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Keeping a routine during lockdown

Let’s face it - being back in lock down is the last thing any of us want right now! But all in all, our country has been relatively luck when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. And hey, better safe than sorry right...

Once again, we have gone from charging through our normal, day-to-day schedules to being homebound, with or without jobs. Being stuck at home is not easy and you may have noticed that it has been more difficult to stay organized or keep on top of things like you used to during normal times. Your daily to-do lists might be getting longer while it feels like your time and motivation are plummeting​ (this one is definitely true for me!) ​You might also notice that you are not even taking a break during your remote shifts, staying up later and sleeping in longer. These are all factors that can throw someone out of their momentum.

While you are on lockdown, it is important to stick to a normal routine so you feel like your life is still as productive as ever. In a way, we are all wired to want some sort of stability or dependability. We want to make certain of our schedules so that what we know how to balance our lives.

First of all in this blog, I'll go through the benefits of maintaining a healthy routine and then I'll go into a few tips on how to structure your day!

So, you might ask - Can keeping a routine really make things better?

Yes, in fact keeping a routine will help you become more efficient in your day-to-day activities. For example, let’s say part of your job is to look up research articles but you find that you can’t focus on this task for more than a few minutes. If you start to schedule at least an hour of your time each day to do this, you will end up using your time more efficiently because you know that one-hour is solely dedicated to this task. Try this out with some of your day-to-day responsibilities and see how it helps you cross those tasks off your to-do list!

I'm doing this right now! It's 11am and I have set my alarm for 11.45am to give myself a 15 minute warning and then another at 12pm - telling me it's time to give my family a bit of attention!

So, who will benefit from a routine?

Everyone in your household - especially your children. Children may be more confused about COVID-19 so they may suffer from anxiety or depression at this time. Keeping them busy with school work, fun activities or even Zoom calls with their friends can help them stay comforted. Stuck on what to do? There or plenty of helpful articles on good old google to help you out... Here are ​87 fun things to do at home​ with your kids during lockdown!

How can I get started?

Plan, plan, plan! Use a planner or to do list - it will seriously help you stay organized. Plus, checking off tasks throughout the day can be so satisfying! At night, write out your upcoming days worth of work, home and personal duties in order of importance. Use this as a guide to plan your schedule for the week so each day is balanced and holds you accountable for what you need to do.

What if after creating your list, you realize you can tackle more? You could incorporate workouts, cooking more by trying new recipes, or scheduling in time for coffee breaks. You can even try to incorporate self-care into your routine. Start by giving yourself 10-minutes in the morning or afternoon to do a face mask - like a mini spa time! Interested in spending a little more than 10-minutes? Try to come up with unique ways to utilize your time to fit your desires and schedule. Just keep in mind that you should be realistic and not overwhelm yourself with too many tasks that are completely new to you at once.

When should I start my new routine?

Start NOW - The earlier the better! This process may be a bit challenging at first, but you will quickly learn your capabilities of being more productive and feeling more balanced at home. And don’t feel bad if you feel off on some days - it happens. Just get back on your feet and check off the things that you did accomplish. There is no reason to ever feel discouraged as this is a learning process for all of us!

What should I include in my routine?

1) Consistent sleep

Keep a good sleep routine! But that's to to say you shouldn't treat yourself to a late night/sleep in every now and again.

2) Make your bed

Helping to start your day off with a sense of accomplishment! And don't forget to tell the kids to make theirs too...

3) Tidy your space

Less mess equals less stress! I love to start my day (after a coffee in bed of course - lock down perks!) with a quick tidy of the house. We put everything back in its place, wash any dishes, put away PJ's and toys and so on. Starting the day with a tidy house, means at the end of the day, you're only dealing with one days worth of mess - rather than a whole week! The aim here is to have lots of small, time efficient jobs, rather than big, tedious jobs that end up taking hours away from your day, leaving you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

4) Work

Make sure you put time limits on your work. Schedule your work and stick to it!

5) Clean/Declutter

Schedule 15 minutes to tackle on cleaning job and 15 minutes to tackle one decluttering job - you'll be surprised at how quickly your home starts to get organised.

6) Get some fresh air!

Go outside! Go for a run, walk, bike - whatever it may be, get some fresh air! Maybe you need some alone time to stop thinking for a second or maybe the kids are getting cooped up and need a wander. We all know just how many benefits there are to going outside, so make sure you put this in your schedule as a daily task.

This time round in lockdown, we are trying to make sure we go for at least two walks a day - one as a family and one alone. This way, we're making sure we are keeping the balance of family time and alone time (so we don't drive each other crazy!)

7) Take a break

Schedule yourself breaks between home and work tasks. There's nothing more unproductive then someone who's brain is fried from 8 straight hours of zoom calls...

8) Hang out with your family

I don't need to explain this one... family is more important than anything else. Make sure you treasure this extra time you get with you family.

9) Cook a healthy dinner

End the day with a sense of accomplishment and a surge of goodness into the body!

Preparing healthy meals at home can support your immune system and reduce the risk of illnesses. It can give you more energy, improve how you sleep at night, and help you better manage health problems.

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