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“ Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself . ” – Rumi
The Development of a New Routines
It is abundantly clear that our daily routines have been significantly impacted by the onslaught of COVID-19. It has disrupted our family lives, work lives, and finances, causing stress, uncertainly, and anxiety. Regular routines create stability and aid in focus and productivity. Circumstances beyond our control are now forcing us to develop new habits, a process that uses both cognitive and emotional energy, slowing down our functioning, increasing stress, and making us less efficient. But, don’t fret, you know I’m going to share some good news!
Despite these real and sometimes profound challenges, we are not only finding new ways to perform our normal daily functions, but broadening our daily experiences to include new ways of connecting, performing, and playing, providing us benefits in the long term. My hope is that these new behaviors, new actions, become permanently engrained in our daily lives so that we continue them past the current risk point we are experiencing.
We are already seeing positive transformational community and global impacts from the adjustments being made to comply with social distancing and shelter in place orders, such as the rise of community spirit and generosity, a closer focus on the needs of the elderly, the reduction in pollution, particularly in our largest cities, to name a few.
To drill it down more personally and perhaps more tangibly, I asked a few of my friends to share with me new habits or behaviors they have developed in the past several weeks that have had a positive impact on themselves and others around them. I hope you find as much joy in them as I did. Here are a few (slightly adapted for space purposes):
- My family and I take a walk every afternoon, we have even gone on the days it rained. I find that it opens up communication for all of us, it brings smiles and laughter and when we come back we are always more likely to play an activity in the house together or outside and the TV stays off.
- I am remembering that I actually do like to cook and my teenager is actually home for dinner now to share a meal with me.
- I’ve been being more mindful of is daily/weekly check in’s on people. It has definitely made me feel more connected to folks when I don’t have that daily face to face time.
- It’s nice to be home to spend more time with my girls and just be a mom. We’ve been able to plant our seeds in advance for our garden.
- It has been so nice to get into a daily routine of the going slower and not rushing around. Having time to do the basic activities that are healthy, but I don’t always have time to do.
- I’ve recently added an hour of walking on the Greenbelt daily M-F. While I enjoy the movement and fresh air, I’ve been able to watch trees bud out and I’ve noticed that strangers on Monday are now familiar faces by Friday.
- Scheduling weekly “thank you’s”. There is always a need to thank people.
- We have begun Zoom family connects. My family is scattered across the states, and one lives internationally. The connection allows everyone to say hello and have some family time. It bolsters all of our spirits, but also gives us the peace of mind that our parents remain connected to people they love.