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.


Pamela Harper

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

Judy Lengieza

Dear Barbara, I have spent the past 10 days on home quarantine due to a respiratory illness, it has come to me that those families who have lost a family member in the past 6 months may be struggling to get through this pandemic alone for the first time. I have asked our bereavement team to reach out to them sooner rather than later. I have also thought that those families of patients dying of COVID 19 May never have the benefit of the Hospice team surrounding them with strength and comfort. I look forward to being able to help in even a small way. (Back to work Monday). Thank you for all of your comforting words and insight


Don’t forget the closets, drawers and cupboards!!

Make time for fresh air and exercise.

Lili Mullins

Dear Barbara. I have been your friend and you my mentor as I have navigated my career as a hospice nurse for 12 years. I handed out your booklets in the Dallas Ft Worth area hundreds of times. Those booklets were some families affirmative that they were doing what is best. I am now retired.
Your insights today are so on point for me too. I have anxiety about these times. My garden , chickens, horses and dogs are my comfort/distraction during the day until my husband comes into the main area after home officing all day. Our time together becomes so precious.
Please keep the insights coming. I think this is going to be a long haul.
Warmest regards, Lili

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