Today is day 8 of the curfew and yesterday it was announced in Spain that it will last until Easter. So it’s worth it to get into the habit of a daily routine to make good use of this time.
This morning I participated in the Instagram Live Zumba with Monica for the second time. The movements were already much easier for me. (Still glad that nobody sees me when the long, drossy German meets Spanish rhythms, though).
Doing Zumba twice, is that already a routine? Certainly not. But I have decided to make these Zumba sessions my routine. In general I realize how helpful it is for my mood if I structure my day well. Time to look at the topic of day structure from a psychological perspective.
Why is structure so important during a curfew or quarantine?
- A clear day structure provides a beginning and an end of a day. Without structure, there is a danger that time will become blurred. Day times blur and time seems to expand infinitely. In concrete terms, this means that without structure we feel time is longer than with a clear day structure. A clear day structure shortens our perception of time. How cool is that? So here I have a simple tool with which I can influence – at least the perceived – speed of time.
- A day structure creates normality. Especially if the day structure during curfew is based on the usual structure. Our body and its inner clock has got used to a certain day structure. If we maintain this structure, for example by getting up at a similar time and going to bed at a similar time as before curfew, we signal normality to our body. If we maintain our accustomed daily routine during curfew, then at the end of curfew it will also be easier for us to return to our “normal” everyday life.
- Give your days a structure based on your routine before curfew. This includes, for example, getting up, lunch break, mealtimes, times for sports or hobbies, playing or reading aloud with the children, bedtime. Think about your daily routine before curfew. And how do working days differ from days off?
- If you did things before curfew that you cannot do now, then look for a substitute for this activity. For example: If you were working before curfew, but you don’t have a job right now, then redirect that time by, for example, studying for your job or learning something new, like a language or taking an online course.
- Consciously build breaks into your daily routine in which you do nothing. These breaks have a beginning and an end. In this way you prevent you from doing nothing all day and the days you feel like doing nothing become longer and longer.
I personally have the advantage that I can do a lot of my work on the computer and online. That means I can maintain my work routine quite well. For example, it looks a bit more difficult with long walks with my dog. This is no longer possible. So I have to fill the dog time with other activities with my dog instead of walks. We are working on a few tricks right now. Even if he prefers to chill out. Also, before curfew, a lot of sports, like swimming and running, belonged to his life. Now I can’t do that anymore, so I replace my swimming time with Zumba Sessions. And I still have to practice the breaks … It’s not always about using the time! This is what I will tell myself in memory of breaks and try to just sit …
All the best for your breaks and the time in between!