The Twenty-Something Series: 3 routines I'm sticking to during lockdown

Staying at home has meant our usual routines are hard to follow, but here are three of my day-to-day routines I'm sticking to during lockdown.

Not that it needs to be said again, but it's a weird frickin' time.

I talked recently on here about my tips for working from home (especially when it's not something you're used to), and I've been seeing a lot of posts like that recently. 

The whole act of being in lockdown and trying to self-isolate as much as I possibly can hasn't actually hit me too hard. (I say, hoping I've not jinxed it.) I talk to my family every day, but that's not a new habit. I won't see my friends for months - but again, that's nothing new. Do you know how hard it is to coordinate a group of people who live in different cities and have different work schedules and most of them have significant others to factor in to their plans?

Similarly, working from home is nothing too new to me. (I haven't been to the office in literally a month now. My company have actually said you have to get permission to go into the office now so they can keep the staff as safe as possible, which is so awesome.) 

Working from home every day is something new to me, though, and not being able to mooch around town or break up a few days at home by popping to my favourite café for a couple of hours is something different, though.

(And without fail, I have thought every Tuesday in the last month was a Wednesday. What even is time anymore?)

Something I learned when I first started living on my own in 2017 was how badly I needed structure in my day - both to help me get things done, and for the sake of my mental health. 

So without further ado: here are three routines I'm sticking to during lockdown.

My morning routine

When I get up, I have a drink of water, I wash my face with my Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Wash, slap on my Lancome Hydra-Zen day cream, straighten my fringe, and make my bed. 

Without. Fail.

Some days, I'll put makeup on, do something a little more with my hair, get dressed up in something 'nice' (even, yes, JEANS). I might, on a very rare occasion, cook myself a nice breakfast instead of my usual toast.

But every day, no matter what, I follow my 'basic' morning routine. I've always suffered from acne, so skincare is basically a part of my soul by now. Sorting out my fringe just helps me feel a little nicer about myself. Making my bed is a big stress relief (honestly, it's weird how much I hate seeing my bed un-made, and I can't understand people who don't make their bed).

There have been days where (even pre-lockdown), I've overslept or have an early meeting and log on to do some work before so much as washing my face, and I can't stand it. I get agitated within the space of two minutes and can't focus properly. So my morning routine is going nowhere.

My after-work routine

As someone who values productivity way too much, I've worked out over the last few years what helps me to feel my most productive, or at least, what habits help me to be able to be productive.

For instance, if I get sucked in to a writing sesh, I can not move from my sofa for hours, not even to use the bathroom. The only world that exists is the one on my Word Doc and nothing else matters. Not chores, not dinner, not a shower, not bed time, nothing. 

I'm also terrible at switching off, which is even more important now I'm working from home for the day job five days a week, so my after-work routine is crucial.

I worked out a while ago that I need to do any chores or whatever as soon as I get in from work - because otherwise, I won't stop writing (or binging Netflix) until the timer on my lamp goes off, indicating that I should be in bed by now - and, oops. So I got into the habit of grocery shopping on my way home from work, doing any housework as soon as I get in and then taking a shower, cooking dinner after that, and then - the rest of the evening is mine. (At least, until that lamp turns off.)

Grocery shopping is the obvious exception here, since I'm trying to go only once a week right now. But otherwise - I pack up my laptop at the end of the day, I do any chores, I jump in the shower, and I cook dinner.

(Also, as I mentioned in this post, changing my outfit after work is a big thing. Even if that's just a different pair of leggings and hoodie right now.)

I let this routine slip maybe twice in the last month, and it was horrible. I felt completely lost and everything got thrown off. I had a weird hangover the next day because of it, where I just felt off-kilter. So again: this routine is here to stay.

And if you don't have an after-work routine, I really encourage you to create one right now. It makes a huge difference.

My self-care routine

Admittedly, this isn't quite so much a 'routine', and comes in a lot of forms, but it is something that I'm making sure I make time for right now. Especially given the whole 'productivity paralysis' thing I've been experiencing, where the motivation to do any writing work has completely evaded me.

(Also - I wrote here about how to make time for self-care when you're busy, if that's a thing you're struggling with right now.)

So what does my self-care routine look like, on a day-to-day basis?

Skincare, obviously. First thing in the morning, and after work when I take a shower (more Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Wash, Neutrogena Blackhead Scrub, and my Lancome Hydra-Zen night cream). Taking a shower every day (because apparently this is a thing people aren't doing so much now they're staying at home?) and spending the time cooking myself nice meals a couple of nights a week, while catching up on podcasts.

Having my nails painted always helps me feel like I've got my shit together a bit, but I've always been too cheap to go to a salon to get them done, so doing them myself is always a nice chunk of my week. (Check out this post for my advice on giving yourself a great at-home manicure.)

Housework makes the list, too: having an empty laundry basket, fresh sheets on the bed, filing the pile of letters I've let build up for a couple of weeks, straightening up my stack of Cosmo magazines, scrubbing the bathroom tiles clean... I look at housework as a pre-weekend treat. I do it after work (usually on a Thursday) so that I can enjoy my Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a lovely clean flat where I don't have to worry about any chores. Plus: it's always a great hour or so to sing along to whatever musical I'm feeling like that day.

(Housework might be an easy one to let slip right now, but seriously: do it. Pencil it into your calendar if you have to. You don't have to look forward to it, but you know you'll feel better once it's done, especially when you're staying inside all week long.)

So there are three of my routines that I'm sticking to during lockdown! What about you? Are there things you've let slide now you're staying home, or have you built new routines to help you get through it? Let me know over on Twitter @Reekles, or in the comments below!

PS. If there are things around working from home, living alone, or social distancing you want me to talk about here on the blog, let me know! 

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.