If you haven’t thought about your daily routine, now is the time to reflect on it. A routine is a fixed set of actions you perform on any given day. Before COVID-19, most people were forced into unintentional routines that consisted of work, life commitments, appointments, and hobbies. Amid all the new rules and changes to our lifestyles, it is easy to lose track of our once healthy habits and goals. Routines are great for accomplishing tasks and also to identify sabotaging habits that may be forming in your life. It is possible to set a healthy “new normal” routine to keep you feeling positive.
Benefits of Starting A Routine
COVID-19 (and forced social distancing) has thrown many people into a routine slump and changs we weren’t ready for. Have you fallen into a routine of sweat pants, Netflix, snacking, social media scrolling, drinking, repeat? Some of us are spending our day stress baking and nurturing little ones while others are trying to hold it together as they work from home.
There are many benefits to routines, but you might be surprised that stress reduction and improved mental health are among the top reasons to start a routine. Have no experience setting a routine? That’s Ok! Let’s explore the value of a routine and how to start one.
Feel a Sense Of Control
Having a routine is comforting when other aspects of life feel unpredictable. Creating daily To-Do lists help set priorities and differentiate distractions. When you can’t control external factors, knowing a routine is in place helps create a much-needed certainty and takes the guesswork out of your ever-changing day.
Coping with Changes & Challenges
Let’s face it our To-Do list just got bigger while we juggle the many roles we have to fulfill in the home right now. You might be homeschooling, working from home (and learning new software), learning cooking skills, and trying to juggle the new rules for school or online learning. You may also be required to work long hours under stress (as essential staff) and the list goes on. A lot of our familiar conveniences have been indefinitely suspended. Organizing tasks so they are manageable is more efficient and less overwhelming. With a good routine in place, if something unexpected comes up in your day, you can easily move things around without everything crumbling.
Reduce Stress Levels
Your brain and body are an efficient machine. Taking all the things you have running around in your head and putting them on paper helps bring clarity to your mind. You are also less likely to let daunting tasks pile up if you tackle a little bit every day. A routine will improve your focus and reduce the worry that you are forgetting something.
Create Healthy Habits
Routines help you identify unhealthy habits that you may have unintentionally started (like sweat pants and a Netflix binge every day) and help you start habits that make you feel good. Routines can include things like self-care, sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise. Studies even show that routines can help reduce ADHD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Break the Cycle of Shame and Negativity
A routine is something you can rely on that you know you can do well. Feeling a sense of accomplishment is good for your psyche. How often have you compared yourself to others on social media and felt like a failure? It’s not about succeeding at everything, it’s about accomplishing things that are meaningful to you without getting side-tracked by what others are doing. If you want to be “fit” then set a workout routine, if you want to be more present with your kids set a “nightly story-time” routine. An intentional routine will improve your positive self-talk.
Not sure how to start your routine? We’re here to help you with our next blog Five Steps to Intentional Routines. If you are suffering from migraines or insomnia, then Traditional Chinese Acupuncture can help get to the root of the problem. We are now booking appointments with Jacqueline. Contact the office for more information.