Establishing Healthy Rhythms When the World Feels Like it’s Shutting Down

It’s tricky enough to find a normal routine in daily life. School, work, job applications, relationships, and family dynamics can make finding rhythms difficult. Currently, any patterns we have had are changing due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Most of what we had considered normal has changed, and we aren’t really sure when things will get back to normal. In a season of unknowns, here are some tips for finding our new normal.

  1. Make mini-routines.
    According to popular authors such as Hal Elrod, mornings have the potential to change an entire day. While we might feel out of control in many aspects of life, one thing we can control is how we start our days. Why not choose to make mini-routines to start your day? According to Hal’s book The Miracle Morning, waking up early is one key aspect of cultivating productive mornings. What time do you enjoy waking up at? Set a time, stick to it, and pick 3-5 activities to complete after waking up. These should be doable and something you enjoy. That way, you have a bit of structure and productivity to set the tone for each day. These mini-routines can help provide a much-needed sense of balance in these crazy times.
  2. Create boundaries.
    This is a huge topic that we could spend a whole blog on! For today, let’s focus on creating physical boundaries in your space. Since many of us are working and doing school from home due to the CDC’s recommendations, it can be tempting to work, eat, rest, and workout all in the same area. However, this can cause added stress and a feeling of being cramped. Instead, designate specific areas of your home for different activities. Perhaps your bedroom is for relaxation, your office is for work, a corner of your living room is for exercise, and a different corner of your living room is for video conferencing. Take note of how each spot changes your mood and sets the tone for that activity!
  3. Stay physically distant, not relationally isolated.
    According to the American Psychological Association, social isolation can have drastically negative consequences. However, it is recommended that we all keep a healthy social distance from one another during this pandemic. What are some ways to feel connected while keeping your distance? One small (but effective!) strategy is to set up consistent internet calls with friends. You can use a platform like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or a good old fashioned phone call. This way, you can feel that there is a pattern of seeing people you love. Try taking your phone on a walk! Call a friend or family member, and talk on the phone while you’re taking a walk. That way, you get to exercise and catch up, all while maintaining a healthy distance.

These times are chaotic and uncertain, so it’s helpful to have some sort of routine to give us a sense of structure. Small changes like these can have a big impact on our overall health, mindset, and well-being. Which change will you implement today?

By Carissa Joy Burns
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