Blursday is a term that’s being tossed around on social media right now to describe the merging of minutes, hours and days since COVID-19 shut so much of the world down. Before the pandemic, it was a term that described a drunk or hungover day, according to Urban Dictionary. You can probably see the similarities.
Days, at least for the last couple months, have been flowing into each other with no line delineating one from the other. The work and social activities that used to help us box up time are mostly absent. On top of that, there’s no clear answer as to when things will really shift in a different direction, if they will, or if they do what that will look like. Blursday posts might be funny on Facebook, but Blursday is a dangerous space for many people and not just because it might resemble the fuzzy day after and day after that in addiction.
Here’s a secret: Healthy structure breeds security, and a sense of security is actually necessary for our survival, according to Abraham Maslow.
Blursday, even without the threat of a highly contagious virus and financial ruin, can cause humans to feel anxious and depressed. Whether you loved your job or hated it, whether you enjoyed the free time your got in the mornings when your kids went off to school or not, those things helped line out your days, your weeks, and even your months. Without those external time boundaries, many of us are left floating, and the ocean can seem endless. For those among us who struggle with substance use disorders and other mental illnesses, this gray space can be a ticking timebomb.
Here’s the good news, Blursday, unlike COVID-19, is something we can control if we are willing to put in a little effort. It may seem easier to curl up on the couch with another season of Breaking Bad, but if you want to beat Blursday, try these things instead:
- Set up a Morning Routine. It can be almost anything if it:
- is simple and easy to do;
- wakes you up in a safe way;
- feels like a positive start;
- and is different from what you do to wind down in the evening.
- Set up an Evening Routine. It can be almost anything if it:
- is simple and easy to do;
- is different from what you do in the morning;
- helps you set up something for the next day;
- and helps you wind down in a safe way.
- Set up Weekly Tasks that can be done on a consistent day. For example:
- Laundry on Monday;
- Floors on Wednesday;
- and the Bathroom on Saturday.
- Schedule in Time for Fun/Rest Daily, Weekly and Monthly. Remember, there are two reasons for this. Fun and rest are both critical for our Beings, and scheduling in novel things at different times helps break up time. It helps us build structure, avoid the blur, and thereby feel a little more secure.
Let’s be clear about something, this isn’t about productivity. This is about security. It’s about feeling a little less at-sea. Blursday is not a safe place for humans to live for very long, and since we can’t control COVID-19, our government agencies, our employers, or our children’s schools, we need to take hold of what we can. Building in a sense of structure, little boxes for time, can help soothe jangling nerves that are ringing from too much limbo, too much blur. Security is necessary for survival, and there are healthy ways to build it, even in this uncertain time.
Dr. Allaire received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, as Valedictorian of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and his Medical Doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine, where he served as Chief Resident. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox. Dr. Allaire specializes in medically assisted detox cases, treating patients in recovery from addiction or other mental health disorders, the medical assessment and monitoring of patients with addictive disorders, medical care related to eating disorders and the medical treatment of patients with mental health conditions.