Now is not the time to forget the three S’s

As we embark on a need world, where your work and personal life are blurred through self-isolation and social distancing rules, now is not the time to let go of daily routines.

Why do I say this? Let me share some background first.

My parents were both in the military;  my mum the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and my dad, all three services spanning some 30 plus years combined. Not surprisingly then, growing up included a lot of routine and structure, around making beds, tidying my room, shining shoes, ironing clothes and of course, the Three S’s – otherwise known as S@#t, Shower, Shave.

These habits  – although seemingly annoying as a child – undoubtedly laid the foundation of the person I am today. While I am certainly not as structured in all areas of my life now (ironing is becoming a distant memory!), the simple habit of the morning routine has followed me, from my time in the RAAF to my newfound role as a step mum; providing me with the skill and understanding of why good habits (also known as strategies) are important for success.

There are many stories about why the Three S’s are important. The one I was told by my mum and dad relates to setting up your day for success. In the military, personal are required to S@#t, Shower, Shave daily. The purpose of this routine is to signal that its time to go to work.

Imagine you are in bunkered down for days, even weeks on end, unable to go anywhere, travel or even spend time with friends. (Oh that’s right… we are!).  The Three S’s provided a daily routine to help change their state and improve morale. 

Studies have found a morning shower and routine can have a positive impact on our psychological wellbeing. Not only will the shower increase your energy; it can promote positive mental thought and creativity!  Doing your hair/makeup* can make you feel ready for anything, and if your bed is made, you know it’s time to get moving.


I am not in the military, so why S@#t, Shower, Shave?


When we have nowhere to go, our contact is via the telephone or email, rather than Zoom, Skype, GoogleDuo or FaceTime (unless we are a teenager or pre-teen!), and our work and home are merely steps away from each other, it is easy to spend the day in PJs, and to ‘forget’ to shower or shave/groom.  Imagine doing this for days on end.

How will you start to feel?
Slothlike?  Lacking energy? Unmotivated? Depressed?

Now imagine you still get up and regardless of whether you are working from home, or adjusting to new-found unemployment, continue with your normal morning routine – whether it be movement and meditation, the Three S’s, making your bed, or spending time with the family before ‘work’.   

How will you feel now?  Energised? Motivated? Grateful? Ready for the day?

Just like military personnel on deployment, bunkered down, the simple acts of showering, shaving (and of course the last ‘S’) can help change your state. To set your day up for success – rather than a slippery sloped to the land of the sloth.

So…while you are doing your part to stop the current pandemic, now is not the time to forget the Three S’s.


*Note for those yelling at the screen thinking I am saying women NEED to wear makeup. I am not!  What I am saying is, at least for me, when I get up, shower, do my hair (this could be a full blow out, or just a great high pony tail!), moisturise my face and put makeup on (even something as simple as mascara), I feel ready to take on the day.

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