During Self Isolation, I Needed a Daily Routine. Do You?

I was in the shower this morning thinking it is time to start creating a routine, a pattern for this life of physical distancing.

We are creatures of habit and after almost three weeks of being in my house with only my husband and two cats I realized it was time to get organized.

So far I have been pretty much aimless, skipping showers, wearing my slippers, catching up on my recorded TV shows, texting and phoning friends, as well as doing a bit of blog and social media work/interactions. For an A type personality that is pretty much a slug.

So, I washed my hair, got out of the shower, put on makeup, put on a sweater I have never worn (saving it for a special occasion), put on a necklace with it, and socks (so I will be ready to go outside for a walk in the yard later).

I am now writing this. Here is what I am thinking: The way I have lived my life up to now will probably be changed forever. How long physical distancing and isolation (because that is what it feels like, isolation) will last is indefinite, probably months, many months. It is time for me to develop some new habits, some new routines.

I typed out a list of “to do” and “to think” for this new life pattern I have found myself in. I am sharing my incomplete list with the idea that I am not the only one grappling with this unsettling change of events, that I am not the only one searching to find order in a world that is experiencing massive chaos.

Here is my list. Would you consider making your lists and sharing them with me? You will probably have ideas that I want to incorporate into mine. We can call it community support for each other.


  • Get dressed, comb my hair, brush my teeth.
  • Eat three meals a day with a small (operative word here small) treat at the end of the day. I’m calling it comfort food.
  • Clean my space - dust, vacuum, sweep, clean toilets, empty trash.
  • Be mobile, walk, move about even if it is in circles, breathe fresh air (an open window, a porch, a backyard walk).


  • Connect with others by phone, text, email, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc. We human beings need others.
  • Reach out to others, make the first call, keep connected.
  • Watch my squirrels and the birds at our feeder.
  • Find something to laugh about, with, or at. My cats and husband pretty much keep me entertained. Now I just have to appreciate their antics instead of get frustrated.


  • Read (I am on #14 of the Jesse Stone Series).
  • Watch some TV (I’ve underlined some. Don’t want to be a “couch potato").
  • Color in my coloring books (calming, distracting, time filling).
  • Watch the news so I am informed but remind myself not to get totally emerged in the illusion. Try to separate truth from fiction.


  • Look out my window and touch into the serenity of nature.
  • Appreciate the breath of life that I have, the support, the comforts, the people.
  • Touch into the smallness of my life situation compared to the enormity of the universe.
  • Remind myself frequently that one of my core beliefs is in Divine Order, that all is as it should be, and that I only have a minuscule piece of a billion piece jigsaw puzzle called Life.



Hi Valeria, yes, it will be harder to live with grief when traditions are removed. We rely on tradition. Now you will have to think “outside the box” and find something meaningful to create a memory. A Zoom get together to support each other, a postponement until gatherings can occur again (although that won’t be the same; more mental than emotional support). I wish I had clear, precise guidance for you. Everyone is making our new life up as we go along. My blessings are with you and your family. Barbara

Dennis Hogan

I am a Hospice Chaplain. Mos of our patients still want to see me, even though I have to wear a mask and gloves. I am reaching out more to those families that have lost loved ones to see how they a faring through this. Personally, I am going to use this time to rededicate myself to better health. My goal is to get up early to work out with my workout group, via ZOOM. I will eventually work up to five workout meetings a week. I still get to work from the office for now, but am set up at home if I need to work from home. I do need to continue to hear your helpful and much needed words of encouragement. Stay healthy and be blessed and Thank you!
Living to Serve Others,

Shelly Cole

Hi Barbara, as usual, you offer relevant and thoughtful information. We all thank you for that!

Personally, what makes such a difference for me, including reducing any anxieties that I might feel, is prayer. I understand that not everyone believes in God, and I’m in no way trying to push something onto anyone. But I personally will be praying for our country and our leaders.

I truly hope that everyone stays safe. Bless you Barbara for what you do!

Valeria Morahan

We are facing the reality of my stepson dying before the isolation restrictions here in Australia are lifted. We can currently have 10 at a funeral…which translates to 7 once we count the celebrant and two funeral staff.

I fear my husband will grieve twice and feel anger twice; being cheated his son’s ;life and a decent funeral. I am exploring what the Crematorium can do re online access for mourners and also how he would feel about a delayed wake. :(

Pamela Harper

Thank you, Barbara. We are all in this together.

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