There once was this idea of a workers daily routine. Get up. Make some coffee, shower, get dressed, and go to work. You either drive, walk or take some sort of public transportation to your work space. You stay there for most of the day either busy in meetings, classrooms, someone else’s home, an operating theater, you name it. Mid day you eat lunch. You’ve brought your lunch or you buy it. It’s a nice break in your day. Then back to business. Sometimes you skip lunch and just stick with business. Some hours pass by. Eventually it’s time to leave work. Some people went straight home. Others met friends and talked about their day. A few would get groceries for that evening’s meal. Dinner for people would vary. Some people ate as a familial unit, some people ate on the go, others ate in front of the TV and some ate alone. Bedtime would roll near and you’d brush your teeth and go to sleep. The next day would arrive and the same routine would start all over again.
What does a daily routine look like during the COVID-19 pandemic? Social distancing and a stay at home order spreads silence and emptiness through our once busy streets. Going to work every day has been put on hold. Now you are confined to the home you live in, now sourced as your office, classroom, meeting space, therapist’s office, veterinarian. Did you ever expect your home experience would include all that it’s now taken on?
How do you create space to work in, live in, and learn in without feeling claustrophobic? I’ve found it critical for me to have designated “work only” areas. I set timers to go outside and take a walk. When 6:00pm clocks in, my laptop shuts and I take an hour to myself and breathe. I make space for time to mourn my need for socializing and I make strides to FaceTime my loved ones.
At the beginning of quarantine, adjusting my routine appeared as a great challenge. Slowly I adjusted and accepted this was how I had to live and I began to craft a balanced routine. Living with my mother, we have created a weekly cleaning / tidying regime. It was helpful to just write it down and use it as a reference. I took to Pinterest, like many others, for inspirations of home organization and found recipes for comforting yet healthy meals. I had found peace in knowing that I could still function while being confined to my home.
It’s not easy being isolated. With the help of my community I’ve managed to thrive and survive, that’s all I can ask for. How has your routine changed due to the pandemic? What have you discovered while recreating routine? Anything about your old routine that you wish to change?
Youth Programs Coordinator