Have you found yourself asking, “What day is it?” over the past couple months?
6 years ago when I first started working from home I found myself asking that CONSTANTLY. You might giggle now about the need to change from your day to night pajamas, but it will get old. It will get frustrating. And you may feel like your losing your mind. You’re not alone though. We’ve lost a lot of the activities that “anchor” us in time.
Keeping a routine is one of best ways to prevent your days from blurring together. Putting those little anchors in place ourselves where it may have been previously automatic (like getting cleaned up before leaving the house in the morning – now may look like not touching your phone until after you’ve showered and *gasp* gotten dressed)
These little actions might not seem like much, but they are the little lifelines that keeps us grounded, and they affect our mental health.
I personally didn’t think I’d be affected much when the city I live in started to shut down since I have worked from home for years (and seriously struggled with this a few years ago).
Guess what… not the case.
I didn’t realize how much of my routine depended on the kids and my husband being OUT OF THE HOUSE. Things like blaring music to the point my eardrums almost cry while doing dishes, laundry, and other household tasks, things like having impromptu dance parties to awful 90s music.
Instead, I am working while everyone sleeps and sleeping later into the day. I’m putting reminders on my phone to do those things I’d normally be prompted to do when no one was home. I’m getting dressed in the “morning”. But most of all, I’m being extra gentle with myself if I fall short and try again.
Also, here’s a pretty cool article I found that goes into the science of what most of us are going through.
Easy Ways to Add Anchors into Your Day
I always find it amusing how much I hate routine, yet how I thrive in it. Once I shifted my mindset to creating “anchors” or little actions to create landmarks throughout the day, I stopped fighting it (…for the most part).
These anchors make living with intention much easier. When we don’t have them in place it’s very easy to start living our lives in pure reaction mode. Reaction mode can get old quick, it’s basically always in a mode of flight or fight and that leads to stress, burnout, feeling depleted, and can make life feel pretty bleak.
Here are a few easy ways to anchor your days:
Honor Your Mornings
If you make a habit of performing certain actions everyday when you initially wake up, you won’t be stuck in the “waiting to start the day” mode. Personally, my morning routine includes prayer – connecting with my higher power first thing, then looking at my schedule for the day and adding in anything else that needs my time. I then write in my gratitude journal, go and get cleaned up, and put on a face mask (for skin – not the ones worn out in public). While I’m letting my face mask do it’s thing, I sit in meditation. Once that’s finished, I eat breakfast and then start my day – or sometimes I go back to sleep.
Eat in A Dedicated Place
Whether it’s a meal or a quick snack, resisting temptation to eat while you work/watch tv/multitask/etc can create touch points in your day. Giving meals and snacks their own time and space will subconsciously create shifts in your daily routine. This is also a fantastic way to prevent putting on the quarantine 15.
Mindful eating is always beneficial, but when we’re at home more than usually, it’s more important than ever. Plus it will help to prevent going too far down the rabbit hole in one activity or in work, allowing you to come up for air periodically.
Work in A Dedicated Place
This is for similar reasons for eating in a dedicated place… breaking up your day, telling your body that once you are in your work space, you work. It also helps your mind focus more effectively.
But instead of staving off the quarantine 15, you’ll create space in your life for work, but the boundaries so it doesn’t bleed into every other part of your day.
I know it can be tempting to bring your work out into family time or relaxation time and try to multitask… I’m guilty of it too. But over time it creates stress and the compulsive multitasking actually makes you less effective and you more scatterbrained.
I admit, scheduling self-care can be tricky at first, especially since it’s the action we are most likely to brush off if we need more time for something else. But after a few weeks of sticking to it, and enjoying the benefits of it, you’ll find it progressively gets easier to adhere to. You can even build it into other parts of your day – like how I do a facemask every morning while I meditate. I’ve seen a lot of people make exercise part of their morning routine. I personally am an afternoon/evening exerciser and so I schedule it… and then honor that commitment to myself.
This is also an area where having extra accountability is super helpful. Whether it be walking with a friend, participating in a group, or working with a coach. For example, the Meditate Naturally course is a great way to be accountable in performing daily self-care.
Create an Evening Ritual
This anchor can actually help you to sleep better too! By creating nighttime routine or ritual, you are telling your body subconsciously that it’s time to wind down. My evening routine includes getting cleaned up for bed, checking my calendar for the next day, reflecting on the ending day in my journal, and then ending in prayer. I’m consciously working to put my phone away for the night before starting the evening routine, but it’s a work in progress!
What are you doing to create divides between the days? Do you have a routine in place or does it feel like you’re living in the week between Christmas and New Years? Let me know in the comments below!
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