Creating a Routine in Isolation

I’ve been self isolating for a few weeks now and I think the only way I’ve got through it without losing my mind is by creating a routine. If anyone is struggling in isolation or finding it really hard to get motivated to do anything, I hope this blog post can help!

First of all, I’d like to say that you really shouldn’t be too hard on yourself during this time. If you aren’t getting as much ‘stuff’ done as you usually would, that’s absolutely normal and okay! We’re all adapting to changes such as suddenly having to work from home and having more family members or flatmates in your home all day due to schools, workplaces, universities etc. all closing. In reality, you’re never going to get as much done when you’re having to adapt so quickly and change almost everything about your daily life. However, I’ve got a few ideas that might help you feel a bit better about yourself and your workload at this troubling time.

Get yourself out of bed at a reasonable-ish time every day! Set yourself a time that you want to be out of bed by. For me, I have been telling myself to get out of bed before 9. It doesn’t always work but it’s nice to at least try! If you’re working from home, you probably have to be at your desk by 9am, so you should treat it like a normal workday and get out of bed early enough to get ready for the day, only you won’t have to factor in commuting time! You should celebrate getting out of bed and getting ready for the day because it’s actually harder than it seems in times like these.

Make time for breakfast if you usually don’t. Breakfast is the most important meal as it sets you up for a productive and meaningful day! If you usually rush out of the house and maybe grab a cereal bar for your breakfast, now is a really good time to get into the habit of eating breakfast. You’ll notice the difference in your energy levels!

If you have work to be getting on with, consider creating a to do list every day so you feel accomplished after every little task you complete. This has really been helping me because it feels like a lot of my goals are pretty big, e.g. write an essay, but if you break this up into smaller tasks, you’ll feel like you’re really taking steps towards completing these goals with every small achievement.

Use your one bit of exercise outdoors wisely! Treat it as a break from your work. Do anything that you enjoy or will at least take your mind off your work for a bit. I recommend going for a walk, going for a jog/run (if you’re that way inclined), going for a cycle, or walking your dog (although you are allowed to do this more than once). I walk my dog every day after I’ve had my lunch. It’s a very simple part of my routine but it gets me out of the house, gives me some fresh air, and I get a bit of exercise.

It’s worth saying as well that if you can’t get outside or you’d rather not go out, there are plenty of exercise routines you could do indoors! I’ve been doing PE With Joe with my little brother every Monday and Tuesday morning and, trust me, it’s actually a really good workout! I ache an embarrassing amount afterwards!

Finally, let yourself stop working by 4/5/6pm. Obviously if you’re still working, just from home, you’ll have to stick to your normal working hours, but if you’re a student having to study from home, you can have a little more flexibility. If you’re struggling to concentrate or really get much done, just let yourself finish for the day and make a to do list for the next day to set yourself up for a better day tomorrow.

I hope some of these tips were useful for you and I hope you’re all well and safe!