When we can’t keep to our usual routines, we feel more stressed. Although today’s culture often dismisses such feelings as showing weakness or lack of mental flexibility, I believe it’s fair to say that needing routines is just human nature. Routines serve the useful function of reducing stress by limiting the number of decision points we encounter as we go through the day. Decisions, even small ones made without much conscious thought, increase stress because there is always a risk of making a mistake.

It only makes the situation worse if we judge ourselves harshly for feeling stressed. Instead, we need to take especially good care of ourselves when facing disruptions outside our control. There is nothing wrong or selfish about calming ourselves in times of crisis with small comforting routines. Even if it’s as simple as enjoying a cup of tea, taking time for self-care goes a long way toward staying healthy.

Word-art that says "If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind." -Ann Richards, former governor of Texas

(Boss Tip image reposted with permission.)

Addendum: I posted this entry on Friday morning because I couldn’t get into my blog Thursday evening due to hosting company maintenance. That suits the topic of dealing with disruptions, I suppose.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.


  1. Good advice.
    It’s important to take care of ourself in such times.

  2. Hi Meg, you are so right! Yes, routine keeps us grounded. Finally, after a few weeks of lack of grounding, I’m getting used to the new routine of staying at home. I believe it will another hardship to adapt again to the previous routine when all this ends. Stay safe!

    • Elizabeth, I agree that staying at home is beginning to feel normal, while going out and seeing everything closed feels almost like being the main character in a zombie apocalypse movie. Everything has been turned upside down. I am sure you’re right that going back to the previous routine won’t be easy at all.

  3. I agree with having a routine. My usual routine has been shifted as with everyone else.
    Our job is to change the routine with as little stress as possible.
    This is where self-care takes over. If we’re o k then we can adjust – thought-provoking ….
    Isadora 😎

    • Yes, that’s a good way to put it, Isadora — the better we take care of ourselves, the more ability we have to adjust our routines.

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