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Adjusting to the new normal: better daily routines

Remember wishing you could spend more time at home? All of a sudden, our wishes are granted with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

But it can be easy to let one day slide into the other when you’re venturing out less. Resist the inertia by setting a daily routine for yourself that includes a mix of activities to provide more structure, productivity, and most importantly positivity.

 

Reset your work routine

 

Consider scheduling and prioritising your day as you normally would. This includes getting up, showered, dressed and ready for work at the same time. Maybe you don’t need to wear a suit and tie or smart clothes, but you could still try to create a sense of getting ready as you normally do.

 

Many people say that making time each day to FaceTime, Skype or Zoom with colleagues and keeping the camera on has been beneficial as they can see each others’ body language. It’s important to support each other even if that is simply to check in regularly and ask each other how we are feeling.

 

Create some quiet time

 

Make sure you create time for yourself and your family. Be diligent in keeping fixed hours in the day free from work. It can be too easy to become an accidental workaholic when you’re working from home.

 

One helpful idea is to introduce a DND (do not disturb) time in your house. If your children are old enough to permit it, set aside an hour or half-hour where everyone can do their own thing and no one is allowed to ask anyone to do anything or interrupt each other. A DND can be really helpful when you have important tasks to focus on. It can also give you some breathing space from each other.

 

Make time for the kids

 

If you have young children, you might encourage them to follow a routine as well but, most importantly, most health advisors recommend putting aside time each day to play and enjoy happy moments together. Here are some ideas;

  • Search your cupboards, dust off and rediscover board games.
  • Get creative with art or draw a cartoon book. Check out Art for Kids on YouTube.
  • Learn a dance routine from TikTok or record your favourite song using Smule.
  • Skype with friends and family interstate or overseas.
  • Spend time in the fresh air together, whether that’s on the balcony, in the yard or a local walk.

Your kids will cherish these memories with you if you can put on a positive face and be present for them.

Put aside time for you

You could take an online course or a virtual tour of a place you have always wanted to visit.

Play an online game with friends or watch an Australian play being performed live on Facebook (through Australian Theatre Live).

 

There are also many Australian authors (such as Julia Baird and Trent Dalton) who have had Dymocks supported book tours delayed and would appreciate continued interest from people downloading e-versions of their latest releases.

 

It’s time for exercise

 

If possible, try and maintain a walk, run, cycle or some form of aerobic exercise each day. It’s too easy to let this slip in these times of COVID-19.

 

If you can support your local gym or sports club by keeping up with your membership and either taking classes online or within the new physical distancing rules, that’ll help you stick to a schedule and keep your body moving.

 

Set time aside for home projects

 

If you’d been thinking about putting your home on the market, COVID-19 has presented the perfect opportunity to prepare your home for sale. Get stuck into decluttering and home DIY projects, so that you have a head start.

 

Homes are still listing and selling. People have continued to move home throughout the pandemic too.

 

Keep calm and carry on

 

It’s quite normal to have moments where you’ll feel overwhelmed. If this is happening to you, shut your screen for a few minutes and take a shower, do some yoga poses or simply concentrate on breathing. Remember, it’s happening to everyone, so you’re not alone in trying to navigate these uncharted waters.

 

Once you have pulled your emotions back in check, it's time to keep moving. Ask yourself: What can I do today that will help me and my family tomorrow?

 

Stay connected

 

Now is not the time to drop off the radar, even though you are restricted in what you can do.

 

Staying physically distanced doesn’t mean we need to be socially disconnected. Make time to call friends and family. If they’re overseas, you can call them for free using the Facebook Messenger app or WhatsApp.

 

Keep in touch through Instagram and Facebook too. Try not to read too much of the doom and gloom stuff in the social media feeds. Instead, look for humorous or uplifting content in groups like this one called Be Positive +++.

 

While we might be feeling scared about our lives or struggling to refind focus as restrictions lift and we return to a new normal, there’s a lot of joy being shared at this time, too.

 

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