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Establishing a Routine During the Pandemic

2020 May 13
by Mike Vial

Not having a routine becomes a routine. And that is exhausting for the brain, all that constant decision making.

I worry about my students who are succumbing to improvising their days, staying up all night, and treating life like a long action of scrolling through a digital device. I also worry how they are feeling now that we are deep in the mundane and monotony.

I’m now noticing emotional patterns for myself while social distancing at home. The three events of my daily schedule are simple: I watch my kids, I check emails, I comment on student work. Yet, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most difficult days for me.

But why? All days are practically the same! They aren’t on a nuanced level.

Thursday, I look forward to podcasts posting, which is a treat after a long day of solo parenting. Friday, I look forward to my wife helping with kids. Saturday, I get to work without interruption or diaper changes. Sunday, I’m not solo parenting. Monday, I’m sort of refreshed. Recognition of this challenge means I can prepare for it.

I’m also finding patterns my two and five-year-old have. For example, 2-3:45 PM is a difficult time. (We watch a show together from 4-5, and they get impatient for that treat.) If I can help them find some activities with novelty or engagement at 2, they have less frustration then.

This week, let’s examine and guide our kids to recreate their schedules. That’s our sphere of control. It might just start with changing from PJs to day clothes.


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