Since March, I have been experiencing anxiety, stress, sleeplessness, and lack of motivation due to the loss of control. Loss of control of my schedule. Loss of control on where and when I can go outside of my home. Loss of control on if I can visit friends or family outside of my home. Loss of control for future events such as my sister’s wedding shower—to name a few.
COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. Stress and fear of the unknown stems from the loss of control of our daily lives—but have we truly lost control?
While I cannot control my current circumstances and new norm I am experiencing, I CAN control my response to it and my new schedule.
According to experts, one of the best things we can do to remain calm is to make a new schedule. While staying home (working or otherwise) is different than the schedules we are used to, the new norm we are experiencing requires a new schedule. That new schedule can help us to remain calm and contain a feeling of control.
The first step is to go to sleep at a decent hour and rise at your normal time. An article by veteran war and disaster correspondent, Judith Matloff, helps lay the framework around having a schedule.
In the article, Matloff advises to “set a schedule for rising, meals and bedtime.” She continues by stating, “Resilience thrives with proper nutrition, and rest.” Keep up on normal hygiene, brush your teeth and “get dressed as though you’re meeting people outside.” Schedule your day with projects or activities you want to accomplish each day.
Matloff notes that we should make room for exercise “from YouTube in the living room or outdoors” and “consider what anchors and relaxes you.” That may be something such as yoga, crafting, reading, or mediating. Having a schedule gives us a sense of control in times when we feel a loss of control over our daily lives. A schedule can help us to feel grounded and productive throughout the day with projects, virtual meetings, and facetime with friends. Matloff notes that “one thing most associated with emotional resilience is social connection and support.” Keep in contact with your friends, neighbors, and family from afar.
Matloff ends the article with a note to remember to limit your news consumption in order to not fill your day with updates regarding the virus and the stress and fear that it brings. You can remain updated with current events and the virus—just in limited quantities and not within an hour before bed.
While we cannot control what is going on around us, we can control our response, and part of that is a new schedule that we can control.
What are you doing to keep a schedule? Please post your comments below.