My Morning Routine During the Pandemic
If you're alive in today's world, you've most likely been in some time of quarantine for the last few months. Between a significant reduction in social interaction and the sudden need to have to be full-time teacher while working a full-time job has put tremendous strain on a lot of people. That is before we even get to the potential mental health effects that the strain of a looming recession from the shutdown of so many businesses may place on so many.
Studies have looked at effects of quarantines, and they have been linked with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, avoidance and anger. They also found participants felt frustrated and bored during quarantine because of the confinement, loss of their normal routine, and the reduced social interaction. Any financial loss due to the inability work created serious economic hardship often came with long-term psychological impacts.
So the take away from these studies is if you're experiencing these feelings, you're not alone and it's completely normal. However, just because it's normal and common doesn't mean you should just sit back and allow yourself to get angry and frustrated in quarantine. I've made a concerted effort to create a morning routine for myself, and it has made all the difference for myself. I wanted to share it with you, and perhaps it will inspire you to create one for yourself. Here's a overview of my routine:
Wake up early - I'm early riser to begin with, but I do feel that waking up early allows me to be super productive. In fact, I use RescueTime to track all of my activities, and it shows that the mornings are some of my most productive time. It make sense, right. No one else in my house is awake, so I can get a lot done in an uninterrupted manner.
Drink a cup of water - Drinking adequate water is one of my primary areas of focus recently from a health perspective, so I make sure I have a full cup or bottle of water by my bed that I can drink as soon as I wake up in the morning. It at least get's me on the right track.
Exercise while listening to an Audible - This is actually one of my favorite parts of my morning routine. I'm lucky enough to have a treadmill given to me by a friend who lived in city and just couldn't find a good place to fit the treadmill as well as some Bowflex SelectTech dumbells in my basement. It creates a really space efficient gym that allows me to do some basic cardiovascular and resistance exercises (I will alternate treadmill and weight days). However, what really makes it enjoyable for me is listening to an educational topic that I'm interested in at the moment. The two books that listened to so far during the pandemic are Atomic Habits and Nail It Then Scale It. Some of the other ones that are in my library that I will be listening to next are Antifragile, The Black Swan, and Barking up the Wrong Tree. What I love about the Audible is twofold: 1) Learning new things is really important to me as is keeping myself healthy. Listening to Audible books really allows me to do both at the same time which makes me feel REALLY efficient. 2) I hate running on the treadmill so listening to the Audible keeps me focused on the content of the book instead of how much I hate running on the treadmill.
Wash the dishes - I don't know about your, but dishes have been multiplying like rabbits in our kitchen sink. My wife gets on my when they pile up, so I've made washing dishes part of my typical morning routine.
Take a hot shower - I don't know about you, but I love a hot shower. This ending of my morning routine serves as the reward for a productive morning! I've been told that there are more health benefits to a cold shower, but I really can't do those. I love my hot showers way too much.
I've been doing this routine for much of the pandemic, and I have to tell you , it sets me up for such a productive day. I feel so energized because of how productive my mornings are. I plan on continuing this routine indefinitely. It fits in with my health, personal development, and relationship with my wife goals. However, this is what works for me. Every person has to find a routine that fits in with their personal goals and priorities. I hope you will take a moment to share your routines that have gotten you through the stay at home quarantine.