Having a routine can be beneficial for our mental health. A routine can help us feel like we have control, reduce stress, and form healthy habits.
Knowing that 6:00 am every weekday is when you will get your workout in and 5:30 pm is when you will be having dinner can be very soothing. What makes it so soothing is the certainty we have knowing what will happen. This is what leads to a routine and decreases stress levels.
A routine can help prioritize what we want/need to get done in a day. If self-care is something that you feel needs to be prioritized, you’ll make it happen. Healthy habits (and unfortunately unhealthy habits) can stem from having a routine. What matters is, what kind of routine you have. Do you start your day with a green smoothie, workout, then go work? Or do you wake up at 11:00 am, eat leftover pizza for breakfast and then watch TV?
Due to quarantine, every single person’s routine has drastically changed. There probably isn’t a lot of routine in households because of people getting laid off from their job or having to work from home and entertain kids. This amount of uncertainty can cause a lot of anxiety.
In my opinion, a routine starts the night before. How much sleep you get determines your attitude and actions for the next day. Who doesn’t want as much sleep as they can get? Here are my tips on how to keep a routine during the quarantine.
Create A Nighttime Routine That Works For You
This could be after dinner, you do the dishes, clean up the house a little so that you wake up to a clean and organized space. Wash off your makeup, do your 1000 step skincare routine (have you seen how intense some of those can be? OMG), brush your teeth and floss.
I always set my clothes out the night before and pack my bag so that my morning routine is less hectic. But since we are in quarantine, let's be honest, we are all staying in our sweatpants, you can probably skip planning your outfit the night before. Go to bed at a reasonable time that will allow yourself 7-8 hours of sleep.
Have A Relaxing Morning Routine
If you want to be more dedicated to the morning during quarantine, set an alarm to wake up each day. Try not to look at your phone and go on Instagram or Facebook right away.
When finding the courage to get out of bed, think of 3 things that you are grateful for. Once you get out of bed, go to the bathroom, take your vitamins, feed the dog, etc. Something that I have made sure to do each morning in quarantine that I know I will miss is taking time to sit and enjoy my coffee. I have put more effort into making the coffee good by frothing the creamer (check out my Instagram highlight). I sit on the porch or couch and sip my coffee and have been more mindful of the taste. When I was working I would bring my coffee to work and never really enjoyed it. Now I have realized coffee is a hobby.
Choose your breakfast, I like a quick and easy one. Check out my post sharing 5 easy avocado toast recipes or my later post giving you 8 quick and easy breakfasts to make. Once I have my breakfast, I feel like my day can start.
Go For A Walk
After I eat, I like to take the dogs for a walk with someone else in my family. I love walking after I eat. Walking gets me outside, socializing with either my mom, sister, or brother and I’m burning calories!!! Since I am not working, it is easier for me to choose when I want to go for a walk. My mom is still working but will put a walk in her calendar as a meeting or will do it on her lunch break.
Do Something Productive
After I walk, I feel accomplished and want to get a lot done. This may be going back to work on the computer. I will usually either work on my blog, do dishes, workout, clean the kitchen, or maybe watch an episode on Netflix (catching up on a show can be productive too). ;)
Choose a general time that you will be eating lunch. If you meal prep, you are amazing. Meal prepping allows you to grab a healthy meal out of the fridge and eat it right away. If you don’t meal prep, that’s fine too but try and have nutritious foods available to eat so that you have energy and are allowing healthy habits to form.
Do Something Productive Again
This could be continuing working from home, maybe another walk, being your kid’s teacher, working out, or helping your dogs burn energy. Getting your steps in for the day is very important. Online grocery shopping and making sure there is food at home is productive as well. Buying more sweatpants can be productive too...I don’t know how but that’s how I justify it.
Take a Break
This quarantine can be stressful because of all of the things we can’t do anymore. Taking a break is beneficial to our mental health. Take the time to call a friend or family member. Go on Tik Tok, have a dance party, make a snack, journal, go on Pinterest, the list goes on.
Make Dinner Time Family Time
What is nice is when dinner is already made for you... Check out my post about 3 ingredient crockpot recipes. When it’s time for dinner, make it a point to sit at the table with your family. Talk about everyone’s day or the first thing you’ll do when this is all over (I’ll be hopping on a plane to Hawaii, seeya).
Create A Pre-Nighttime Routine
This can be making the kids load the dishwasher, enjoying time outside, going for your last walk, meal prepping, finishing homework, calling more friends and family, or watching The Last Dance on Sundays nights.
The Nighttime Routine
Again, this is where you are setting yourself up for success the next day. Maybe you rather shower at night. Do everything you should be doing for good hygiene. Say goodnight to the family or your roommates. Say your prayers and/or what you’re thankful for. Go to bed at a reasonable time and get ready to tackle the next day!
Whether we are in quarantine or not, a routine is important for your mental health. Like I always say, the dimensions of wellness are a domino effect, so taking care of your mental health will lead to you improving other areas of your wellbeing.
A routine will take more than two days. Be patient, allow for unexpected changes and be your biggest supporter.
Comment below what your quarantine routine is!