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Routine in Isolation

It's hard to maintain good mental health without routine. Usually we have routine because of work, childcare, and other responsibilities. It's one of the things that helps keep us feeling safe, useful and keeps out daily rhythms intact. Without it our sleep, mental health, and relationships can suffer.

Routine gives us:

Structure

Distraction

a sense of purpose

Enjoyment

A feeling of safety and predictability - extra-important at a time like this

Here are our suggestions for getting your routine back on track during lockdown:

  1. Make a plan for every day. Pretend like it's a normal day.

  2. Plan a time for the household to get up.

  3. Plan meals and plan activities around meals.

  4. Plan some exercise and do it together if you can.

  5. GET DRESSED. Getting dressed makes it feel as if you are having a normal day and puts you in the headspace of being up and wakeful.

  6. If you are working from home make sure to take breaks and try to find a space where you can work without distractions (even headphones can work if you don't have a separate room)

  7. Also if you are working from home make sure there is an end to the workday - shut off your work computer, get changed, have a shower- whatever makes you feel like you are finishing work and starting your leisure time.

  8. Create a roster for chores

  9. Spring clean the house

  10. Schedule quality time for the family (or housemates) together - don't forget to do things that are fun; try new recipes (or learn how to cook); schedule parties or video calls with friends over Skype, WhatsApp etc.

  11. What have you always wanted to do but never had the time: Play the guitar, learn a language.

Avoid these things (though they are very tempting):

Napping during the day

Relying on junk food and social media ALL THE TIME (but every now and again is OK)

Spending all day in pyjamas

Letting your sleep schedule get too far off

TOO MUCH NEWS (which can cause unnecessary anxiety)

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