Embracing Lockdown – Connections through Routine
Prior to COVID-19, many of us found ourselves so busy with activities, events, and responsibilities. Having all activities and events cancelled weighs heavy on many. However, this time may be a great opportunity to reflect on how we spend our time each day and where we would like to make changes. Routines provide a great opportunity for connection daily and to change the general feeling in your home. Does your home have a sense of dread every Sunday night, anticipating the craziness of the week ahead? Do you feel the rush of Monday mornings? At the end of the week do you look back and realize you have barely had time to check-in with your loved ones?
Consciously creating routines can make the difference between starting your week off in a panic or enjoying each day with intention and gratitude for the life you have built. Through intentional routines we can create connection, reduce stress and anxiety, and reduce covid burnout.
How to intentionally create a routine:
- Take a mental note of the routines and spaces you enjoy in your home and which ones you would like to change. A good indicator that a change in routine could be beneficial is when you notice weekly or daily times of high stress (ie. Monday mornings or bedtimes).
- Set the intention of your new routine. How do you want it to feel? Do you want more energy, or do you crave calmness in those times?
- Incorporate your five senses:
Hearing – Music can be used to create an energetic or relaxing atmosphere. Eliminating unwanted noise can help eliminate clutter in our thoughts. Turn of the TV and be aware of when you turn on the dishwasher and washing machine. Schedule these at times that the noise does not disrupt family time.
Seeing – Lighting can make a difference in how we feel. Open the curtains and let the sunshine in when we want to start the day off feeling upbeat. Eliminate visual clutter in areas that impact your family time. For example, keep kitchens clear of clutter when establishing routines around family mealtime and keep bedrooms free of clutter when establishing bedtime routines.
Smell – Our sense of smell has a powerful ability to bring up memories from years ago just from simply smelling something. Light a candle, diffuse essential oils, or splurge on fresh flowers to intentionally engage your sense of smell into your routines.
Touch – soft blankets, clean surfaces, and calming textures can change the feel and energy of your home. Consider adding items to your area that provide comforting touch and eliminate anything that does not have a purpose or calming essence.
Taste – slow down to enjoy foods and drinks being consumed during mealtimes. Get creative with new recipes and get family members involved.
Be kind to yourself. Creating new routines takes time, patience, and trial and error. What you originally imagined may not always turn out to be your end goal so approach all new changes with curiosity. Intentionally creating routines provides us with the power to make changes in our daily lives rather than feeling stuck in what feels like monotonous unhappiness and stress.
Shannon Baustad, MC, is experienced in many areas such as anxiety, depression, and relationships, plus many more. For more information on Shannon and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.