In the COVID-19 era of quarantine and isolation everyone has had to adapt and establish a new normal. For most it’s a very boring and lonely era with a lot more time left on our hands. This is the new normal, but it’s important not to forget that it isn’t actually normal.

I have really struggled with winning the mental battle when it comes to staying afloat in the adjustment period. Despite all the extra time and the ability to be productive and learn new skills or hobbies the fact is there’s a big mental hurdle to jump over because the truth is it feels claustrophobic. All this extra time but options are so limited that it feels like it’s easy to get stuck in a swirl of entrapment.

For me personally, I’ve always hated monotony and in this age of quarantine a lot of the days are the same and really start to feel the same. Heck, it’s even hard to keep track of the days when it’s wake up, work, try and be productive, sleep and start over. Last week I felt like I broke out of it with a really good week only to sink back down.

Now I can hear all the positive comments and the cliches about how it’s on me to make use of the time and that’s the challenge, but the truth is has been hard in this time where my sense of self seems lost. Humans are creatures of habit and that’s a tough fight to break from when every day is the same.

What really worries me is, with humans being creatures of habit, this new bad reality will stick. Struggling to be productive will all this extra time doesn’t seem to bode well when the schedule goes back to normal. I would hope that going back to a normal schedule and things opening up would help snap things back, but breaking the new normal will be tough.

It’s important to remember while there’s a new normal for the reality we’re in, not to forget that it’s only temporary. I think that is just as much a big part of my problem as well. When there’s all this extra time it’s easy to say ‘I can get to it later.’ and not worry about it, but that itself is a slippery slope. Once things change there won’t be that time and if the good habits aren’t in place then it’ll be a continued case of getting nothing done.

One of the things I respect about McCall is her dedication to planning. Now it’s been a rough year for her planner as the Coronavirus has rendered planners almost useless. That’s been a challenge for her in this new reality, but her dedication to it has probably kept her head above water in this tough time.

When there was still all that positive at the beginning of 2020, because it was going to be our year in this new decade, I put together a schedule of things I wanted to improve on and it worked. I’ve never been a big scheduler but the truth is something that simple really does make a big improvement. As rough as this quarantine is the truth is that it may just be that simple of a fix to keep you afloat as you deal with this tough time.

I think ultimately it comes down to will power. I wouldn’t say that’s a strength of mine, as yet again it’s a goal to lose weight. The saying is ‘doing something seven things in a row it will become a regular pattern.’ The truth is it’s much harder to keep your good habits going then it is to fall off them, but you’ve got to just keep getting on that horse, to use another cliche.

I wrote at the beginning of the year that 2020 was going to be our year, there was all this positive energy to channel in to our own improvements, but that didn’t go according to plan. Things really derailed and now there’s a new reality we have to struggle with. However, it’s just another challenge to overcome and to try yet again to put good habits in to work and remember this isn’t normal.