The Importance Of A Routine
We are living in a very precarious time, perhaps the most uncertain in modern history. When I was working in the finance field, I thought I had experienced very turbulent and disruptive events that shook the world – Asian financial crisis, dotcom bubble, SARS, 2007-9 financial crisis…these were all large, unexpected events that turned the world topsy turvy, with a fair amount of panic behaviour in the market. However, the major difference between these past events and this Covid-19 is that this time round, this is a truly global problem. All major countries are affected, our lives are threatened, and the speed from which it is initially an HK / China / Asian issue, quickly deteriorates to become everyone’s issue too.
Experts have advised us that washing our hands frequently, and social distancing are probably the 2 most important things for everyone to do. Schools have been shut since the Lunar New Year, and many people are working partly or fully at home. As we all learn to adapt to this “new normal” (none of us have any idea how long this will last), we need to ensure that what we do every day continues to reflect our normal lives as much as possible.
With all that extra time at home, we are all tempted to binge watch our favourite TV shows, sleep an extra hour (or two), or do some stress baking. Every day is tiring because we are not used to this new routine. Besides getting on what needs to be done at home and for work, we are also spending a lot of time processing updated information on the virus which has a direct impact on our lives. This (overload) of information adds an unnecessary layer of stress onto our lives, especially when a lot of information we receive these days (especially from social media) can be fake. Confronting all this uncertainty is taking a large toll on our mental health.
All sounds stressful right? Don’t let it be! When we are stressed, our body releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, giving our body more “strength” to respond. Typically, our blood pressure rises, muscles tighten, heart rate increases and breathing quickens – sometimes known as “fight or flight” mode. However, being in this state constantly will over time weaken our body’s natural defence – we cannot stay like this forever. This is not a time for compromised immunity.
How do you manage this? From my experience over these last few months, these few tips have helped me keep going. No matter what your routine normally is, these should help you sustain a healthy you in the longer term.
- Set your alarm. Try and get up round about the same time every day
- Set an intention for the day. Helps focus the mind. If you have a habit of meditating, even better
- Jot down a schedule for the day and stick with it
- Get some fresh air / do some exercise. Go for a walk. If you can’t go out, do some Tabata or Yoga or Stretching at home
- Get your news from reputable sources, especially medical ones, and try and fact check if possible. Don’t believe everything at first sight
- Read! Time to read those books that have been sitting on your bedside table for months!
- Do an online course. Learn something. If you don’t have time, even something from YouTube works. It is about constructive use of your time
- Help those in need around you. This is the time for us to think and act as One. The act of a helping hand is a gratifying nourishment for our souls.
Together we can fight this and come out stronger at the end. Keep it up everyone!