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Following a Routine Has Helped Me During the Pandemic, and it Could Help You, Too

As COVID-19 cases surge, and restrictions tighten, we’re going to be spending even more time at home in the coming weeks. For many people, including myself, this is a time of loneliness and frustration. Establishing a routine to fill the extremely long and boring days has made this time a little bit easier for me, and hopefully it will be for you as well!

Prior to the pandemic, I was never one to follow a routine. I would exercise whenever I felt like it, eat randomly throughout the day, and procrastinate doing homework until late at night. However, the pandemic left my schedule completely void of plans with friends or shifts at my minimum-wage job. I didn’t have much structure at all. Suddenly, “going with the flow” all day long made time go by so much slower, and meant sometimes I didn’t accomplish the things I wanted to.  

Creating a routine to follow mitigated the uncertainty in my daily life, which is much needed given the uncertainty of life at the moment. Some health professionals claim that establishing a routine to follow while staying safe at home helps minimize anxiety or depression that potentially emerged or worsened during the pandemic. 

According to Hackensack Meridian Health’s blog HealthU, our typical busy schedules give us a sense of security. Making a schedule to follow at home such as eating meals, exercising, and doing work around the same times each day gives us something to work towards and look forward to. Even this small “positive stress” can make us feel more focused and productive. 

 From my own experience, following a schedule has even made it easier to learn during online classes. This semester, I’ve had classes that start in the early afternoon. I’ve taken my mornings to eat a nutritious breakfast, get ahead on homework, exercise, shower, and eat lunch. By the time my classes start, I feel much more accomplished and focused than I would’ve had I lounged in bed all morning. 

Even a small start like waking up and going to bed at the same time each day can help eliminate some stress. Everyone is coping with the pandemic differently, and this is one way I’ve tried to take care of myself. Do what works best for yourself and your mental health!

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Maria Utz

Temple '23

Maria Utz is a junior at Temple University. Besides staying active and writing, she loves dogs, cold brew, and Taylor Swift.
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