People thrive on routine. Feelings of certainty and knowing what will come next brings comfort. It feels safe and enables us to flourish.
Having a set routine allows people to relax, because they can anticipate what is coming.
Employees who feel secure in their workspace perform better and with more consistency than employees who feel uncertain about their roles and job security.
Stability and consistency are key to emotional health and wellness. Strong emotional health may look and feel different for everyone, but stability always plays an important role. When people have reliable support and self-care rituals built into their routines, it creates a positive cycle that supports emotional health and general wellness.
So, what happens when things become uncertain? What happens when so many things that people relied on are no longer available?
For example, many working parents had a set routine for childcare. The kids were in school until 4pm, and then the babysitter picked them up and watched them until 5pm, when both parents returned home from work.
This year, many schools switched to remote learning, some with truly short notice. Some people may have relied heavily on their gym routine for fitness, as well as the opportunity to socialize and see people.
Since the pandemic’s outset many gyms and fitness classes have closed or carry uncertain schedules. How do people manage the stress and anxiety created by the pandemic at the same time they’ve lost the outlets they relied on to manage their stress and anxiety?
How do they navigate the feelings of isolation that come from losing their social support system? If routine and consistency are what help people feel good and manage their harder feelings, then what do you do when that seems out of reach?
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Many activities and options are no longer options. Many of the little things that made life enjoyable now seem out of reach, and maybe even a little dangerous.
However, if a person chooses to explore what is within their reach, they may find they have more control over their schedule then they thought. They can’t go to their regular gym class, but they can run outside.
SET UP A NEW ROUTINE
Create a new routine for yourself once you’ve realized you can still do some things. A routine will go a long way towards helping you feel more settled and calmer.
INTEGRATE SELF-CARE WHERE YOU CAN
Self-care can feel strange when there’s a pandemic going on, but it’s more important than ever. If you relied on your weekly coffee date with friends to feel connected, can you connect in a different way? Challenge yourself to be creative and come up with new ways to connect.
ALLOW SPACE FOR THE LOSS
Finally, it’s ok to feel sad about what you’ve lost. The changes are big, and very real. Talk about them with friends and family. Accept the impact of the pandemic and let yourself miss what you had once enjoyed.
READ FOR THE NEXT STEPS?
The Center for Intimacy, Connection and Change is committed to providing the highest quality services to help you establish the wellness you deserve.