I was reading an email I received from Love and Logic which is a parenting resource that sends messages regularly to help deal with the many challenges that parenting presents. Today’s email was about creating a regimented schedule for your kids while they are doing distance learning. It dawned on me that we as adults also need a regimented schedule so we can maintain our own level of normalcy.
It’s so easy to feel lost and overwhelmed since we now find ourselves out of our normal routines. For myself, not serving my purpose of tidying with clients has been a bit depressing. One thing I have found particularly helpful during this time is creating new routines to keep me focused and on track (and basically to keep me from feeling anxious or worried.) This also works wonderfully for children if you are struggling to keep them off of electronics and to feel more in control of the situation.
Scheduling meal times, outdoor exercise, board games, clean-up time, and anything that keeps you all excited about your new sense of normal will make this experience far more memorable than you realize. Don’t underestimate the power of a bathroom schedule if there are many of you in the home. Some can shower at night and some in the morning and post the schedule on the bathroom door if necessary. If you are single, or at home with a partner with no children, it’s just as beneficial to schedule meal times, exercise, and alone time.
Writing down your goal for the day can really motivate you to keep from feeling isolated. If you’re having trouble thinking of things to do, if you aren’t working, this is a perfect time to start your tidying festival. It’s also important to do exercise while we are at home even if that means walking up and down the stairs several times a day. You can hold yourself accountable by setting a reminder on your phone every 2-3 hours to get up and do some physical movement for 10-15 mins. Make sure to drink lots of water and especially remember to stretch your body if you are working on a laptop for the majority of your day.
And now for the PM ritual...
Turning off electronics and having a family meeting every evening will also keep everyone feeling that their needs are important. Take this time to plan for the following day what activities you can do outside/inside i.e. play in the yard, walk the dog, and maybe pick up trash in your neighborhood. Make sure to wear a plastic bag over your hands if you don’t have gloves and also make sure to thoroughly wash hands when you get home. An evening ritual can also consist of reading/telling stories, brushing and flossing teeth together, and discussing dreams and goals for the long term. It’s vital to keep things picked up so no one feels crowded by others’ clutter, so take 15 minutes and pick up everything you took out and put it away. Delegating household tasks to each family member on top of keeping their own personal objects and room tidy is essential to making this successful. Creating a chore chart or sharing a virtual to-do list via Google Keep or like apps really helps to keep everyone on the same page.
What I’ve also discovered is that after I’ve mastered my routine I’ve found myself wanting more. It’s caused me to go deeper inside of myself to re-discover my passion for painting and writing. I urge anyone that is wanting to find a deeper meaning to their lives to dig deep and truly get to the heart of your matter and see if there is more to you than you’ve been aware. You can make this as simple as blending two of your favorite teas together to get a new flavor! It might sound silly but when we are stuck in our regular routine a new shift in consciousness can get the creative juices flowing.
We are existing in our own new sense of normal, at least for now. Our relationships may become more difficult when faced with situations and personalities we aren’t used to being around for so many hours in the day. This is why scheduling our time is so important and don’t think that if you live alone that it won’t affect you. Keeping yourself disciplined and your mind sharp will allow you to succeed during this time of isolation it will also help to keep your relationships in tact while in such close quarters. Let’s make the most of our situation by creating new memories with our families and by also developing a new personal relationship with ourselves. This can be the most memorable experience of our lives if we allow for such optimism to culminate.