It’s April 1, 2020 … and today, we start this new month knowing that the world as we know it has changed; and that when the time comes and we emerge from the comfort of our homes : things WILL be different.

Perhaps, our Pinterest boards will no longer be filled with aspirational travel locales, but posts on how to travel locally with your health and safety in mind. Instead of Instagram feeds filled with #girlsquads at fancy restaurants weekly, an image of dinner for two made with love just once a month. Rather than a wedding in the countryside with 150 of your closest … it’s a quiet elopement and courthouse vows. My goodness, what will the new normal look like?

The truth is, no one knows. I surely don’t.

What you can do right now is take care of you. And yes, your family too, but I’m talking about you – you are important! And I’m not writing this post to preach about beauty based self-care – face masks, bubble baths, giving your hair a good wash – I know I talk about that a lot. I’m speaking more about taking care of you, your mental health, and doing what it takes to make you feel safe, secure, and as positive as possible coming out of this pandemic.

Everyone has the right to deal with the current world events in their own personal way. You can smile through it, you can cry through it, you can sleep through it. You do you. But, if you find that your anxiety or stress levels are getting the best of you, I encourage you to test out and try different actions and steps to protect your mental health. It could be as simple as practising a regular morning routine to bring back some normalcy to your day, or something a little more complex like finding an online therapist to check in with weekly.

My biggest concern right now, is keeping my family fed and healthy and keeping my small business, BlushPretty, alive. I’ve managed, for the past few weeks to maintain a calm and positive outlook, but as news broke yesterday that we potentially have another month to go … I realize I need a bit more than positivity and a go-getter attitude to keep on trucking. I need a plan. It’s the only way my mental health will survive.

And so, I made one and it goes like this :

Wake up everyday, stretch, have some water and walk the dog : Stretching and meditating calms me, water wakes me up, and being out in the sunlight instead of inside has made a difference; I just make sure I practise physical distancing.

Eat three meals a day : Because I’ve undertaken a “homeschooling” situation with my children, I treat breakfast and lunch as I do for their school schedule, and have dinner as normal. I have a chalkboard which lists out what they are getting for each meal so they don’t ask repeatedly, and it takes away the mental weight and strain of figuring it out in the moment.

Check in with my finances daily : We just moved into a new home last November, and I have rent to pay on two studios; drops in investments and interests rates don’t scare me – but I feel better knowing what’s coming in and what’s coming out. It calms me to check each of my banking apps daily, to know what payments are coming up and having a plan for each dollar that’s come in. I know for many this can be scary but try to find a financial check-in that works for you. Better to be aware than surprised.

Connect, even if briefly, with a friend : Not through an Instragram or Facebook comment … connect with one person daily by videochat or a messaging system. It takes two minutes on WhatsApp to ask how someone is doing. And a 30-minute videochat can do wonders for your emotional health.

Nap, Read and Work on the Business : I always said I would do it more, if I had the time. Guys – I have the time. After homeschooling my kids, I have three options : nap, read, or tackle my business to-do list.

Build my Animals Crossing New Horizons world : What we fear the most right now is lack of control. We don’t have control of our work, our day to day life, or what they have in stock at the grocery stores. But I do have control over my little virtual island.

I truly believe “having a daily plan” has gotten me this far. It’s definitely not a one size fits all solution, but the purpose of my post today is to tell you to seek out what you need to protect your mental and emotional health. I would love to hear about what you’re doing to have some consistency and routine in your life. Leave a comment and share your tips, tricks or troubles!