I’m hyper aware of the volume of information that’s available right now. Even getting to the worthwhile stuff – the free online classes offered by Ivy League schools, for example – can be a challenge. It’s important to acknowledge that our current situation has placed many unreasonable expectations on us. How are you managing home-schooling, family Zoom calls, meal planning and work deadlines? It’s a lot, even too much. So, I’m going to keep this simple and invite you to consider just one thing.
A favorite author of mine, Mark Manson, recently wrote a fantastic article about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health. He talks about the negative impact of isolation and uncertainty and what’s likely to happen if we don’t take proactive measures. There are four areas that he suggests we focus upon: routine, relationships, physical health/wellness, and remembering you are not alone.
Manson also suggests learning from others who have experienced isolation, for example: submarine sailors and astronauts. The key to their success in managing long-stretches of isolation? Routine. Manson advises keeping your routine simple. The more you plan, he says, the harder it is to keep to the routine, and when we miss an element of our new routine, it’s tempting to just throw the whole thing out the window. What if the “only” things you scheduled were:
wake up time
“other” care (time with family/kids/school work)
It might look like this:
Before 8 am: wake up, meditate and/or work out
8 am – 4 pm: productivity time/ “other” care (depending on your situation)
4 pm – 8 pm: “other” care
8 pm – 10 pm: health/self-care
10 pm – bedtime
I have a client who mastered this before the pandemic; she used a block system/checklist instead. It looks like this:
What is the most basic quarantine routine you can try this week? Let me know how it goes.