TOLT #89 – The Challenge of Forming (and Keeping) Good Habits During a Pademic

This week is NOT going as planned. I intended to take things just one day at a time this week. I was trying to get into a routine I would be able to maintain for the upcoming weeks in which my children start school again (online on Monday) and I am back to teaching (hybrid….whatever that will still look like). However, it’s all falling apart….

How do you manage fear of the unknown?

Monday I went to campus for the first time since March. I had to interact with people and one had “forgotten” her mask. I had to be inside of a building where everything felt very claustrophobic because the equipment was spread out and there were x’s on floors and circles on seats and tape marking off space to be in or not to be in. A building that is usually feels alive and larges while filled with sweaty exercising people now felt so small and enclosed while empty. My mind started reeling with thoughts of what and how and where and how often.

No safe spaces?

While I was on campus my family was going through a derecho in Iowa. We’re now mostly out of contact for maybe up to two weeks. That was supposed to be my go to space if we had a very bad hurricane this year….although, Iowa has been more lax than NC in it’s pandemic response and at one point their cases were worse than ours. I wonder what we will do if there’s a bad hurricane this fall as we’ve had in the past. Where do you go that’s safe to retreat to?

Habits for control?

So, much of this time off from life I have been depending upon habits….those that I already had and reinforcing them and those that I was cultivating to fill my time. I realized that this is a form of coping mechanism for me. It allows me to have some control over my life and feel like it’s not totally out of control. Things like writing on the blog regularly and exercising in some way daily. Lately I have added flossing my teeth nightly (especially since I got the old retainer off and I can finally floss properly!), a facial skin care routine with a morning and night lotion, and just in the last couple of weeks, using a food tracker.

These past two weeks I haven’t been able to maintain my new or old routine and it’s sending me into a bit of a tizzy. Today I slept in an extra hour and a half, but when I got up, I decided to come here and write. Because writing here and/or journaling have both been sources of calm and order. It’s a way to put my head back in the right space. To make a new plan. To move forward from whatever is plaguing me.

Prepare and Be Flexible

This is my motto for August. Prepare for what you can; be flexible with what you can’t.

I was supposed to return to campus again today to see a new teaching space. I can’t go and am now limited to virtual interactions because I am waiting to hear about test results from a member of my household. COVID may have made its way into our house.

So, now I will be home, preparing my courses, preparing the rest of my month, preparing a safe environment for my children to start school, preparing for the news. I am home and being flexible in what I can achieve from this space and what life will look like for the rest of the week etc.


But don’t forget to let it out and keep moving forward. I know that this is not what I planned, it’s not what you planned, it’s not how this year was supposed to go. What can we do now? Prepare and be flexible and

Share with me your story of how you’re getting through in the comments below.


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