Have you thought about what changes to your routine you’ll keep once social distancing ends? We’ve all made changes in how we live our lives during this covid 19 crisis. Think about them. We’ve had to make considerable changes to every aspect of our lives including our daily routines Are some changes worth keeping?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. From everything I’ve read and heard on the news, it seems like things will start opening up in the next month or two. For that I’m eternally grateful. I want to have something to look forward to. In anticipation of this I thought I’d share some of the changes I plan to keep.
Think about how you greet someone you’re meeting. I have never been one to rush in and give someone a hug unless I know the person well. I reserve hugs and kisses for family or friends I know really, really well. A handshake has always been my preferred method of greeting. Now, though, I am planning on adopting the yogi greeting: Namaste. This greeting places your hands in front of your heart’s center as if in prayer and then you bow your head toward your hands. It’s a very simple and nice greeting gesture.
Do you think you will change how you greet people, or will you keep your preferred way of greeting?
Keeping in Touch
This time of social distancing has impressed upon me (I don’t know about you) the importance of keeping in touch with family and friends. In the past, I would sometimes think of calling a friend or a family member and then get busy doing something and promptly forget to follow through on that thought.
These days with hours to fill, I have been in touch with almost everyone almost every week. I caught up on what they have been doing and filled them in on my life. Additionally, I was checking up on them. Hoping and praying to hear that everyone was staying healthy. I realized just how much I value these people and don’t want to lose that closeness.
When I resume activities outside my home, I will rightsize my life, change how I structure my time so I can keep in touch with the people I value.
How about you? Have you renewed some friendships or reestablished connections with family members? Is that a change you want to keep in a post crisis world?
Change in Routine
With nowhere to go first thing in the morning my days have had a slightly slower start. I love to start my day by walking my dogs. I find these morning walks provide a great start to my day. I used to walk before dawn so I could get my morning walk in before doing my chores, checking my mail and dashing off to an appointment.
Well, things have changed.
I’m loving walking in the morning when I can see where I’m going. My dogs don’t seem to mind a slightly later start. My day also starts a little bit more slowly. I don’t rush through my morning routine so that I can get to my desk. This is a change in my routine that I will absolutely keep. I know that once things get moving again, I will have appointments to schedule. Since I’m the one who organizes my day, I’ll just plan to keep this more relaxed morning timing because it makes me happy. When I’m happy and relaxed I accomplish more. Here’s an interesting article about happiness. Equation #2 resonates with me. Which one appeals to you?
How has your routine changed? Are there things about the current routine that you love? Are there elements in the change of routine that you want to keep?
Rightsize Your Life
This time of social distancing or isolation has given me plenty of time to think. I’m a busy person. I like to be involved and have projects in motion. I’ve realized during this forced slow down of activities that I’m actually happier when I’m focusing more of my energy on just a few projects instead of multiples.
There have been countless opportunities this past month to engage in work related Zoom calls and participate in classes. I have done my fair share but only when they applied to a project I already had in motion. Picking and choosing in this respect has put more balance in my life.
There are plenty of activities I will welcome back into my life once social distancing ends and others that I won’t. These are changes for me to keep. Recognizing that I was over-scheduled and over-committed is a blessing. I don’t think I would have come to this conclusion had it not been forced on me. Downsizing the things in which I engage is going to rightsize my life.
I know I will be able to accomplish more by being involved in fewer activities.
Have you given this any thought? Are there any activities or things in which you had previously participated that you’re going to let go?
Changes for Families to Keep
Families have had to make so many adjustments. Parents working from home or not working for now. Children are out of school but taking classes online and daycare is closed – for now. Some children have been sharing computers with their parents or siblings. Some parents are learning how hard teachers work. Other parents are learning how to entertain toddlers.
These have been learning situations for all involved. A question comes to my mind. Have the families grown closer? Are there some changes in routine these families will keep?
Since there are no other friends around to play with maybe siblings have grown closer or have a better appreciation for each other. The children have more time for imaginative free play and time to do their lessons for school. Here is an interesting article which details the benefits of independent and unstructured play for children.
With no after school activities maybe children are involved in doing some household chores or helping to prepare dinner. And then eating dinner together as a family.
So, friends, fill me in. Tell me if you will be rightsizing your life, making some changes to your routine as a result of this enforced social isolation. If you do plan to make some changes and are not sure how to go about it, give me a call. I’d be happy to talk it through with you.
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.
One change I would like to maintain is family game night. We used to do this when my children were young and lived at home, but now they are living far away. We’ve found a few websites that allow us to play games together from our disparate locations, and I am hoping that we can continue to connect in this fun way even when we are free to leave our homes again!
We used to have family game night also! It’s terrific that you’ve found a way to do that now. I hope you can continue that also.
Great thoughts! I’ve been giving this a lot of thought as well lately…especially which projects truly bring me joy and which ones I need to let go…this life isn’t a practice run. It’s the only one I’ve got
Thank you, Donna. I feel the same way – we have one life to live. Let’s keep the things that truly mean something and let go of what we can.
During the past weeks, I’ve been reading and writing about how to cope during the pandemic. Now I’m seeing more pieces (like yours,) about the future. What lessons or changes will we bring forward when life opens up again? I think we still have a while, particularly in New York and some of the other hotbeds, before things open again. But in the meanwhile, there has been a shift in my own life that I’m appreciating. I’ve been slowing down. I’ve had an increased awareness of what and who is around me. I’ve had more clarity about connections (family and friends) that have been my lifeline during this time.
Like many others, I’ve noticed an increase in creativity, a letting go of self-restrictions, and a willingness to experiment more, create more, be content with being, and not continually doing. Those are the things I’d like to carry forward.
Lastly, one of the things that’s been the hardest for me is being apart from my mom. She’s in a memory care unit of an assisted living facility, which has been in lockdown for over a month. I haven’t been able to see her. I hope that she will continue to stay healthy and safe, as there have been some COVID-19 cases and deaths at her facility. They have done an incredible job of keeping residents and staff as safe and healthy as possible, but we knew this could happen. So I am looking forward to being able to see her, hug her, and hold her hand again.
Thank you so much for your comment, Linda. I appreciate sharing of the things you’d like to continue doing. I hope you’ll be able to see your mom soon!
I think of myself as one of the fortunate few whose daily routines haven’t been greatly affected, but this is excellent food for thought.
Thank you, Janet. I appreciate that.
There’s so much to think about. This piece is quite inspiring. I’ve spent a lot of time recently reflecting on my responsibilities and my pace. I’ve always juggled a lot and I’ve come to realize it’s just too much. The pandemic has forced us to slow down and that’s the pace I feel comfortable, as my perspective shifts. I’ll continue that.
I love the article about happiness. It took me a while to internalize and create a life where I want what I have rather than have what I want. I think my wants are in the right place now.
Another new habit that I’ve adapted is my online exercise videos twice a day. I just love them and I love how I feel afterwards in the comfort of my home. I’m not giving that up!
I started meditating each morning a few weeks ago and will try to keep that practice when life goes back to normal. I’ve also had a lot more phone conversations with my 2 sons lately (they both live away) and i’ve learned a lot about their current lives. I’d love to continue that!