During lockdown, a lot of people are missing having a routine. We're not able to go to work, to school, to university, visit friends, go out shopping, go to the cinema... or actually do anything that we used to 'normally' do! Instead we're having to find new ways to occupy our time. When there's no real reason to do anything, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do something. For example, you may be used to waking up at 6:30am for work, but if you don't have work now, why get up on the morning? But for us humans, familiarity is 'safe'. So it's really not surprising that some of us are struggling at the moment, especially those with ASD who I imagine are finding these changes really difficult to cope with.
A way to help cope with feelings of anxiety surrounding uncertainty and change is making a 'new routine'. It may not be the same as what you're used to, but creating a new routine that you can easily follow will help a lot during a time like this. And don't worry if it seems strange at first, just remember that this situation is new for all of us!
TOP TIP: A routine should be balanced. It should include a mix of activities - that means it's good to fit in some exercise, but don't spend your whole day exercising, and its good to fit in some chill time such as watching TV, but don't spend your whole day in front of the TV. So here's some examples of things you could add to your daily routine - whatever works best for you remember!
Taking part in some type of physical activity each day can help not only our physical health, but our mental health too. It's important to keep yourself active, even if it's keeping yourself active in the safety of your own home or back garden. There's some great home work outs that are easily accessible, you could go for a walk, a run, do some gardening, some yoga... the options are endless, the world is your oyster! And, if you're not a gym goer, this is the perfect opportunity to build your fitness in the privacy of your own home.
Its great to fit in some mindfulness activities to your day that keep your brain active and healthy. There are so many ways to do this, and it's completely up to you to see which works best . In our previous article 'Brain Training', there's a few suggestions of activities to keep yourself active including colouring in, reading a book, and meditation. Other ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine could be by reflecting upon your day in a journal, having a de-clutter, or doing some breathing exercises. Let us know what works best for you so we can centre our content round what you find most beneficial!
The thing about having a routine is that it's yours. This means its' got to suit you, and its got to be personalised! The best thing about this is that you can add anything in, for example, reminders, set hours to do work, time to focus on yourself, time to pray, time to meditate, time to be active and time to wind down and chill. At the bottom of this blog, I have attached a template for a daily routine timetable - this can be printed and used by you to create your new routine! Your new routine might take a bit of time before it starts to feel normal, and this is completely fine - at the end of the day it is a 'new' routine, and everything new takes some time to get used too. On the other hand, if you're sticking at it for a while and it just doesn't feel right, it's flexible and you can change it whenever you want!
(If you cannot print the timetable from this blog page, drop us an email/inbox/direct message on any of our social media accounts and we can either send you the PDF via message or over email!).
Hope this helps!x