Here’s How to Create a Quarantine Routine (And Why We All Need One!)

Stan Smith / April 22,2020

It goes without saying that this is an unprecedented time for all of us. With the majority of us working from home, we’re learning to adapt to and navigate this new quarantine lifestyle.

Self-isolation and social distancing are stretching us and challenging us in many ways. Yet, this is also an opportunity to pause, regroup, and approach our day-to-day routine in a new way.

Now, more than ever, it’s time to ramp up the way we take care of ourselves, on every single level. Our mental, emotional, and physical health has never been more important to tend to as it is in this moment.

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Although we’re practicing social distancing, and mainly at home in self-isolation, we still need to maintain our well-being. It may require a little more effort, planning, and organization than it did before, but it is absolutely vital to our overall wellness and vitality.

Routine and consistency are the foundations of health. Therefore, it’s important to implement habits that are sustainable, achievable, and enjoyable on a regular basis. Yes, even in quarantine.
 

Routine and consistency are the foundations of health.

 
There’s a good reason why from the time we were children, healthcare practitioners have recommended routines: specific feeding times, bath times, nap times, bed times, etc. It helps with temperament and overall mood. It provides structure, predictability, and with that, an accompanying sense of ease and stability.

As we got older, many of us threw the rulebook out the window, and with that, our daily routine. It’s time to come back to it, or at the very least, try it out and observe its effects on a mental, emotional, and physical level – especially now during these trying times.
 
 

Follow This Simple Routine to Find Some Normality in Your Self-Isolation Quarantine:

Although this can be adapted based on your specific situation, here is a sample daily schedule to stabilize mood, boost energy levels, improve digestion, and enhance overall health and wellness during this strange time of quarantine.
 

7am: Wake Up (Slowly)

  • Stay in bed for a few extra minutes and take 10 slow, deep belly breaths
  • Spend five to 10 minutes in meditation
  • Drink a glass of water with lemon juice to flush the digestive tract
  • Shower and get ready for the day

 

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The way we start our day can dramatically set the tone. As tempting as it can be, avoid rolling over and checking your phone or the news. It will still be there in an hour.

Starting the day in a slow, grounded, and connected way allows us to navigate our days with steadier momentum and ease. And although you don’t have to dress in your finest attire, dressing in a way that feels good can help improve your mood too.

This Morning Routine Will Set You Up for Success Each and Every Day
 

8am: Breakfast

Starting the day with a balanced, nutrient-dense breakfast sets up your mind and body for the day ahead.

Avoid multitasking at meals if possible, as eating in a relaxed state promotes better digestion. Focus on your food and actually enjoy the flavors.

Doing one thing at a time helps ease anxiety by shifting your body into a parasympathetic state, which is your rest-and-digest mode.
 

9am – 12pm: Work

Whether you’re working remotely, home-schooling children, or tending to a creative hobby – having a dedicated time to do this during quarantine is essential.

Make sure to take frequent 10-minute breaks to move around, drink some water, or get some fresh air. Although we don’t need to plan our every minute, blocking off time acts as a container to allow us to move toward what we want to achieve.

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12pm: Lunch

It’s far too easy to end up in the couch vortex and snack the day away. Doing this once in a while is fine, but it can quickly take a toll on mental, emotional, and physical health – especially during self-isolation.

Eating regularly scheduled meals, with enough time in between optimizes digestion, and as a result, our overall energy level.
 

1:30pm – 5pm: Work

Finish up your work day after a good break.

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5:30pm: Exercise

Walk, practice yoga, dance, or do an at-home live-stream workout. Finding a way to move your body in a way that you love (so you actually do it) is key.

Moving our bodies every day enhances our immune system, improves mood, and has numerous health benefits. Exercise alone has been shown to be just as effective as first-line pharmaceuticals for mild to moderate depression.

With such a wide variety of workouts online at the moment, now is a perfect time to try something new.
 

7pm: Dinner

Enjoy a quiet and fully present meal.

8pm: Relax and Unwind

Read, watch a movie, FaceTime family, draw, paint, bake, etc.

Whatever relaxation looks like for you, do that, every day. There’s a lot going on right now, therefore taking the time to process, digest, and relax is absolutely necessary.
 

10pm – 11pm: Bedtime

Turn off electronics one hour before bed. Make a cup of chamomile tea. Take 10 deep breaths.

Sleep hygiene plays a huge role in sleep quality. Both natural and artificial lights signal to the body that it’s time to be awake. Unplugging from electronics and winding down will decrease stress levels, and allow for a more sound sleep.

At the end of the day, taking slow, deep breaths while extending the length of the exhale helps shift the body into a relaxed state. This is a great practice to do if you’re feeling anxious or wound up in the evening.
 
 

It’s Important to Establish a Routine Even During Quarantine

Although being home almost all of the time in self-isolation comes with some challenges, one of the upsides is there’s less variables, less distraction, and less temptation. As a result, this quarantine time is the perfect time to experiment with lifestyle practices.

It’s an ideal time to explore daily routines and find a rhythm and steadiness within your own inner state. Life is dynamic and ever-changing, therefore finding a way to feel grounded and connected, regardless of what is going on in our external environment is invaluable.

Social distancing is not easy. So be easy on yourself. Take care of yourself. Approach each day with curiosity while finding a rhythm that works with your external demands, yet also cultivates ease in your inner landscape.

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