My new normal

To do list (courtesy of creative commons).

To do list (courtesy of creative commons).

Liz Gremer and Isabella Sorice

If you’ve been keeping up to date with our website, you would have seen that a lot of people are offering up their mindset and feelings about coronavirus. I have to say, I agree with everything my peers have said. From the importance of keeping distance to the sadness surrounding the cancellations that are piling up, I have been feeling a wide range of emotions. But, in addition to everything scary that’s being discussed in the news and community, this situation has affected the routine I had gotten so adjusted to throughout high school.

Everyday for the past four years, I would wake up at 6 in the morning and get ready

for school. After rushing and trying to get a bite before I had to leave home, I would go to school until 3:05. Then, I would either be rushing to a sport, a club or my job feeling completely frazzled. I would finish my day going home to homework and dinner and trying to enjoy whatever extra time I had left.

I have become so accustomed to this schedule. My routine is what drives me and keeps me feeling in control. So when I found out that I would be confined to my house for the next few weeks, I was really nervous. Everything I was used to was about to change, and I’m not someone who can adapt to change at the drop of a pin.

The first few days of quarantine I just relaxed. I slept in and would eat whenever I wanted to. But I just had no type of structure. And at the end of those days, I felt so exhausted and tired. The emotions that I had regarding everything going on in addition to my lack of structure put me in a funk and left me feeling even more anxious.

So, I decided to get on top of everything and figure out my new routine. Like we have all heard, “The New Normal.” Every day I try to wake up around 9:30 and stretch, giving my body the time it usually never has in the morning to wake up. I then get to go downstairs and make breakfast and actually eat it, instead of having to scarf it down in a rush. From there, I do my schoolwork and stay on task. I could go on and talk more about my routine, but I think you get the point. I was proactive and adjusted to what was going on.

Ever since I started my new routine, I have had more energy and a more optimistic outlook. Sure there are still so many unknowns with everything going on, but I’ve put the control back in my hands. Not only do I feel so much more refreshed physically, I am menatally happier.

Now, I’m not saying everyone has to abide by this type of routine. Every person has a different schedule that works best for them. But I do think that it’s important to create some type of structure and consistency in your life that you have complete control over. In a time where so much is out of our hands, it feels good to be able to have something that you have some say over.

Read on to see another staff member’s (Isabella Sorice’s) opinion on the importance of structure: 

In the first few weeks of being out of school, I noticed something weird. I would eat breakfast at a regular time and then I wouldn’t be hungry again until around 3:30 pm. At first I thought it was random, but then I realized that this was my eating habit during school. I knew I needed to change this pattern because it wasn’t a healthy way of eating everyday during this quarantine.

This wasn’t the only part of my everyday that needed a change. So I thought, how should I change my schedule so I’m not stuck in this slump?

Everyday was turning into a mishmash of activities and randomly getting e-learning done. There was no structure to my days and it was ruining how I felt. I needed some sort of routine in order to stay productive and maintain my sanity.

Here’s how I changed my days:

First, I started getting dressed every morning. I know that sounds small and it doesn’t seem like it would have a big impact but it helped me feel more productive. Staying in pajamas all day long makes each day feel like the weekend, which results in no work getting done. A new outfit, even if no one will see it, just makes a week day feel more regular.

The next thing I started doing was set up a schedule for my days. Instead of starting my work at different times, I start it at the same time everyday, and what time that I should be able to complete it by. This helps me complete my work in a timely manner rather than walking away and coming back hours later to finish. Of course, if there is a Zoom call or class meeting of some kind, my schedule would move to include it for that day.

After getting e-learning done, I include time to go outside or do some exercise. Going outside and playing a sport or going on a walk keeps the right amount of activity in each day.

Lastly, I make sure to eat meals at regular times of the day. Instead of having lunch at 3:30,  I try to eat around 1, before I start my work for the day.

Each day isn’t perfect of course, but a rough plan for each day has helped make me feel much more normal. Hopefully, this can help/inspire you to change up how each day goes for the better.