A Routine During These Hard Times

Student+studying+from+his+house+trying+to+get+through+quarantine+and+virtual+school.

Student studying from his house trying to get through quarantine and virtual school.

David Palacios, Discoverer Staff Writer

Throughout the last few months, the world was hit with something no one was expecting: a lethal virus that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives. This led the world to change, as mandatory quarantines were ordered globally. The way we live was altered completely and indefinitely.

As I mentioned previously, the way we know the world has changed. Possibly forever. Malls, restaurants, schools, and many other things we considered a part of our daily life have closed. This leaves people without anything to do. Studies have shown that maintaining a daily routine is key for the well-being of people’s physical and mental health. This offers many benefits and can lead you to become a more productive and healthier person while we get through these tough times.

The quarantine started, this was all completely new to everyone. No school, no sports, no extracurricular activities, and no socializing. This led to a nightmare that left me with tons of free time in my hands. People were talking about the importance of having a routine and staying organized, so I decided to try it out. Every day I woke up early and took a shower before the first class. By eight A.M. I was already sitting down at my desk with my computer, ready to start my day.

The school had only assigned two classes per day and after each class, there were two hours assigned to complete the work for the class and in that way, we would not have work piling up. For that time I became one with my computer and worked very hard to finish the assignment way before it was due. After both classes, I would work out every other day and in the afternoon our family enjoyed time together playing board games and talking about our day. This led me into a very healthy lifestyle that allowed me to finish every single school assignment and to have free time to do what I like.

Having a routine is something that has been talked about through the years but because of unforeseen events in my regular life, it never became a priority. 

Some benefits of having a routine include: making you more efficient, reducing the need to plan, saving time, incorporating good habits (while keeping away from bad habits), leading people to a proficient lifestyle, among many others.

“I consider myself an organized person and I decided to follow a strict routine during quarantine because I had always heard about its importance. I decided that following this would be the best way to get through this hard time. Rarely do I feel stressed about school because I do my work in time and way before it is due. Working out is also a very important part of this routine because it helps me take my mind about what is going on around the world,”  Pedro Neuman, a sophomore, said.

After hard thinking, I decided to try this out and indulge in these new practices to see where they would lead me.

Having been in lockdown for a few weeks, everything got harder and all the hard work I put into my routine started to crumble. Eight A.M. classes became a torture and no longer did I want to pay attention to doing my work in a timely manner. I began to pick up horrible habits. Sleeping between classes, leaving work for the last day, and no longer working out. All of my days became the same. Procrastination became my way of life. All of my days were spent lying in bed either watching Netflix or playing video games. My healthy habits vanished and the days started to feel like weeks. With all of this free time in my hands, I started to worry even more about the current economic and social crisis the world is experiencing. This only led me to be worse than ever before, even though I was not doing anything.

It is very important to note that my grades started to go down when my routine disappeared. Zeros started to appear in my grades and tons of time was wasted on Netflix instead of working on myself.

“Having a routine is something that is very hard for me because the start of my quarantine was very weird and counterproductive. I decided to leave for my farm the day before the mandatory quarantine started, so I decided to go to my farm in Puerto Berrio. I got stuck there with no Wi-Fi for weeks. When I got home I was very used to not doing anything and therefore I do not maintain any sort of routine today. Even though at times this feels better it actually ends in a lot of stress because I need to do the homework on a rush the day before it is due,” Juan Salvador Alvarez, a junior, said.  

“I really feel that I could become more productive if I was more organized and followed a routine every day but that is hard for me and until today I haven’t decided to put in the effort,” Alvarez said.

Now I have been locked up for more than two months and I have learned a lot. After a few weeks, I was able to leave all of my old habits behind and revert to an older version of myself, a better version. I discovered all the benefits that having a routine brings to you. 

After following these tips from UNICEF I managed to stable a much better routine: “Get up at the same time, go to bed at the appropriate time; Do not set goals that are too ambitious. Take some time to plan the schedule. This may seem like a strenuous activity, but it will actually make it easier for you to organize your daily life; Help your children establish a routine as well, as it provides them with a sense of security and predictability, which are of great importance for the child’s development; Plan family activities together with children (talk and make arrangements with your teenagers, and make a schedule with younger children and put it in a visible place; explain the schedule and make sure they understand your expectations so that children would accept it); Stick to your usual work/study times; Find some space where you can work if you are working from home – make it your “office – a place for work”, and the same applies to your child if they go to school or university; Eat at certain times, as you are used to”.

This change showed me the importance of a routine and why I can not fall back to my old self.

The contrast between having a routine is stark. Not only in my lifestyle, but also in other people’s. It is clear that it is very important to keep a healthy lifestyle during quarantine both physically but also mentally.