Are you feeling out of sorts? You know, sort of blah? Well, I think you probably have realized you are not alone. Many of us are feeling that way. One day sort of blends into the next. There is not a whole lot to distinguish one day from another. My cousin gave me this analogy. It is like having continual snow days without the snow. Another friend said it is like New Years’ Day every day because there is no traffic and most of the stores are closed. I thought that was a very fitting remark.
I thought up some strategies to help myself overcome this feeling of being out of sorts. They have helped me, maybe they will also help you.
Make Your Bed
Set your alarm, get up and get moving. Recently, I read the book Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven. He asserts that when you start your day by making your bed, you have accomplished one task. Even if this is the only task you accomplish in the day, you have at least done that. By the way, this is a fabulous little book. It is a quick read and full of great stories illustrating important life lessons.
I am a big advocate of making your bed. Your room will look more organized if you make your bed. If you are feeling out of sorts accomplishing this task will add a bright spot to your day.
Teach your children to make their beds. Have them add that chore to their morning routine. Before you know it, making their bed will become a habit. Note to parents: please do not go back in and fix the bed so that it looks perfect. Teach your children how and then let them keep trying. It will undermine their self-confidence if you perfect your child’s effort.
By this I mean do not give in to the urge to wear your pajamas all day. I know they are comfy, and we are all looking for comfort. However, add structure to your day by getting dressed. Changing out of your pajamas and into clothes signals that your day is starting.
Help yourself feel less out of sorts by putting together a nice outfit. Admire yourself in the mirror. That should put a smile on your face. Did you know there are health benefits related to smiling? Check out this article to find out what they are.
Organize Your Day
By this I mean create a plan of things to do during the day. Get your day organized by deciding what to do in the morning and in the afternoon. Make your plan the night before. The days blend when there is nothing that sets them apart. This is, at least for me, what was contributing to my feeling out of sorts. Making a plan for the day adds structure or a framework to the day.
You can help yourself distinguish between the days of the week by assigning a specific household chore to each day. For example, Monday could be laundry day, Tuesday clean the kitchen day and so on. Then when you wake and say to yourself, today is Monday. That means I am doing laundry today. At least you have something on which to focus.
If you are working from home and have children at home. Help them help you by giving them small tasks. If you are doing laundry, and they are old enough, they can transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer. They can also fold, sort socks, and help put laundry away. The more you do to engage your children in doing household chores the more they will become accustomed to doing them. Doing chores is an important life skill.
Take regular breaks. Two hours of work and a 30-minute break or something like that works for me. Remember to schedule some form of exercise. I know gyms are closed but there are all kinds of free exercise programs online and on TV right now. Exercise is a great way to chase away the feeling of being out of sorts.
I have two dogs, so my daily exercise is walking Miles and Josie. We walk every morning after breakfast and often in the afternoon also. I like to walk around the neighborhood. When I spot other people out walking, I wave a friendly greeting all the while maintaining physical distance.
I have been thinking a bit about making plans. This is way out of all of our control because none of us knows when stores, restaurants, movies, museums, theatre will be once again available. However, I like to dream. When I am feeling really out of sorts, I have been adding to my list of things I want to do. It is sort of a bucket list of things I plan to do. Are you making a similar list? I have my fingers and toes crossed with the hope that we will begin to see signs that a new normal is coming our way.
If you are feeling out of sorts and would like some help figuring out how to add structure to your day so that one day does not blend into the next give me a call. I would be happy to help.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.
I’ve been struggling with the whole “making plans” topic. Normally, thinking ahead is one way I calm myself down, and give myself fun things to look forward to. Unfortunately, I’m finding it so difficult to plan at this moment. Your approach sounds perfect: capture the ideas, even if they can’t be scheduled. I think I might try this, especially for the fun things I’d like to do. I sure will be happy when this is behind us!
I know! I used to love to look at few months in advance and plan a trip to see one or the other of my children (and granddaughter!) I will so look forward to the day when I can start doing that again. Thank you for joining the conversation, Seana.
Diane- So many of us are feeling out of sorts. I love the suggestions you gave for navigating the unease of these days. Making the bed thing is something that my mom taught me when I was little. She was the fastest bed-maker I ever saw. She modeled that habit and encouraged me to do the same. Only on the occasional days when I’m feeling rebellious, I DO NOT make my bed. I agree with you that making the bed not only feels satisfying, but it gives me a clean slate to begin my day. I feel similarly to showering and getting dressed. That helps me feel ready and awake. And the same goes true for PJ time. In the evening, when I switch into my pajamas, it signals my brain that it’s time to relax and stop working for the day. So it works in both directions. I admit that I’m not making too many future plans right now. Since there are so many unknowns, I’ve redefined the future to represent the coming week, rather than months. It helps keep me saner, calmer, and more positive.
Thank you, Linda. We are all doing whatever is working for us in these uncertain moments. I so appreciate your thoughtful comments.
Great tips here! My grandmother would say, “make your bed” all the time when I was growing up. She would say when your bed is made, and your room is messy, it doesn’t look as bad. I do believe it. To this day, I make my bed every day. It also reminds me of her since she has passed.
Thank you, Sabrina. It’s funny how sometimes the smallest things can be reminders of people in our lives – and have a big impact!
Thank you for these great tips! I like the analogy that it is a snow day without the snow every day! I’ve also read Make Your Bed, it is a motivating little book! I have not made future plans yet, because none of us know when things are going to be close to normal again, but I may start a list of things I’d like to do when that happens.
Diane, I love how this post exudes a sense of warmth and calm. You’re right on all points — and it’s funny how we tend not to recognize how these tiny actions can completely readjust our mindsets and make us feel better. Wonderful advice. And to your list, I add: put on lipstick. No matter what is going on, I feel more in control if I’ve got my game face on!