Some research suggests that 40% or more of our day is based on habit. That means 40% of the decisions you make and actions you take are most likely being done subconsciously based on your normal routine. But what happens when your routine and habits are disrupted?
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States and worldwide, everyone’s lives are anything but “routine.” Many people have transitioned to working from home full-time, exercise facilities are closed, and grocery stores are having a difficult time restocking shelve to meet public demands. While many of these factors are out of our control, now is the time to adapt and form new habits and new routines that will help you through these difficult times.
Start by asking yourself what you can and cannot control. Then focus on ways you can adapt your routines and schedules based on what is within your control.
Tips for a disrupted work routine
- Set an alarm and wake up at the same time each day. If you no longer commute to a worksite, you can use this extra time in the morning to exercise, make a nutritious breakfast, meditate or read.
- Follow your normal eating schedule. It can be tempting to graze throughout the day when your snack cupboard is only steps away but try and stick to your normal eating routine. Schedule in a “lunch break” to your workday and portion out snacks instead of eating directly from the package.
- Only work at designated work areas such as a desk or home office. Avoid working on your couch, bed or other “leisure” areas as this may blur the boundaries between workspace and home.
- Stick to your designated work hours. Power off your computer at the end of the day and avoid answering nonurgent emails until the following business day, if possible.
Tips for a disrupted exercise routine
- Designate a time to work out each day. If you were in a groove of working out at the same time each day continue your normal routine. This will make the transition back less difficult.
- Set up a workout area. Dedicate space in your garage, backyard, basement or other areas of your home to exercise.
- Be creative with your equipment. Use canned goods, laundry detergent, books or other household goods in place of workout equipment.
- Try something new. Now is a good time to try out a new workout like HIIT workouts, running, yoga or plyometrics.
- Download a workout app. Apps are a great way to get new workout ideas and track your daily progress.
Regardless of the approach you take to establishing a new routine, devote some of this time to self-care and quality time with the ones you love.