Finding a new normal

Establishing a new routine is incredibly important when our lives have been turned upside down.

By Stefanie Markidis

With lockdown upon us, daily life has changed dramatically and many of our regular comforts – a hug from a friend, an aimless stroll through the city, sitting in your favourite café with a mug of steaming goodness – are unavailable to us. 

The regular routines of our lives are gone (for now), and this can be overwhelming. This is why it’s important to establish a ‘new normal’, a fresh routine for this strange period. 

Routine is a proven way of maintaining good mental health. Of course, a daily yoga practice is key. But here are some other ways to develop a new normal in the time of lockdown:

Establishing structure

Setting up a structure for your day can make large expanses of time more manageable, and psychologically prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

  • Make a list of tasks you’d like to complete during the day. 
  • Set up an enjoyable morning routine (meditation, stretching, coffee).
  • Venture outside for some fresh air at least once every day, if this is possible for you. Otherwise, open a window and breathe deeply. 
  • Establish a soothing sleep routine (devices off, listen to some calming music or play this guided yoga nidra meditation with Yoga Spot Fairfield teacher, Laura).

Develop self-care habits

Set up some small moments of self-care within your daily routine, so they are already in place to support you when you need. 

  • Journaling. Write your thoughts in free-flow or a diary entry. 
  • Humming and ‘om’-ing. This stimulates the vagus nerve, reduces stress and helps your sinuses. 
  • Consistent meal times. Bring on the snacks – but try to keep defined meal times, too. 
  • Move your body. Yoga Spot Fairfield has you covered with our new online timetable and livestream classes.

Connect to your community

Physical distance doesn’t have to mean social isolation – but remember to take time for yourself. 

  • Make time to call others. 
  • Schedule some daily ‘me time’, whether you’re living alone or in a busy household. Think of it as your precious few moments on the office toilet… at home. 
  • Have an offline moment every day. This means no news!
  • Delineate your ‘home life’ from ‘work life’ if possible (see this cute video of a father facing the realities of that challenge).  

Manage your expectations

Rules are for breaking, so remember to give yourself a break when you need it. Remain flexible and know that some days will be more routine-driven than others. That’s okay.  

Be kind to yourself. Yes, Shakespeare (probably) wrote King Lear while quarantined during the plague, but if your daily lockdown achievement is rolling out your mat and lying in savasana, that’s just as impressive.

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