Among other measures, establishing a routine can be a really important part of maintaining your mental health and wellbeing.

With everything that's happened around the globe during COVID-19, one of our biggest challenges has been, and will continue to be, managing the disruptions to daily life. And those disruptions mean people can feel as though they've lost control, which in turn can affect our work, home and social lives.

"We can be really anchored by those daily routines and if you feel that you’ve lost that anchor that could knock you off your feet," psychologist Sabina Read tells Beyond Blue.

"So the first question to ask ourselves is, what parts of my day and my routine traditionally have been the most useful and important, enjoyable and helpful for me and how can I adapt them?"

Setting or resetting your routine

Creating, or recreating, a sense of structure in your life can involve activities as simple as exercise and social connection.

For example, if you used to visit the gym a certain number of times per week that you really enjoyed, find a way to adapt that to your current life - for example, you may not be comfortable attending a gym due to COVID-19 so you can find a way to do your workout at home or outdoors with friends.

Social catch-ups with friends are another activity that may have been disrupted following recent lockdowns in both Victoria and New South Wales. Perhaps you're feeling anxious about seeing friends again after months of lockdown. If this is the case, why not try scheduling a phone or video call where you can catch-up as you normally would sans the pressure of an in-person meet-up.

There are even simpler ways to set yourself a routine, though. For example, even if you just schedule in what time you get up everyday, eat and go to bed, that's a great start and will make your days feel more manageable.

"We want to create pockets of certainty, moments of knowing, time when we have assurance that we know what happens at this moment in time on this day," adds Sabina.

Working from home

Still have your home-office up and running? Well, this can also become part of your routine setting practice.

Giving yourself a specific space in your home to work, setting distinct start and finish times and taking regular breaks is super important.

It's all about focusing on the things you can control, rather than the things you can't.

"We can’t control the bigger picture but we can control how we break down our day," says Sabina.

"It’s these smaller things that are seemingly less urgent and less powerful that are actually the building blocks that create a sense of stability to help us navigate today."


If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language.

Article originally published by: BEYOND BLUE

Image credit: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash, Surface on Unsplash, Nick Morrison on Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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