Why changing my routine has had a positive impact

Ciara talks about some everyday things she used before the COVID-19 pandemic and why she thinks differently about them now

Written by Ciara Mannion


It’s pretty hard to believe that so much of our normal routine has stopped because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Shops are slowly starting to reopen, while schools and colleges remain closed, and many streets lie empty. As we wait for Ireland to slowly return to normality, we’ve put many parts of our lives on hold, like our big morning makeup routine, our ambitious career plans and the fancy clothes we have been counting down the days to wear.

Over the last few weeks, I have stopped focusing on certain things that would have been part of my usual routine before the COVID-19 restrictions. Taking a step back from these things has taught me important lessons about myself. Here are just a few things that I have stopped using and what I learnt from it.


So, makeup. It’s a big part of many people’s lives. Some of us wouldn’t leave the house without some pinch of it on. However, spending 20 minutes on a full face of glam seems so irrelevant right now. It was the first thing I stopped using during the lockdown and it really taught me that focusing on the way we look all the time isn’t as important as we think it is, especially under these circumstances.

Wanting to fit in is a huge factor for many people, but I think it’s important to never stop yourself from chilling in your own skin for fear of what others may think. All of those people who you may compare your makeup to on Instagram may also be insecure about the way they look or parts of their body. So remember to be yourself instead of letting outsiders rule your life. Your natural beauty is what makes you unique on a planet of seven billion people, not some overpriced foundation, so don’t be afraid to let yourself shine once in a while.

Gym membership

Getting fitter, eating healthily and developing a consistent gym routine can have a positive impact on one’s life. You may start to look and feel better, feel more empowered and feel fitter. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, I stopped my usual gym routine and realised that feeling under pressure to look a certain way is unfortunately so normal in this picture-perfect age. However, it’s important to remember there is no such thing as looking perfect. It’s subjective and beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Being happy and healthy is way more important than using exercise to get into a certain size. Sometimes appreciating everything your body can do instead of focusing on the parts you think need to be more toned is just as important as going to the gym.

Agenda / Planner

In the age of TV shows such as Girlboss, Dynasty and Empire, it can feel difficult to be open about failure. I think social media has made this even harder as we are our own personal publicists, constantly planning our lives around what we feel it means to be successful. We often use agendas and planners to give ourselves a sense of control towards these achievements. Not being able to use my planner has taught me that it’s not realistic to be successful all the time, no matter what the internet says. We often forget that if we don’t fail, we don’t learn, and without learning, you won’t succeed in my opinion. You must give yourself permission to fail in small ways all the time, even if it means taking a risk.

Fancy clothes

Can I be any happier than when my online order arrives? I think not. Buying fancy clothes does wonders for my self-esteem and gives me great confidence. We often associate clothes with a chance to grow and make memories. But in my experience, owning more sometimes makes us feel less. I stopped looking for fancy clothes because I realised we don’t need to tick all the fashion boxes to live our best lives. It’s easy to obsess over the latest trends, but next time you think of buying something cute, think is it a want or a need? You’ll be surprised by how much this can impact our shopping by making sure there’s a good reason for everything we buy.

There’s no denying that I wouldn’t have stopped using these things if it wasn’t for the COVID restrictions. Not using these things gave me an opportunity to reflect and think positively even when it might have been easier to be negative. I would recommend you trying something similar because by changing things up, we can learn something that will benefit us in the future.

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