Three Tips For Getting Back into A Routine As the World Returns to “Normal”
As most of us are well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in the best-laid plans, completely disrupted our work and personal lives, and changed how we think about routines. We learned to navigate quarantine periods, adjust to remote work or a different kind of in-person work, and had to come to terms with the fact that things could change at any minute. With gyms, restaurants, group meetings, and more either shutting down or going virtual to slow the spread of the virus, professional and social planning became far less exciting and inspiring. Now, as people across the country and the world start to get vaccinated, there appears to be a light at the end of the trouble that signals the world is returning to normal (or at least as normal as it can be.) Read on to learn three key tips to help rebuild your routine as we transition out of the pandemic.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Over the past year, many of us changed our eating habits, fell off of our exercise routines, cleaned less frequently, attended fewer appointments, saw our loved ones less. Of course, many of us also learned new skills and hobbies, found creative ways to show up for our people, and continued to grow professionally even in a remote world. That all being said, one of the most important things to remember when rebuilding your routine is to be gentle with yourself. The habits and routines you built pre-pandemic were likely not created overnight. Likewise, rebuilding the same routine you used to follow will not happen overnight, either. Take each day as it comes, practice intentionally adding new things to your routine as the days go on, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or feel less motivated than you once did.
If you’ve spent the last year mostly indoors or isolated, you’ve probably had some time to think about what you would love to do if everything was open and unrestricted. As you start to rebuild your routine, take some time to reflect on what you learned over the past year. In particular, think about any practices you gained that you would like to carry into your new routine, any activities from your past that you no longer do but would like to restart, and any activities that you have never tried that you would like to incorporate moving forward. These practices and activities don’t have to be concrete, like going swimming or running in the park. They can include cleaning more often or tapping into your creativity. Regardless, use this time to think about what would make you feel happiest and most fulfilled and incorporate that answer into any routine you build.
After you rebuild your routine, try to be consistent with it when possible. Of course, there will be some parts of your routine that you are simply no longer interested in following. That is completely fine. Make a mental note of why that part of your routine no longer serves you, then drop the practice and move on. For things you would like to keep in your routine, however, try to consistently practice or do them, even if you cannot keep the same pace you once followed. If you used to exercise four times a week and you are interested in rebuilding a fitness routine, start with one or two exercise sessions a week. The benefit of this approach is that you can build up to where you once were without burning out early on. Last but not least, be consistent with your best safety practices. Even as the world opens up, it is still important to distance when possible, where your mask, wash your hands, and do your part to keep COVID numbers low.