In this era of virtual classes, it can be easy for your days to become a monotonous blur. Weekdays and weekends are no longer as distinct as they used to be, which can make it difficult to carve out time for yourself.
If you’re feeling like your weeks have turned into a soup of stress and school, try planning out your day! Structured routines can help you intentionally balance obligations with self-care. Adding a bit more organization to your week can also give you a chance to plan little things to look forward to, despite this age of uncertainty. Here are five ways you can add some much needed order to your days:
1. Create small routines that make each day unique
Dedicating specific days for certain workouts, meals, and to-dos can help you measure out your week. For example, you can plan to have tacos at Edge Cafe on Tuesdays, participate in yoga with Lauren on Thursdays, and get your laundry done on Saturdays. Tying activities to days of the week keeps you more aware of the passage of time while encouraging you to get done everything you need to.
2. Designate work versus play spaces
Creating both literal and figurative spaces in which you are and aren’t going to do work can help you get into the mindset of either productivity or relaxation. Designate zones in your room; when you’re at your desk it’s time to focus on schoolwork, but on your couch you can binge-watch that new Netflix series to your heart’s content. Making sure to move around your space helps create distinctions in your time. You can also add structure by chunking out your hours. From 10 to 6, for example, you can be mentally clocked into school, but the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Allowing yourself time for non-school related activities can motivate you to be more efficient in the spaces that you have dedicated for work.
Spending a few minutes to reflect on and record your day increases mindfulness. Journals can be an outlet to process pleasant and unpleasant experiences alike as you check-in with yourself. Entries do not have to be lengthy to be impactful! A “happiness journal” in which you list three good things that happened today can help you put a positive spin on difficult times. Or, you can turn to a Colgate favorite: rose, bud, and thorn. A rose is something positive that happened that day, a bud is something you are looking forward to or nervous about, and a thorn is a challenging experience you went through. However you choose to do it, it is important to check in on you!
4. Pencil in social time
I know, we’re not middle-aged moms, but purposefully scheduling time with your friends creates a reason to keep count down on the days. Schedule a socially distanced lunch with a friend you haven’t caught up with in a while! Start a weekly movie night with the girls! Even if you spend them with the same friends you see every day, planning out a social event adds something to your calendar and will give you something to look forward to.
5. Go on walks
Getting some fresh air can help you clear your head and distance yourself from a stressful environment for a short time. While you’re outside, you can also enjoy Colgate’s beautiful fall campus! Additionally, if you have been having difficulties sleeping, taking a walk in the evenings to see the sky darken helps indicate to your body that it’s time to wind down for the day. Get outside to enjoy the outdoors and the fall season views!