What Day Is It Again? Why It's So Easy to Lose Track of Time in Quarantine

Time has become a blur.
Time has become a blur. / XtockImages/iStock via Getty Images

There may have been a time in your life when you would find it peculiar to hear people announce they’ve forgotten what day it is. Thanks to shelter-in-place orders due to the current public health situation, feeling disoriented and having to constantly check the calendar has become a new normal. The reason? We’ve lost our daily structure.

According to several psychologists interviewed by the Huffington Post, a lack of a routine has made our internal clocks go haywire. That’s because we don’t necessarily think of Monday as Monday—we think of it as the day we have a spin class, or pick up groceries, or stop by the post office. Absent the tasks and activities we schedule for specific days, they begin to lose their identity.

Working from home has also compounded the problem. Going into the office Friday and being home Saturday helped delineate these days. Now you’re likely home all week, erasing the environmental changes that normally make each day feel separate.

So what can you do? Try to adopt a new routine with a defined schedule. Rather than make each day a lump sum of activity, plan to do chores at specific times. Start anchoring days of the week to a special dinner, virtual conference, or other appointments. If it’s the weekend, reserve time for a movie or book rather than engaging in them during the week. Try something new, like a different kind of exercise or a recipe. A disruption to your normal expectations can help you stay plugged in. And get outside. In addition to fresh air, getting sun will help your body clear up some of the confusion on its own.

[h/t Huffington Post]