2020 wasn’t the best year for anyone. We all can agree on the thought that this year has been one of the hardest for the world. The global pandemic has put a halt on life as we knew and has wreaked havoc on the daily normal. It all started with a mere 15 days lockdown and has ended up sucking the better part of 2020. Work from home and studying online for hours has become a mandatory norm but what do you think will happen in 2021?
We can’t expect to stay at our homes for the rest of our lives but how are we going to turn around the schedule that has turned to a mess. How do you plan on returning to the schedule after lockdown ends in 2021? This is a still a far-fetched question; before that, let me ask, do you even realise that your schedule and the daily normal is the flip-side of what it used to be? Let me explain.
What led to the changing of schedules in lockdown and why should we begin focusing on returning to schedule?
Before answering this question let us all remember how we all were when the coronavirus pandemic first hit the world. For India, the lockdown began roughly from March 16, 2020, and we were told that it would extend up to March 31, 2020. It was a treat to ears at the beginning. As a college student, I was free from regular classes, tests, lab work and assignments. We didn’t realise the severity of the situation back then. All we did was sleep late, eat junk, scroll social media, binge-watch series and other things we couldn’t manage in the previous hectic schedules.
As the end came closer we realised that the situation is not yet contained and it would take up half of April too! We all had a ‘ye bhi theek moment’ (this is fine too) believing that the situation might end soon and enjoyed the vacation. Little did we all know that this would extend to be a ten months-long break that doesn’t even seem to be a vacation now! These ten months have been nothing less than a roller coaster, to be honest. The beginning was exciting when we enjoyed the free time unaware of the seriousness of the situation, then slowly that free time started to become more of a prison and now I can’t find words to describe the emptiness that has been left after facing a change that none of us wanted.
Why should we be concerned about returning to the schedule after lockdown ends?
After almost a year of misery and the world is a wreck there have been some promising results in the development of vaccines that can assure that life can slowly return to normal in 2021. This is indeed a piece of joyous news but there are real things to be concerned about that most of us haven’t considered yet. What are your plans for returning to the schedule after the lockdown ends? Let me ask another question; how is your daily schedule now? Is it the same as it used to be in 2019? Are you confident enough that you can the same tasks you did immediately after the lockdown ends with same spirit and agility?
Work from home and online classes have brought a massive change in our daily schedules and the ways we worked. I know I can say for most of the people that we certainly are not as active as we used to be. Managing tasks, work and studies, running errands, sports activities and then making time for friends and family used to seem busy and hectic but we could still manage it easily but I don’t think we can say the same now. Ask yourself a few questions to know if you are good or is it time you should start worrying about returning to schedule now?
- How is your sleeping schedule? Do you sleep and wake up on time even though you don’t have to worry about running to a class?
- How is your diet? Do you eat at the same time each day and take proper meals or are you skipping meals and eating irregularly?
- Can you focus on the work that you do from home or online classes or just get distracted and do other stuff?
- Are you exercising and working out enough or you sit all day on your bed and move only for getting food or other essentials?
If the answer to these questions are not what you want to hear then you should work on a plan for returning to schedule as the world is slowly returning to normal and so should you. Everyone needs to ramp up themselves after any sort of vacation. This certainly has been the longest vacation that most people will ever have so our efforts for returning to the schedule will also take a while. You may now realise that this situation is also severe and if you don’t start now you may fall back and that’s now you’d want when the world would be running fiercely to get back what they lost.
How to return to schedule after lockdown ends in 2021?
Many of us might be aware that our schedule has been messed up but procrastination takes the better of us whenever we plan to change it. We postponed it month after month and vowed to definitely work on a plan (for returning to schedule) in 2021, but now what? 2021 is here! Did you change your entire schedule instantly? Did your New Year Resolution plan started working out or is it still a mess? It has only been two days since we jumped into a new year but it is enough to check whether you made a progress or not. If your plan for returning to schedule didn’t work then don’t be too disheartened. It isn’t your fault. These things take time and efforts, and you need a proper plan to change the schedule that has been your new normal for almost a year now.
Fix you sleep schedule first
First things first, start with trying to fix your sleep schedule. In the beginning, it was a bit exciting when we were trying to be reckless and sleeping very late at night and sometimes even morning and waking up by noon. But do you still find it good? Aren’t you a bit tired of this messed up the sleeping schedule that ruins the day even before it begins? I know it is easy to get swayed and sleep late. You don’t have to worry about rushing to school, college or work the next morning but this is bad for your health and also a roadblock for your returning to the schedule.
You can’t change your schedule instantly because you want to. It is simply not possible but it can be done slowly with will and determination. Start by taking small steps like cutting the use of electronic gadgets fifteen minutes before bed. Going to bed 15 minutes early for half a week and then increasing that time slowly would also be a help for returning back to schedule. For a detailed account on how to fix your sleep schedule, I insist you read the article here.
Then start on following a regular diet
We have been eating very irregularly since the lockdown began. Skipping meals and eating junk has become normal. We eat at a different time each day. There is no fixed time when we take breakfast, lunch or dinner and sometimes even just skip them just because we are too lazy to get up. But we have to start disciplining ourselves from these small things.
Once we succeed we can then project it for our plan to returning to the schedule. Start by having breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time each day. You have to be very strict about this. Start eating healthy and try to avoid junk as much as you can. Just try to resist the temptation at least once in two days and will slowly see positive changes in yourself. You need to eat well in order to have the strength to hold on to your resolution.
Start exercising and work on focus for returning back to schedule
Since the lockdown hit we have been exercising less and less each day. Sitting for classes and work all day and only getting up for trips to washroom or kitchen is the only exercise some of us are doing. Believe it or not, it is not healthy for your body. We need to move our body constantly in order to stay physically and mentally healthy. The lack of focus and even the discomfort while sleeping at night is also the outcome of not working out and moving our body enough.
But this can be solved very easily if you start small. Just try to fix a short amount of time in the morning or evening and start exercising for at least fifteen minutes, to begin with. You should also remember to do this at the same time each day so that you don’t have to force yourself to het up each day. It will become a habit soon and you can then increase the time slowly according to your needs.
The Bottom Line
The past ten months have been a very hard time for everyone. Even though some people have managed to achieve things that you can be envious about, you shouldn’t worry about that. You didn’t have to be productive and should be grateful that you have survived this pandemic. But now it is time that you at least prepare yourself for returning to the schedule. It isn’t going to be easy to face a change this large when you return so you should start prepping yourself slowly. Let us hope that the world heals itself and things can go back to how they were. This lockdown has made me appreciate those times and I hope you do too!