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It’s not been the year we expected. But isn’t that always the way. Among the things I hadn’t expected back in January were spending two months helping out with family members who were decluttering and downsizing prior to a move. They had plenty of stationery among their clutter which was a plus (vintage sticky notes anyone?) but I’m glad to be back in my more usual routine. Although perhaps not quite as usual – my regular visits to the library will be curbed once again. But it’s a good time of the year to stay home, develop routines and embrace disruption.

Plan ahead

Look at the next 3 months and come up with a list of things that need taking care of from birthdays to dental appointments to planning a monthly budget. Then schedule on time to take care of them. Either batch them up and take care of all the card writing in one go. Or sprinkle them throughout the weeks and months. If our current situation means you can’t deal with it right now create a list for these and a reminder to check in at a later point and see if there are bits you can resolve.

Create anchors in your week

If the days seem to be all the same then you need to create some markers to divide up the week. Think along the lines of what we call ‘Planning Sunday’. Have a ‘Card Writing Tuesday’ (where you pen cards for approaching birthdays – see the above point. Or a ‘Dress Up Thursday’ (we may or may not be spending the entire winter in onesies). At the very least assign one or two specific tasks to each day of the week. I deal with library books on Tuesdays and clear my inbox at weekends. It gives things a shape and a sense of time passing.

Look back

Regular readers of this site might recall my suggestion back in June to make a note of what had worked well for you in Lockdown. Now is the time to pull out those notes and recall the routines, recipes and hacks that worked for you. Think about how you can apply this experience for self-care as we head into a winter inside.