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A Customizable Daily Schedule for a Pandemic Lockdown

Let me start out by saying this: the COVID-19 pandemic is terrifying, and we are all just trying to get through to the end. You should not feel pressured to be overly productive during this time. If you know that doing nothing is best for you, then do nothing. You know yourself better than anyone else.

That being said, if you do want to keep a bit of structure in your new stagnant life, I’m here to help. Below are some customizable steps for your daily schedule.

Make a to-do list.

The night before, write out a to-do list for everything you hope to accomplish the next day. It’s a tried-and-true method for keeping your ish together. A quick tip: Make the first few items on your list “Wake up” and “Get ready.” By the time you even have a chance to look at your list, you’ll already have two things to cross off.

Wake up at a sustainable time.

Set your alarm (yes, set an alarm) for whatever time you think you can maintain. Basically, don’t set out to wake up at 5 am every day all of a sudden if you’re not naturally an early riser. Pick a time that makes sense for you, and stick to it as best as possible.

Morning. Hygiene. Routine.

Wake up, and pretend like you’re going out for the day. Brush your teeth, wash your face, maybe put on a little bit of makeup, etc. Do what you would normally do if you had a day full of running errands.

Get dressed!

I’m not saying you have to put on a full pantsuit and heels. Just throw on a pair of jeans or leggings and a t-shirt or even a fresh pair of sweats. Once again, pretend like you’re getting ready for a chill day of errands. Just ditch the slept-in PJ’s. 

Go outside.

Grab your cup of coffee or tea and get outside ASAP, if you can. If you can’t, then go sit by an open window. Take some deep breaths and get yourself grounded for the day ahead. It’s really, really, really amazing how much a little fresh air can do for your mood.

Get your meals in.

At school, you are often forced to have a pretty strict eating schedule, just because you’re so busy. You end up eating your meals at the same time every day. Now, without much structure, it can be hard to stick to a routine with your eating. Just try your best to get in your three square meals at semi-normal times of the day. I know it’s hard—just do what you know is best for your body. Once again, you know yourself better than anyone else!

Work out.

I say this for two reasons. First, moving your body will defog your brain and make you feel productive, which we could all use right now. Secondly, it is the ultimate excuse to spend time alone with yourself without the nagging feeling that you should be doing something with all of this time.

Bonus: scheduling a set time to work out every day or so can give you some added structure! If you can’t tell, I use my work out time as an excuse to avoid my homework and get away from my family for a bit.

Setting a routine during a global pandemic is hard. Unsurprisingly, I am writing this article a full two weeks after going into lockdown. So yeah, it takes time to figure out what works for you. Stay safe, stay healthy, FaceTime friends, be productive, but please, please please go easy on yourself.


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Freshman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin studying Journalism. Passionate about animal rights, food, current events, comedy, and (of course) writing!
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