BANGOR – Non-essential businesses are closed, and many Mainers are staying home for the next few weeks, requiring the creation of new routines.
“When you first started driving a car, nothing was familiar about it. Every little thing required thought and mental energy and you were really tired after that first hour-long drive. Now, when you’ve been doing it awhile, it’s all automatic, but all of us right now are going through a re-establishment of routine,” said Dr. David Prescott, Husson University Director of Healthcare Studies.
Dr. Prescott, a clinical psychologist with Northern Light Acadia Hospital, says routines are essential in keeping a sense of normalcy as the lives of Mainers have been disrupted one way or another due to the coronavirus.
“Whatever routine is truly there, I would encourage people to standardize it, if that’s getting up, getting coffee, getting a shower, getting dressed, I think that’s really important,” said Prescott.
While non-essential employees are at home by order of Governor Janet Mills, Dr. Prescott says it’s healthy for those that are physically isolated to work on maintaining social relationships.
“I think you can physically distance yourself without socially and emotionally distancing yourself from people, so find a way to keep those emotional relationships,” Prescott added.
Prescott said Friday that occupations are often a major part of individual’s identities, and in a time when most working people cannot do their job conventionally it’s important to find other meaningful activities.
“Work gives us sense of personal meaning and if you ask yourself ‘what else gives me personal meaning that I can do right now?’ Maybe, that’s part of the answer,” said Prescott.