building a routine

As we’re all navigating the strangeness of being trapped at home, I keep hearing time and time again that the best way to mitigate depression and insanity during this time is to stick to a routine.

While I was in college, I spent my summers working as a camp counselor in rural Ohio. The camp operated on a set daily routine that was followed to the exact minute and hadn’t changed since the camp was founded in the early 1990s. The morning wake-up bell rang promptly at 7am. Meals were served at 8am, 12pm, and 6pm on the nose. 12:30pm to 2pm was mandatory rest hour. After following this schedule all summer long, my body naturally stuck to this rhythm, even after returning to normal life. If I didn’t eat lunch at exactly noon and take a nap afterwards, my entire day was thrown into chaos.

We’ve all experienced this in some form or another, often with our sleep patterns. It’s why so many people can’t sleep in on the weekends, even if they try. Their bodies are accustomed to waking up at 6:30am and getting ready for work.

In these times of uncertainty, where it’s hard for us to make the most of our newfound free time, I thought I’d share how I’m trying to structure my days.

Daily Routine:

8am — wake up, put on a pot of coffee

8:15am — meditate

8:45am — make cup of coffee, sit down to write

9am — write (currently working on revisions for a play and the first draft of a book)

11:30am — spend time in my “Bliss Station” (as described by Austin Kleon)

12pm — make lunch and eat

12:30pm — read, take a nap

2pm — work on my To-Do List (send emails, draft correspondence, misc. work)

3pm — go for a walk, listen to a podcast

4pm — creative play (work on collages, play my guitar, etc)

5:30pm — meditate (again)

6pm — cook and eat dinner, clean kitchen

7pm — “Free Time” (watch TV and movies, go for a walk, phone calls, etc)

11pm — read in bed

12pm — lights out

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