Keeping a Rhythm or Routine to your Day During the Pandemic

We are currently in unprecedented times. In as little as a month our entire daily routine and human interaction have been disrupted. With these challenging times comes a great opportunity to get to know yourself better and allow your body to help lead you in the direction that helps you to feel calm, connected and the best version of yourself.


The most important thing to do during this time is to take care of your mental and physical health. The idea is to get through this in a way that works for you. For some this may mean doing very little, for others this might mean keeping yourself busy. There is no right or wrong, only what allows you to feel calm and connected with yourself.


In times of uncertainty, it’s helpful to keep a routine or rhythm to your day. I use the word rhythm as it is a way to structure your day while allowing flexibility. Erica did an amazing job highlighting the benefits of morning routines in her last blog. She discusses how morning routines can reduce stress, empower you as an individual and improve habits around sleep, nutrition and exercise. Even though you may be home for longer periods of time and it may not be your typical daily routine, now is a great time to focus on yourself and what you need to find peace in the day.


You need to decide during this time how strict you want to be with your routine. For instance, my husband is amazing a getting up early, doing mobility exercises and starting his day with 30 minutes of reading before getting ready for work. Even though he is working from home he still maintains his morning routine and work schedule. For myself, I find it easier to focus on maintaining more of a rhythm to the day, as having too much structure may increase my overall stress. For instance, I find if I wake up before the kids the day feels like my own and I can be proactive versus reactive. In the hour before the kids are up, I may clean, write a blog, follow up with work or do mobility exercises/stretching. It is an hour that I take for myself and allow my body to decide what it needs. Another thing I have learned in the first few days of quarantine is that if I don’t start the day with a clean kitchen, I feel like I am constantly playing catch-up. It feels like an added weight on my shoulders, which adds to my stress levels.


Now let’s get into what YOU can do…


How to start developing a routine or rhythm to your day during the pandemic:


  1. What was working for you:Take time to reflect and make note of the parts of your day you do or did enjoy helping keep a rhythm to your day. If you were someone that always works out at 9 AM then keep that time set aside to do a workout. My Viva Workouts are an excellent fit for this!


  1. Structure your day around 3 well-balanced meals at your usual eating time:Add snacks as needed, you may not be as active as you were when leaving the house so you may not need them. Taking time to check in with yourself can help you to identify if you are hungry and need one. Skipping meals during this time may lead to cravings for lower nutrient foods that don’t support your immune system as well as whole foods. Eat your meals mindfully at the table


  1. Add more movement in your day:It is well researched that exercise is a powerful antidepressant. Adding in movement in a way you enjoy (walking, exercise, stretching, dancing, etc.) can greatly reduce stress levels. If you are working from home and it used to take you 20 minutes to get to and from the office, then consider using this time to go for a walk and “commute” to work.


  1. When is the best time for you to start and stop your day:When is the best time for you to wake up and start your day? Do you have a morning routine? A bedtime routine? What helps you sleep; what helps you to wind down at night?



Amidst all of this, My Viva Plan®  has made a huge difference for me. Taking 2-3 minutes at the end of the day to reflect on my world has allowed me to make connections and see what was causing me unnecessary stress. I could see that starting my day with a dirty kitchen raised my stress levels drastically and altered how I fueled my body for the day.


My Viva Plan was created to be a tool for you to use to be the best version of yourself. You can use all of it or parts of it; it’s here for you in any way you need it to be. You can combat feelings of overwhelm and calm your mind with meditation, get in a quick workout or yoga routine at home, learn new cooking skills, or come up with more ideas for balanced snacks and meals. Use what you need when you need it.

Remember, the biggest focus should be on taking care of yourself mentally and physically to keep your immune system strong. Take time to enjoy a nap if you can, cook a delicious meal, or move your body in a way you enjoy. Let unrealistic expectations go and give yourself some grace. Focus on yourself. You will be glad you did.


By Kelsey Hagen

– Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist)