I don’t have to tell you that the world has gone to shit. It’s… a mess, and as someone who struggles with anxiety, the uncertainty has made my mental health go down the drain.
That being said, now that we’re almost two months in (Sean and I started social distancing back on March 11, when he was told to begin working from home), I’ve found little ways to keep myself sane. Not calm, necessarily, or even content, but at least sane.
Sticking to a Routine
I am a creature of habit, and I get so thrown off if I don’t have a routine. I’ve been working from home for almost two years now, and I’ve been fortunate enough to continue working through the pandemic, but even with that consistency, there have been a lot of disruptions and changes. Keeping a routine has been pretty much mandatory for my mental health.
I have a morning routine that I’ve been sticking to (even if it’s not what I’d consider my ideal morning routine, it’s still consistent, and that’s good enough for me!) almost every day. The one improvement I need to make is creating and sticking to an evening routine, because evenings have been a bit of a cluster lately.
Shortening My To Do List
I keep my to do list in the Notes app of my phone, and it’s evolved a lot over the years… but pretty much every evolution made it longer.
At the top, I had a list of everything I want to get done that week. Below that was my list of recurring daily tasks like washing my face and feeding the dog, and below that was my actual to do list for the day, divided up between the house, the blog, work, and my own personal tasks.
This past weekend, I realized that I never check off more than 30% of the tasks in my to do list (and that’s on a good day!), so instead of dividing it up into sections of a single note, I divided it up into a bunch of separate notes. I’ve got one just for my recurring daily tasks, one for today’s list, one for tomorrow’s list, one for the weekly list, and one for a monthly list. Now when I go to my daily to do list, I only see the things I need to get done today. It has made such an improvement on my mental health!
Having Goals to Work Toward
That being said, I still have to have goals to work toward. I share my big monthly goals on the blog, and those are really helpful in giving me direction when I don’t know what to do. Plus, the satisfaction of crossing something off a list (even if it’s just a small part of the goal!) makes me feel like I have some semblance of control over my life.
Not Forcing Anything I Don’t Want to Do
On the other hand, I’m not forcing myself to do anything just because it’s on a list or because it’s what everyone else is doing. I hate Tiktok, so I’m not going to get an account or learn to dance just because that’s how everyone else is filling their time. I really want to read Samantha Power’s autobiography, but it’s really dense and dry, which isn’t what I need right now. That’s okay! I allow myself some grace to pick and choose what I actually want to do, instead of what I think I should do.
End the Day with Gratitude
I took a note from Carly’s book and started sharing my daily gratitude list on Instagram Stories every evening. It’s been a really great way to end each day, because no matter how stressed I am, it forces me to find the good that happened. I assumed people would just tap through them without reading, but I actually got a lot of comments from people either in direct messages or on the phone saying “oh I saw that on your Instagram!” which was really nice. It made me feel really appreciated. ♥️
I hope these tips are helpful to anyone that needs a little more normalcy in your life! Please leave any tips you may have in the comments!