Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
Who: Chris Carrabba
Where: Nashville, Tenn.
Recommendation: Sticking to a schedule
I write this only a week or so into my period of isolation yet I am surprised at how much it has changed me — for the better. To my great surprise, the schedule I've made and have been following has taken some of the specter of stress out of the air.
I have enough worries and questions clouding my head in this tough time; taking away the stress of thinking about what I'm going to do next with my time has been liberating and curative. I was not expecting a simple thing like keeping to a schedule to have such a profound effect but it has. I've embraced my routine and it feels really healthy. I've changed my waking hours radically. I wake up at 5 instead of 9. I fall asleep around 10 instead of 2 or 3. I have made a detailed schedule for myself and I love it. I believe this is the key to keeping even-spirited through this trying time.
The schedule isn't harsh and I don't punish myself if I drift off the plot. Among the things on the schedule are the mundane, such as cleaning my house, laundry, home repairs and the like. On the schedule there is entertainment, which includes reading (I seem to be racing through books), watching TV shows — which I will not binge but savor one or two episodes per day — and listening to music, which is my almost constant companion. Exercise is listed. I am pushing my body and mind and it is meditative. There's time for studying Spanish, time allotted for vocal scales and guitar technique, which is a blissfully endless pursuit. Time for every aspect of family life is defined. Phone calls to family and friends far away are listed and are highlights to my day.
I always knew I thrived on order in my work life, but I have never considered making a schedule for every hour of my at-home life. I have found great comfort in it. Oh, and I put my phone down and forget about it for hours.