With so many of us having to stay at home and only venture out when necessary, a lot of the structures and routines that define how we move through our days and weeks have been put on, what seems like, a never-ending hold.
But there are some simple ways, while still staying in our sweats, to make sure we don’t let this time just pass us by.
1. Create a new routine (and put some fun stuff in there)
As Alvin Toffler stated in his book The Third Wave, “Our jobs, aside from the paycheque, provide clear demands on our time and energy and allow an element of structure by which the rest of our lives can be organized.”
Creating a daily routine is a simple way to retain that structure that we’re so used to having, and naturally crave. You don’t need to time block every moment of the day, but having a few simple things throughout the day/week that are structured and part of a routine will be a game-changer.
For me, one of the anchors has been my morning routine. It’s changed a bit since being in lockdown, but it’s still crucial to how the rest of my day plays out. Right now, it looks like this:
- Coffee, best time to perfect your pour-over skills
- Journal, read, pray. I love using moleskin.
- Walk the dog, or, ya know, he’ll go crazy.
- Make breakfast, usually avocado toast with a poached egg.
Our minds are really great at thinking, but not remembering, so another little hack I’ve kept in place is to plan my day out the night before so when I wake up, and can barely remember what day it is – let alone think about what to do next – I already have a plan from the night before that I can follow.
Make sure to put some fun things in there as well so you have something to look forward to. As much as we crave routine, we also need variation, so throw a few curveballs in there. For me right now, that’s usually a walk down to the park with the dog (while social distancing, of course), movie/TV show marathons, cooking up dinner to a great soundtrack, or heading for a surf.
2. Make the most of the down time (Learn something new)
From working on my taxes to decluttering our place, I’ve tried almost everything to keep myself occupied during the lockdown, but after having more than three weeks in self-isolation and a squeaky-clean home, I’ve had to find another outlet to put my energy. Enter: online learning, stage right.
One of the best things (in my opinion) about the interconnected world that we live in, is easy access to information. The ability to search almost any topic you could imagine, and within moments, start learning from some of the smartest and brightest minds out there.
There are a lot of websites (masterclass.com, skillshare.com) out there offering some amazing prices right now, and of course, we have YouTube to go to if we want to learn something really, let’s say, not so life-changing… like people restoring old knives… ’causeee… I mean… who watches that stuff anywaysss… ahemmm…
For me, it’s been cooking lessons from Masterclass, productivity courses, and minimalism lessons. My wife’s been very happy about the cooking aspect and not so happy about me trying to get rid of, basically, everything we own.
3. Stay connected/Call home.
We as humans are fundamentally social creatures, so now more than ever (especially during a pandemic) we crave that connection with others. One of the biggest blessings about the digital age we live in is the ability to video call the people we love and want to connect with.
We’re all affected by what’s happening in one way or another, and there’s usually some aspect that hits close to home more personally for each of us. There are so many people hurting right now, and as The Church, this is a great opportunity to be the first person to pick up the phone to check on family or a friend, reconnect with old friends, pray for each other, and make the most of having that extra time to connect.
If you’re struggling right now, I want to encourage you to ask for help or prayer. We need to lift each other up as much as we can right now and asking for help or prayer is a sign of strength. Let’s all be there for each other as best as we can. Making that face to face connection over the phone is an amazing gift we have, so let’s use it.
These are just a few simple ways to make the most of your down time. Let’s come out the other side of this having deepened our friendships and relationships, picked up some new skills, finished that book, watched that deco-series, and more connected with each other.