How do you create new routines?

Hi friends,

We are in an unusual time when many millions are under lockdown, shelter in place, or other forms of disruptive orders for the benefit of our neighbors and the sake of public health.

Anyone in such a situation is enduring the loss of routine.

As much as we may have griped about our commutes, they created a start and end to the day. And there are many other examples, from getting a haircut to going to the gym to enjoying a meal out at a restaurant.

How are you coping with the loss of routine?

What emotions are you feeling in this time of change?

What new routines have you created?

*We encourage everyone to participate in replying even if many others have already shared their answer.

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@CarsonWeitnauer in my job as a school leader it is very important that I stay in good mental health. I need to respond to students, teachers and parents daily and support them as best I can. The biggest challenge I face to this is not exercising as much as I normally would due to my lost routine.

I am coping as best I can. At times I get angry with my three children when they misbehave or have an argument with my wife about a little thing. As well as anger, I feal fear at times about the virus, helplessness and stress. Through it all though I have also felt a deep peace and purpose. Psalm 91 has been my refuge.

I have added five items to my routine to help me adjust:

  1. I ask Jesus for his peace every morning and pray for salvation for some people close to me.
  2. I go for a walk alone each day to get some space and exercise. I prayer walk or listen to an audio book during my walk. Eachday I pray for protecion for my students, staff, family, friends and neighbors. (Up to this point nobody in that group has been infected.) I also pray for grace and wisdom for you each day in your leadership of Connect.
  3. I bring the 3 girls to the playground each afternoon so they can get some exercise too.
  4. My wife and I try to get some time together each evening to hang out together.
  5. I downloaded the Libby app and have connected to my local library to borrow books. (I am a sci-fi nut.)

Another thing I have always done to process grief has been to write poetry. I wrote this sonnet this week to process some of what I am feeling.

It came down slowly like warm winter rain,
thousands were indiscriminantly slain,
cleared up the sky so we could breath again,
isolation driving our race insane,
pass the laptop and open the right page,
teaching our own children like the book says,
worship at home not bowing to a stage,
freest we have ever been locked in this cage,
reading old novels setting our mind’s free,
calling family the way it should be,
meditation spending some time on me,
COVID-19 took busyness you see,
slowly it’s leaving the dragon is tame,
old folks say, we will never be the same?

Processing grief/loss I have always found to be extremely imortant. I do not mention bible reading because that is in my opinion the most important routine and something I do everyday.

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Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
Philippians 4:11

Changes no matter what kind are inevitable in life. When your time is not your own dictated by the lives or others God has called you to reach is not mundane but changes rapidly every day.
Constant challenges to a normal daily routine, whatever that is has been part of life for me for a long time, prior to semi retiring. The passage I quoted was one thing that kept me and though simple it has been a blessing in disguise during these times of isolation and seperation.
Everyday was unique in and of itself and even to and from was unique on occasion. I have always looked at God as a man with a plan as in Jer 29:11
Do I get antsy sure I do but I recall the days, years running to and fro looking for the next fun thing, the next whatever to satisfy my fleshly lusts and at almost 66 i just thank Him that I am still here. His grace is sufficient.

To encourage someone just let me say God is a God who is long suffering towards us in that none shall perish. Gods character is uber patient with us and He expects us to wait (be patient) with Him. A quality we are not fond of and told not to pray for. But this verse precedes a very important much needed quality in our journey through life.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2‭-‬4 NKJV

Did I ask for patience, not really, did I have it I gained it by all the various trials, diseases, sicknesses, and tragedies that happened, in my life.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:5‭-‬6‭, ‬8 NKJV

Patience truly is a great virtue. Imagine the blessings that await us on the other side of this great trial, testing of our faith.

Love and patience to each and all as we are held by our true anchor in this worldwide storm.

Mike

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Good question! As a stay at home mum who homeschooled my kids already, the general day to day isn’t too different. However, having my husband home too has changed our morning routine. I love having him home, but I also love my morning routines because if we don’t adhere to it, the rest of the morning doesn’t follow in the right way and my kids’ behaviours slip!

The thing I’ve particularly noticed in myself is my heart attitude to it all. As morning routines have changed slightly, I’ve had to deal with some resentment over this :flushed:. It’s really not a big deal but because we’re only seeing one another, things get out of proportion easily!! I think it highlights how we each react when we lose control over a situation.

So God has had to challenge my responses of frustration and resentment and I’m learning to adapt with a thankful heart. We are slowly adapting to our new morning routines. I’m also learning to appreciate the simpler things and take time to stop and thank God for them. My biggest challenge is not having any ‘me time’. I never did much anyway, but it feels more intense probably because we’re not heading out in the car anywhere for a change of scenery.

@brianlalor that’s such a moving poem, thank you for sharing it. I agree with the concepts you’ve shared about not bowing to a stage in our worship. I definitely feel like we are getting a bit more real with life and God.

@mgaplus4 thank you for sharing James 1:2-4. This is a scripture that keeps coming my way right now! Such a great one to meditate on to see how God is working things out for each of us.

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Thanks for starting this conversation @CarsonWeitnauer!

Working in the mental health field I have found myself finding new professional and personal insights in this time. I wanted to add a few extra thoughts to the discussion!

  1. Trying to do the same thing every morning – wake up, make coffee, spend time with Jesus. It’s small but can help to create a sense of normalcy
  2. Trying to carry over some similar routines to a virtual platform – talking with friends and family, zoom small groups, engaging with church online
  3. Trying to identify a new hobby to practice on a regular basis – for me it has been experimenting more with graphic design!
  4. Trying to make sure in the midst of it all self- care and care for others can still be practiced. Similar to what @brianlalor hared – the more we can take care of ourselves, the more capacity we will have to love and serve others well. Every day trying to find at least one way I can practice self- care as well as encourage or serve someone in my home or my community.

As you are setting some new routines in place what does self- care look like for you? Caring for others?

Have you tried any new hobbies?

This quote holds an interesting point for reflection “In this rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” - Dave Hollis

What do you hope you can establish again as a part of your routines? What might you leave behind?

@brianlalor you shared some great practical ways you and your family have engaged in new routines. I can relate to you with the change in exercise routines! Thank you for sharing your poem with us.
@mgaplus4 thank you for reminding us of some very precious verses!
@artownsend You brought a valuable part of all of our experience to the discussion – our heart attitudes! Thanks for sharing. Identifying what we are feeling is an important part of this process! The practice of gratitude can really help transform some of those feelings to a thankful heart and new perspective.

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