Is one day just like every other for you during isolation? You are not alone. It is a common experience when our world is turned upside down and our routines are altered. It is a common phenomenon for all of us, at least some of the time. Days become shapeless.
A friend of mine asked me recently if I remember the underwear some of us had as children with each day of the week printed on them. (I do, and as a matter of fact, they still can be purchased.) She had an amusing question which makes a practical point. What can we do so that our days are distinguishable, one from the other?
For some, their lives are even more complicated and demanding, For others, things have slowed too much. Even if we are doing well, or well enough, isolation is becoming wearisome. We want to have more control of our lives. We are missing our sense of autonomy and freedom.
Our usual routines may have gone by the wayside and so we need to return to them or alter them, making them a habitualpractice. Such steps should also help with feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness which might crop up.
The following are some suggestions which should help as markers for regulating your time and days.
– Plan a fixed time to eat your breakfast daily.
– Get dressed and get ready for the day. It helps to make you feel more like yourself.
– Prepare and eat a healthy lunch at a set time.
– Make a plan for some exercise at the same time daily.
– Try to get outside every day if possible, following distancing guidelines of course.
– Stick to a regular bed time so that your circadian rhythm is not thrown off. Getting a consistent and proper amount of sleep helps strengthen your immune system.
– Take time for self care such as meditation, keeping in touch with others, doing a hobby.
– Have a set time to look forward to a small reward. Even if it is just to have a cup of tea for example.
Divide your day into pieces. Plan things to do in the morning before lunch, and in the afternoon after lunch and the same for the evening. You will know what works best for you in each of those time periods. You might want to consider your most energetic times of day in your planning.
Plan new weekly (Monday through Friday) traditions to help differentiate one day from the other. Set aside a day for doing specific chores or projects every week. (Monday, get groceries, Tuesday, do the laundry, etc. (Some of us may be thinking, “Oh no, just like my mother used to.”)
Christine Butler, M.A.