I’ve written a lot about routines in the past. From morning routines to end-of-week routines, I’m a firm believer that consistency creates wins. In challenging times, routines are more important than ever.
Times like these are tough, and beating yourself up about all the things you aren’t doing right (or those you think you aren’t doing right) simply isn’t productive. There is a way to use routines to hold yourself accountable while also giving yourself some grace.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can simply continue with your “normal” routine during a crisis. That’s a recipe for disaster. Chances are likely that things have changed dramatically for you and your family when it comes to work, school, and recreation. In light of that, there are a few elements you should focus on when building your new “crisis time” routine.
Routines for Your Mind
Instead of sitting in front of the TV at night, get your family together and spend 30 minutes reading. Everyone can read to themselves, or perhaps one person can read a book aloud to everyone. You’d be surprised how engaging it is to read together.
If you don’t already use them, Overdrive and Hoopla are amazing free services that connect to your public library card and allow you to download ebooks and audiobooks for free! If you prefer to hold on to your reading material permanently, you can always purchase books via Amazon, iTunes, or Audible.
I cannot overstate the importance of taking care of your mind in normal times, let alone crisis times. Giving yourself just 10 minutes of quiet a day can completely revitalize you. This might mean getting up 10 minutes before the rest of your household or turning on a meditation app while you take a shower.
If it’s too hard to find that time in the morning, dedicate yourself to 10 minutes of prayer or meditation before you crawl into bed at night. Whenever and wherever you can find it, give yourself that space and quiet to reconnect to your mind and refresh your energy.
Even in times of crisis, we have to keep moving. Our day has to have a flow. The best way to ensure a productive day is to have a solid plan before the day begins. That plan has to work for you, for your partner/spouse, and for your kids (if you have them).
Set your mind at ease by starting each day with a plan. Make a list of three things you need to accomplish that day to consider it a productive day. Prioritize them, block time on your calendar to get them done, then go from there.
Routines for Your Body
Make sure your adjusted routine takes movement into consideration. No matter what it is (dancing, walking, jogging, swimming, climbing stairs, etc.), get 30 minutes of active exercise every day. If you have a Fitbit or Apple Watch, turn the move notifications on, so you’re reminded to get up and move every hour!
Routines for Your Spirit
Be Kind to Yourself
Self-talk is so incredibly powerful. If your internal monologue is constantly negative, that negativity will bleed out into your life in ways that dampen your spirit and hamper your success. This is true every day the sun rises, regardless of what’s going on in the world around us.
But in challenging times, it’s so easy to go negative. We’re all facing unique obstacles right now. Don’t be so hard on yourself!
Again, give yourself a bit of grace. Stay positive in the way you interact with others, but also in the way you talk to yourself.
A Loose Framework
Routine” can be a scary word for some people. It can conjure up feelings of rigidity or constriction. We’re already constricted enough!
But having a routine doesn’t mean you’re inflexible. All you’re doing when you build a routine is giving your day a framework or a skeleton.
Flying by the seat of your pants—especially in crisis times—is going to create constant stress. If you’ve got no plan for what to get done at work or how to handle your family’s needs, every single day is going to be overwhelming. But with the tips above, you can create a flexible routine to build your days on that will provide you with consistency and allow you to thrive, even when things are tough.
Until next time—stay safe and sell some stuff!