Ah the memes and posts all over social media on how we no longer have a workweek, just yesterday, today and tomorrow.
There is a great deal of truth to how easily all the days can begin to blend together into one long week. The routines you had for the past several years may have easily flown out the door in a matter of days or weeks.
In my last post, about Quarantined Life, we spoke about using mindfulness and strategy in an effort to remain somewhat sane. https://thriveglobal.com/quarantined-life-how-to-stay-sane-during-insane-times/(opens in a new tab) I had mentioned there were many more things we could do to stay sane, so today, I thought I would talk about the importance of routines.
The things you do now, will affect your future, both short-term and long-term.
I have worked from home for close to ten years now. But for my daughter having to go to school Monday through Friday and many of my clients running businesses that operate Monday-Friday, I would have long ago, done away with this whole, “workweek” idea.
I will say that I did love it a bit since I knew when I could shop or do things and places would not be busy since everyone would be at work. I am not in need of that these days since everywhere I would have gone is temporarily closed.
The blending of days in combination with a lack of social interaction and human touch and connection can quickly turn into an unorganized life and depression. So how can we keep it together, remember what day it is and what we have to do? I say institute routines.
By having a schedule, you can not only maintain some semblance of control and organization but also add to your days and weeks really important things to help keep you connected.
This is probably one of the best times to create a morning and/or evening routine. It might sound crazy, after all, you finally have to answer to no one and live life however you see fit. But, doing that is one of the fastest ways, in my opinion, to lose track of your self and a sense of purpose. It might feel great the first week or two, but then…you might begin to feel like a useless blob.
Those reading this who follow me on Facebook, know that I am not big into rules. I am not one sized fits all. I am not big on saying you should get up at 5am, like many of the guru’s out there. I don’t do rules very well. I personally get up at 5am or 5:30am because I am a morning person. I like to spend time with my daughter who gets up at 730am. My morning routine takes approximately 2 hours from the time I wake to the time I “start my day”.
Before creating your morning and/or evening routine, I would recommend that you first figure out what you want to accomplish and do during your morning routine then backtrack it and determine what time you would like to get up.
If you have read Arianna Huffington’s Thrive, she writes in her book some key elements. She likes to wake up naturally without an alarm. Since she consistently goes to bed within a certain time frame, she naturally wakes up within a pretty predictable time frame. I like setting a specific and consistent waking time (consistency is key in all things in life, whether that is just to get better sleep or building a business). Included in her morning routine, she does a breathing and gratitude exercise. She does not look at her phone, in fact, her phone is not even in the bedroom. She avoids things that will cause her to be reactive, like emails, notifications, alerts, news, etc. I pretty much do something similar. I wake up and meditate for 20 minutes. Do a gratitude and visualization exercise and yoga flow movements. Ok, so about that consistency… yoga…maybe only most days. I also do an energy connecting and clearing exercise. Then I look at my calendar to understand what is expected of my day and I am ready for breakfast with my daughter.
If you have never heard of or thought of creating a mourning routine, now is a great time to do some research and see what the possibilities are. Ms. Huffington wrote about morning routines and laid out what she does in her book and many have been written about her routine. There are a ton of other sources as well. The Miracle Morning method is a popular book that also discusses the value of creating such a routine. The keys to the morning routine are make sure it works for you. Don’t worry and put pressure on yourself to stick to it 100% and the goal is really to get connected and stay away from starting your day in a reactive state. Me personally and I know a lot of others would highly recommend adding meditation to your days. Right now you get free versions of some apps that provide guided meditations like calm.com or headspace.com or even Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra have these fabulous 21-day meditations. If you are on a tight budget hit up YouTube.
As for evening routines, science can demonstrate the importance of going to bed around the same time every night and getting quality sleep. It seems to work best to not have any bright lights in your face, like your phone, laptops or tablets for at least a half an hour before bed. If your wind-down routine includes reading, and you read from a kindle or tablet, switch the light modes so that you have a dimmed screen.
It is funny that those of us who are parents or have taken care of young children, know the value of going to sleep at a regular time, early enough so you get enough quality sleep and to not get wound up before bedtime doing things that make your brain turn on hyperdrive. Many of us created some type of routine for our babies and children. Right? We did bath time and reading or even just the way we put them down talked to them and then lights out. Yet, as adults, we don’t see the value of this for our own sanity and relaxation.
Another routine to add is simply adding a schedule/calendar. This helps massively when you are on your own and can’t even remember what day it is. If you are super anti-calendars you can always create a list of daily to do’s. Make sure you add time to connect and get whatever you need in there.
Maybe you call or video chat with one friend or relative a day and every day at noon you call someone. Maybe you want to read a book or play games with family. The other day, my daughter and I were able to play a game via Zoom. We faced our phone cameras on our tables and our laptops toward us and we played. It was fun. Second best thing to being live and in person and together.
I hosted a “happy hour” with my friend DJ Anthony Gello from Queens, NY. We chilled, listened to music, dealt with getting kicked off Facebook and brought it full circle to IG and Twitch.
Think of things you love to do and tweak them so they fit into our new temporary lifestyles. You never know, you might find things you like to do differently or may even turn into a side gig or who knows. As closed in as you might feel right now, the world is wide open for a different type of exploration and anything is possible.
With love and gratitude,
Please feel free to email me and ask me questions: [email protected]
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