COVID-19 Self-Care Tip: Maintain A Routine

Along with ninety-nine percent of society, my daily routine flipped itself upside down when COVID-19 bitch slapped us with lockdown restrictions. Going to get our morning coffee, waking the kids up for school, or even going for a morning jog either became interrupted or nonexistent.

Personally, my entire schedule got jacked up. This is what my normal routine looked like:

8:00AM-10:00AM- I usually wake up for a doctor’s appointment, to go to the gym, or do some paperwork.

10:00AM-2:00PM- Typically, I took a nap or worked on miscellaneous agenda items like cleaning or this blog.

2:00PM-8:00PM- During this time slot is when I saw the majority of my clients. I do in-home counseling with kids, so I worked with them after school or when their parents finished work.

8:00PM-11:00PM- I might go see my girlfriend, see friends, wrap up some paperwork, or relax depending on my mood.

11:00PM-1:00AM- It was time to wind down for the day.

With COVID-19 in place, this schedule looks much different.

8:00AM-11:00AM- I wake up for a couple minutes at some point to urinate and snack. This morning trip often ends with yours truly venturing back to bed and passing out.

11:00AM-2:00PM- At some point, I roll over out of my deep slumber and talk myself into doing telehealth sessions.

12:00PM-8:00PM (if I decide to work that day)- Depending on the day, I plop my ass down in front of my computer or take a walk with my phone during my telehealth sessions. Instead of seeing three or four clients for two hours apiece though, I shortened my sessions to about an hour. Now I see six or seven in an given day. Also, during this time frame, I cram food down my throat and take frequent bathroom breaks.

12:00PM-8:00PM (happening more frequently as of late)- I wake up with a pounding headache and fatigue. They are probably a direct result of stress and staying up late. I cancel my first appointment or two, or I call it a day and reschedule all of my clients. In that case, I go back to sleep for anywhere between three and four hours.

8:00PM-3:00AM- I try to see my girlfriend (I know, not social distancing). I play video games. I might throw some paperwork in there.

I definitely want my days during this quarantine to look a little bit more like the top schedule versus the latter. Although my body drags through most of the day, I am slowly making adjustments to get it as close as I can to the upper one.

I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining even a rough outline of a routine. With our world around us in a state of disarray, we must hold onto what little we can control. As I advised my clients, it does not have to be a minute-by-minute breakdown of your day. It could be a simple skeleton schedule.

8:00AM-11:00AM- This might be a good time to wake up and ease into the day. Drink some coffee. Eat some breakfast. Take a shower. Get dressed. Do not forget to wear pants.

11:00AM-2:00PM- It could be time to tune into work from home or help the kids with schoolwork. Take a break somewhere in there for lunch.

2:00PM-6:00PM- Finish up what you need to do. Spend some time on a hobby. Do some errands around the house.

6:00PM-9:00PM- Watch television. Play video games. Eat dinner.

9:00PM-11:00PM- Wind down and prepare for a deep slumber.

Again, this is just an example, and everyone’s schedules are different. People’s work schedule are all over the place. Some people are not working right now. Others have children to care for at home with school being out.

However, human beings are creatures of habit. We thrive off of consistency. Do you not feel much more at ease when you know what to expect versus facing the unknown? If we can get as close to our usual habits as possible, it will greatly reduce the impact of this collective trauma and provide some peace of mind.

-The Caring Counselor


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