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  • Trey Atwater

MAINTAIN A ROUTINE

I said it last post and I believe it’s important enough to say again. During the Covid-19 outbreak the best thing we can do to support our community is respect our leaders and follow recommended social-distancing measures. Now we are several weeks into our isolation to protect our way of life. The “cabin fever” is setting in and we are getting restless and agitated. This is normal and we shouldn’t be discouraged, but let’s face it. We are. That’s where Healthy Minds comes to the rescue! We are here for you and with you! I am literally writing this post while practicing what I preach working from home.

Step 1 Explained:

Maintain a Routine

If you’re like the majority of Midlander’s and myself, then you’re not used to working from home. You will likely find the transition challenging. However, the task of creating a new teleworking routine is no different than the first week on a new job. It will get easier every time you repeat it. So, repeat it! Don’t sleep in because you can. Set your alarm to the usual time you get up and go about your routine as if you were driving to the place you work. Yes, this includes getting dressed in some form! While it sounds relaxing to work in our pajamas every day, it is actually stressful to our biological systems. So much of our mindset and hormonal responses are based on mental and emotional preparation set by our daily routine. If you have been succeeding so far with your usual work routine, you shouldn’t change it. If you have always wanted a better routine, now is your chance! Create a healthy one and stick to it.

It will be tempting to fall into a late-night routine as we feel different stressors during our day without social pressures of being face to face with clients, bosses, and peers. We are also going to find ourselves tempted to take advantage of the couch as our desk, but this is not creating a healthy routine; its taking advantage of a lack of requirement. We must require better of ourselves and set aside a place to work that best mimics our natural place of work.

At home our bodies will be less signaled to work at the normal endurance pace of knowing all the tricks of the trade and more triggered to work on a sprint-walk pace due to the lack of efficiency we are use to following usual work protocols. This in itself can be as tiresome as working 12 hour shifts with no breaks, but it takes a toll that feels totally different. That’s where sticking to your routine regardless of what signals your body are sending you is so important. Your routine will reset all of your hormonal pace setting triggers and you will begin to normalize. Everything will eventually feel normal again if you treat your routine as if everything is normal.

I promised one step at a time, but what a whopper to figure out! Trust me. I’ve had my frustrating moments with kids, dogs, chickens, honey-do’s, TVs, couches, snacks, and every other distraction you might think of coming my way to kick efficiency in the rear, but it’s okay. I knew taking the step was crucial and it has panned out. It will for you too. Each step gets easier as we see the fruits of our work. Stick with me and next week as we continue our “10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Mental Health During Isolation” we will dig into Step 2) Take reasonable precautions, but don’t obsess over the virus.

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posting by: Trey Atwater. Manger of Operations. Healthy Minds

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