is some computer games or kicking the ball around the backyard, let your child release any pent up energy!
// Refocus using the Pomodoro technique
If you have felt like a ‘fish out of water’ in your temporary work/home environment try this nifty productivity hack!
Start by brain dumping your todo-list into Life Sorted then use the Pomodoro technique to focus on each task at hand – it’s worked wonders for me!
Follow the steps below:
- Decide on the task
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Work on the task until the timer rings.
- Take a short 5-minute break.
- Repeat 4 times
- Take a 15-30 minute break
TIP: To keep you accountable add the Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant (tomato timer) as a chrome extension.
// Declutter and organize your calendar
As most events and appointments are now cancelled or postponed you have the time to sit down and intentionally clean up your calendar in Life Sorted.
Sit down with a cuppa and take time to transfer all your important dates from your trusty old diary.
You can even use tags in Life Sorted to group and filter your events, to-dos, and annuals (to create your tags simply head to SETUP > TAGS). You can tag events with one or more tags when creating or modifying an event, to-do or annual.
// Prevent anxiety and panic triggers
As we enter these unchartered waters, anxiety and panic is higher than ever, here a few things to do to keep anxiety at bay:
- Stay away from the news – Stay informed but switch off from the news from time to time.
- Prioritise self-care – Do things you love to take your mind off things (I’ll love macrame for this).
- Check-in with your loved ones – A simple facetime or phone call to check-in and exchange some kind words.
- Focus on what is in your control – Keeping your family safe and healthy.
- Practice mindfulness – Try journaling or meditation.
- Cleanse your social media feeds – Unfollow the people on social media who no longer serve you.
- Stock up on the necessities – Purchase the things you can’t live without and that make you feel at ease (for me that’s medications).
- Light a candle or burn some oil – You’d be surprised by how soothing a beautiful smell can be.
Final words! Keep positive and look forward to life after isolation!
Imagine how amazing it will be after this is over when you emerge as a stronger and more organized version of you!
You’ve got this gorgeous… you can get through anything!