Most of us have a routine that is personal to us. My daily routine starts something like this:
- My alarm goes off and I will snooze it.
- With my eyes closed, I will remind myself what day of the week it is and whether I need to get up straight away.
- I get out of bed and normally don’t speak to anyone for the first 5 minutes.
- I will visit the bathroom.
- Go downstairs.
- Let the dog out.
- Put the kettle on.
- And so on…
If I think about my day there are clear times for certain things. I have a job, so that is part of my routine. Children mean school run, dinner, bedtime routine, not to mention some clubs thrown in for good measure.
If you break those things down, you get a simple chain of things that have to happen to enable the next thing to happen (i.e get dressed and eat).
You may have heard people - in particular Supernanny - say, that children respond better with boundaries and routine. This is true and has been well researched. The question I want to ask is why do we not hear the same being said about adults?
We don’t suddenly stop needing to get dressed - a bit of an odd thought!
We certainly don’t stop needing food. In fact, I’d argue food becomes a bigger part of your life as an adult. You always hear people ask “what are you having for lunch today?” or “what have you got planned for dinner?”
Eating regularly has a health benefit, sleeping a set amount of hours has a health benefit, adding a regular exercise class in. Having ‘you’ time, maybe just 10 mins to unwind, has a health benefit. This for some people is as simple as a cup of tea, or 10 minutes reading a book.
All of these things feed into a happier, healthier person, and they all stem from routine, which begs one clear question: why wouldn’t you embrace a routine in your life?
Some of the negative effects of not having a routine include increased stress, anxiety, and lack of concentration. In the same manner, as in my earlier example, everything has a chain reaction, and these things can lead to depression, extreme weight gain or loss, and a general downturn in mental wellbeing. All things we want to avoid.
The flip side of these negatives really shines through when you embrace a positive routine. You should sleep better, be less stressed, feel more in control, and hopefully be able to cope. You may also find you have more time, and we could do with some more of that!
Knowing your routine, and identifying your own behaviour and feelings, will really help when things feel like they are getting on top of you.
If you are yet to embrace a routine, here are my five top tips to help you engage and establish one:
- Reflect on a typical day, and outline repeated behaviours.
- When to eat, work, sleep etc?
- When do I have to do certain things and tasks?
- What do I like to do in order to relax?
- When can I do more to enable more free time?
Kickstart 2022 by building your very own routine, and embracing it… most of the time anyway!
Are you following a routine? Has anything changed over the past 12 months? Do you need to add something in to help get over any wobbles you may be experiencing? Let me know by connecting on LinkedIn.