Most people’s routines have involved hand-washing and disinfecting everything in sight lately. But preserving other routines, including getting dressed for work, are key for maintaining your mental health.
While the coronavirus pandemic has thrown us all a bit off our game, you should try your best to stick to your typical morning routine that includes showering and getting dressed for work.
Seriously, science says so.
As tempting as it is, don’t work in your pyjamas. You’ll lose your mind very quickly.
Start your day as you would when going to work; shower, groom, wear clean clothes (even if it’s sweatpants). You’ll feel like a person and get in the mindset of ‘working’ too
-from a freelancer
— anoosha syed 🌱 (@foxville_art) March 17, 2020
According to De’Von Patterson, a psychologist at Baptist Behavioral Health, humans don’t appreciate uncertainty. Not knowing what lies ahead can lead to dreaded anxiety.
He told HuffPost,
“A lot of what people are experiencing right now is a disruption of their routine.
When you don’t know what’s coming next, that can be a challenging thing for some people, so a lot of it is about having some semblance of what your day and week looks like.
Knowing what’s coming next can be comforting.”
With so many people shifting to working from home, that’s led many to enjoy typing away in sweatpants and a hoodie. But that’s not necessarily the best thing for your mental health. Patterson explained that it can be easier to be productive when you recreate the cues associated with high efficiency. Putting yourself in the right mindset can lead to higher levels of productivity.
didn’t realize until now how important routine is for my mental health. starting to feel like myself again now that ive scheduled out my day. ahhhh structure.
— czar (@czargeantpaguio) May 9, 2020
Ryan G. Beale works as a licensed psychotherapist and echoes the importance of getting dressed for success.
“I don’t think it’s critical to put your suit on, but you could go ahead and put on khakis and a polo, something that is different from your lounging clothes.
It tells your brain something new is about to happen and helps you shift gears.”
As you’ve seen throughout this post, Twitter concurs…
i’m getting dressed and putting makeup on for work i almost don’t remember this feeling
— 𝚗𝚒𝚔𝚔𝚒 (@johnmulovely) May 5, 2020
Getting your mental health in check can also include practicing other routines, albeit in a slightly different manner. Psychologist Stefanie Schwartz even recommends practicing self-care at home by doing your own hair and nails since salons aren’t open.
“This may sound really silly, but for those of us who go and get our nails done, this may be the first time we’re having to do that ourselves. Anything small you can do to feel empowered and feel that positivity is great.
We can’t go to the hairdresser and cover our grays right now, so we’re learning new skills and that can be empowering, rather than feeling like, ‘Oh great, my nails are a mess and I’m a mess.’”
At the end of the day, no matter the circumstances, it’s still important to follow the old motto of “dress for success.”
How has your morning routine changed over the last few months? Do you still get dressed for work, or do you prefer to work in your PJs?
Tell us about your experience below!