Skip to: My Personal Weekly Routine
In mid-March, when Canada was in the initial stages of coronavirus lock down, my life felt out of control. On top of the external stress of a worldwide pandemic, I began an internal battle. My mood dipped, anxious thoughts kept me awake, my phone was at my face throughout the day (and night), my go-to after-work hydration was alcohol, my facial skin was dry and sore, and I felt drowsy.
I know I’m not alone. This pandemic is as much a mental health crisis as it is a public health crisis.
I had to remind myself about my personal routine; a weekly schedule of healthy habits that I created about six months ago. I originally designed it to help organize the internal clutter of my day-to-day and it has become a mainstay in the midst of uncertain times. My personal routine is comforting. Some days, it’s the only thing that can bring my focus back again.
This post is about how creating a personal routine could help improve your focus when life is a chaotic mess.
It has taken me years to determine how to set professional boundaries with myself and others. I balance self-employment with part-time employment. This requires a blend of working environments, but I’m mostly working from home. My biggest struggle with working from home is that it often leads to my needs being placed on the back-burner. Scheduling a personal routine helps me focus on my daily tasks while finally putting my health first.
Last fall, I developed a structured weekly routine that makes my wellbeing a priority. My routine has changed three times since. It changed after the coronavirus crisis. And I can guarantee it will change again before this is over.
Set Your Top Weekly Goals
When I accomplish my goals, I feel more in control of my life.
I set two major weekly goals: planning and preparing meals, and working out at least four times. I put both my meal plan and my workout plan in writing, so that I don’t have to constantly think about what I am going to do.
An added benefit of organizing meal prep is that our weekly grocery list is created at the same time. Now that we’re limited to one trip per week as the current recommendation, meal prep continues to make grocery trips focused and efficient.
Activity is also shown to improve mood and immunity, among its other positive benefits.
Seek Outside Support
Outside support means asking someone else for help to achieve your goals. If you live with your support person – wonderful! If not, seek encouragement and accountability from family, friends, and loved ones.
My husband has taken initiatives that make keeping our lifestyle easier and more connective. So far, he’s created a shared habit tracker chart; committed to being the household grocery guy; walks the neighbourhood with me daily; joins in guided mediations; and joins in virtual yoga. Having a supportive partner helps me maintain my personal routine long-term.
MY PERSONAL WEEKLY ROUTINE
Feel free to use my weekly routine to build your own framework. I deliberately left out my work schedule and specific times so that you could create a weekly personal routine that’s unique to you. The point is that you create a routine that works right now, and plan to review and update every few months.
Meal prep 4 hours preparing meals for the week
|Monday||Book Club x1/mo.|
60 min walk
Phone family member
Full body HIIT circuit
Text an old friend
|Wednesday||Additional Meal Prep |
30 min walk
|Friday||Bike and abs |
Date night or game night with friends
30 min cardio
Clean floors dust organize clutter
Meal plan, create grocery list
Fun afternoon activity
During the coronavirus lockdowns, my routine has become a source of comfort. This new lifestyle makes it easier to focus on taking care of my health. I’m grateful to past-me for carving this path and present-me for choosing to stick with it through unprecedented times.
- waking up at a set time
- taking a shower, brushing and flossing, applying face moisturizer
- getting dressed in work clothes (weekdays) or comfy clothes (weekends)
- 30 minutes minimum of physical activity
- keeping phone in a separate room
- drinking lots of fluids
- planning for social connection
- eating meals at regular times together
- limiting alcohol consumption
- making space for quiet time
Daily habit tracking seems insignificant at the time, but seeing the pixelated chart in our kitchen gives me visual motivation to be consistent everyday.
A personal routine is a source of comfort when the world is very uncertain. It gives my mind a chance to focus on what needs to be done each day and stop trying to manage everything internally. If you have been experiencing multiple weeks like my first week of lockdown, I encourage you to take some time to focus on what’s important to you. Once you create a weekly personal routine, don’t forget to track your daily habits. Since starting my routine six months ago, my day-to-day life has changed my focus for the better. I have a feeling yours will too.