How to Create a Personal Routine in Stressful Times

Balanced balls on a sculpture

Look for magic in a daily routine.

– Lou Barlow

Your routine may get completely off track at times, but your life, despite the many disruptions this world may bring us, can still maintain daily flow. We need to have continuity within our daily life. This makes room for new life parameters that may arrive uninvited in the fabric of our lives.

Enter your new daily routine; revised and revamped, on your terms, and with your own needs covered instead of smothered.

Almost all of the normal structures that were built into how we fashioned a routine have changed since the pandemic began. Now, you need to craft for yourself and those in your home space some sort of structure, in the form of routine. This is for healthy energetic boundaries that build and foster positive energy and wellbeing, amidst all that has happened and that is still happening.

Here Are 5 Key Areas for Crafting Your Personal Routine:

  1. Sleep

You may find yourself staying up later, engrossed in the news, or involved in leisure activities. If you have little ones, you may be using this time to get “work” done or carve in late-night “me time.” Doing this derails your body’s sleep cycle and potentially brings forth health and wellbeing issues, including weight gain, lack of focus, and possibly increased issues with anxiety and depression.

Follow these steps to get on track with sleep:

  • Determine the best time to get up according to your work schedule or your need for alone time before attending to your household and workday.
  • Reverse engineer this by knowing how much sleep you need (the typical range is 7-9 hours for most adults). Create a go-to bedtime and wake-up time based on your sleep needs and start time for work.
  • Build-in an intentional, calming downtime before actually going to sleep so your body and brain are connected with the revitalizing task of sleep.
  • Gather some tech help with one of many calming and sleep aid apps available today on our smart devices.
  1. Work

Keep your work schedule as close to possible to your office schedule if you are still working from home. Start and stop your workday as it was in the office. Set up a space in your home that is for work, whether in a separate room or a space within a room, that is a defined “office” space.

The same applies to moms with children now home and being homeschooled, and all that is required with managing the ebb and flow with the activities being done at home.

Have a time structure with meals, homeschool work, breaks, recreation, play, and chores. Make this reasonable for your household and needs.

  1. Childcare (if you have littles and school-aged children)

If you are not only working from home but also have children at home, you will need to build a schedule for yourself and for your family. If your children are old enough to handle themselves, then work together to plan a schedule to make the best use of their time to keep them and our work on track.

If your children are young and need more hands-on attention, then you will need to work creatively with your partner to get your work done or seek part-time, outside help while you work.   

  1. Exercise

In some ways, fitting in physical activity is easier right now with the elimination of your workday commute or on-the-go meetings and travel. The challenge lies in carving out time and your intention of setting up for exercise in your home. Our typical routines were built around going out to gyms, studios, or sports centers. Now, many of these spaces that we depended on to achieve our fitness goals may still be closed.

Get creative with your exercise and be committed to yourself with your best health in mind. Use your smart device and go virtually if you enjoy working out with others or enjoy a specific class such as yoga, barre, Zumba, weight training or cycling, etc. You can even go outdoors for a walk, hike, or bike ride.

Set up and schedule your exercise time as if it were a “client meeting.” Choose the time of day and days of the week that will work best for you.

  1. Recreation/Rest/Creativity

Given the huge amount of uncertainty right now, setting aside the time daily to recharge and regroup is essential to your physical and emotional wellbeing. Intentionally limit your time on social media, watching the news, and your favorite shows. Find something each day that brings you true happiness and inner calmness. This could be time spent in quiet prayer and meditation or connecting with friends and family on a video call. You can also try listening to music, cooking, crafting, reading, or going outdoors for a peaceful nature walk. Do what speaks to you and brings you smiles and joy from within.

By creating a personalized routine that’s right for you and your household, you can make the most of what is happening in the present, while being in flow with more balanced energy. This will help us handle all that is happening right now in our world and communities.

Please share what you’re currently doing to “center” your life and craft your own personal routine in the comments section below.

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– The Wellness Universe

*Adapted from a May 6, 2020 post.

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