MCC Daily Tribune
Creating a Healthy Routine During COVID-19 and Beyond
Have you found yourself considering any of the below questions in your head over the past couple of months?
"How long is this quarantine going to last!?"
"I feel so out of control."
"I cannot seem to get motivated."
"I was not prepared for all of these transitions. Remote learning/working is hard!"
"I feel overwhelmed by my to-do list."
"What day is it? The days are all blurring together."
If you answered yes, please consider the following information:
We know that routines are important for our mental health. Without them, our day to day becomes unstructured and unpredictable. Without structure, some people may turn to unhealthy coping activities such as increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors, excessive consumption of social media or the news, or emotional eating. These behaviors can often be a symptom of underlying distress. Knowing what to expect in terms of a schedule during the days ahead can be beneficial; it can allow us to feel a little bit more in control, especially while living through a pandemic with all of the related uncertainties.
To help get through these unusual times, please consider the following tips for creating a healthy routine during COVID-19, and beyond:
- Get ready before you begin your day, as you would if you were going to campus.
- Create a dedicated workspace at home. Take some time to make it a soothing environment (consider adding a picture which evokes a happy memory, a pop of color, or an inspiration wall to the work corner of your room).
- Consider meal prepping and planning for the week, and carve out time in your schedule for consistent meal breaks.
- Step outside the walls of your home environment each day to breathe in fresh air and soak up any available sunshine.
- Take any medication as it is prescribed to you.
- During this time of intentional physical distancing, avoid any potential urges to withdraw or isolate. Reach out to a friend or family member daily, in order to stay socially connected and safe.
- Build in breaks throughout your day to practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.
- Consider 5 minutes of daily mindful meditation to re-center yourself. Insight Timer is one of many downloadable apps which give you access to a free library of guided meditations.
- Do some sort of exercise, ideally building up to 20-30 minutes each day. Exercise helps to balance mood and increase positive endorphins in the body.
- Create a ritual around "logging off" at the end of your day, to encourage a separation between work and home life.
- Prioritize good sleep hygiene:
- Go to bed/get up around the same time, and avoid lengthy naps during the day.
- Avoid mood altering substances such as caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol late in the day.
- Prepare to sleep by winding down 30 minutes before bed: cool room temperature, lights off or dimmed, stimulating electronics stowed away, gentle stretching.
- If having trouble falling asleep - focus instead on relaxing and resting the brain.
- Practice gratitude each day. We invite you to read and reflect on this quote: "Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day." -Unknown
We hope that you are all working to take good care of yourselves. Be well, stay safe, and please reach out to us if you are in need of additional support.
With warm regards,
Counseling Center & Disability Services Team
Phone: (585) 292-2140 *Press 1 for Disability & 2 for Counseling
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Counseling Center & Disability Services