Every day of self-isolation, I go for a 30-minute walk around my local lake at noon and 5pm. Everyday, rain or shine. The first few days I was reluctant, nervous, a little uncomfortable with the thoughts of this new norm of physically distancing myself from others. I started slow, I made a plan. I carry my hand sanitizer and my disinfectant wipes in my newly appointed pandemic fanny pack. I am sure to make eye contact and say hello to the folks I pass on the path. After 10 days of this simple routine I feel better. I look forward to my walks, they are something that I can be in control of during a time where aspects of my day to day are way beyond my control.
There is relief in building routine. Change is difficult for us humans at the best of times. During times of worry and fear many of us will cling to the familiar. Building routines and daily practices help us to calm our overactive nervous systems. Routine gives us stability when the world around us feels very unstable.
Six suggestions for building routines and daily practices:
- Know your limit and stay within it: Set yourself up for success – choose activities or goals that are within your reach.
- Allow space for you to settle into it: Starting a new routine is hard – be gentle, give yourself wiggle room to feel out what works for you.
- It does not have to be perfect: It probably won’t be right from the start, and that is ok!
- Choose routines or practices that bring you JOY: Engage with activities because you want to, not because you read on some blog post you should.
- Celebrate the successes: You did it! You deserve to congratulate yourself for taking care of you!
- Reflect and review how the routine is supporting relief from the stresses of the day: If it is not making a difference what can you do to adjust or change it to work for you?
Be well you wonderful humans! Thank you for being you!