How Adding a Daily Routine Improves Everyday Life
Everyday is another opportunity to get things done. In fact, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is structure. Therefore, it’s important to have a daily routine.
Humans are naturally creatures of habit, meaning it’s beneficial to maintain order in your life. Having a routine is especially healthy for developing children. Creating a plan for how they carry out their day allows them to pick up wellness habits they’ll practice for the rest of their lives.
For instance, think of a child’s eating habits. When they have their way, they desire unhealthy food choices, like sweets. When you, as a parent, intervene and make an effort to feed them a well balanced diet everyday, they eventually make a habit of eating healthy foods. These habits typically follow them their entire life. The same applies with creating a bedtime and ensuring they regularly engage in physical activity. Children who develop these patterns usually spend little to no time in the hospital with diseases as an adult.
Consequences of Not Following a Routine
Did you know that healthcare professionals make medical recommendations based on lifestyle habits? Recent studies show that patients who are more likely to follow a health regimen usually commit to their long-term treatments. It’s common for people who don’t create routines have a higher chance of experiencing health issues.
For one, you’re more likely to experience higher stress levels. Healthcare professionals believe every decision you make adds a bit of stress onto you. Whether or not you have a schedule, your everyday needs must be met. When you have things to do but don’t know when you’ll get them done, it creates anxiety, which leads to higher cortisol levels. Higher cortisol levels lead to overall body dysfunction.
This anxiety also negatively impacts your sleep patterns due to constant worry about how few tasks you’ve completed. When your tasks carry over, it begins interfering with your ability to get enough rest. Consequently, sleep deprivation contributes to high stress levels and poor health. In addition to insomnia, stress makes you more likely to develop poor eating and exercise habits.
Basically, lack of a routine defaults to unhealthy habits, which are technically a routine of poor decisions. By simply restoring order in your life, you’re able to perform at your physical and mental peak.
Restoring Wellness with a Routine
Staying physically and mentally healthy is essential, especially in trying times. In order to maintain wellness, you need to make a conscious effort to keep yourself balanced. If you’re battling a mental health condition, creating a routine can help you deal with stressors and cope with change.
In addition to order, having a routine provides room for perspective, which leads to recovery. Mental illness already comes with a sense of uncertainty, so having control over a number of your life’s aspects provides comfort. In fact, some believe having a routine is similar to having an anchor on a boat. If things begin to cause stress or anxiety, knowing what comes next is a great way to keep you grounded. For instance, a panic attack may ensue on your way home, but remembering your scheduled dinner with a loved one gives you peace of mind.
Routines also allow you time to prioritize the things that give you peace. Your ability to find peace in a chaotic situation is key to managing stress. When you make a schedule, you can designate time to be alone, meditate, or whatever brings you back to a healthy mental state. Keep in mind, you won’t always be able to stick to your self-care routine, but having it in the back of your mind motivates you to tend to your mental wellness when you finally get free time.
It’s kind of like being at work and you’re scheduled for a break. Things may get crazy when a bunch of customers come in at once. Instead of leaving your co-workers hanging, you’ll most likely help them with the rush because you understand your break will happen eventually. If you didn’t expect a break and things became hectic, you’d probably have a harder time being optimistic about making it through the work day.
In addition to mental health, a daily routine allows you to get things done. You’re in charge of creating tasks, so you have the ability to prioritize both structural and relaxation tasks however you please. If you need to work on eating better, add cooking and grocery shopping to your routine. If you need to improve your fitness, prioritize a brisk morning walk or during your work break.
Even if you initially struggle with a task, repeatedly doing it as part of your routine raises your chances of improving. Research shows routinely performing a task is the key to mastery. Think about riding a bike. You may have been wobbly at first, but eventually the motion became second nature. With enough practice, you may even be able to do tricks.
You’ll also learn to make better major life decisions. When you repeatedly complete tasks, they become second-nature and require less brainpower. Therefore, you have the brainpower to worry about bigger issues, like accepting a promotion or if you should renew your lease.
How to Create an Everyday Routine
Creating an everyday routine can seem intimidating, especially for people with anxiety or stress disorders. Routines are especially necessary for these people to help them keep their stress under control. Even if you begin gradually, you’ll eventually develop control of your life and make better future decisions. Follow these tips for a successful daily routine.
- Prioritize the tasks you do everyday.
Even if you haven’t created a routine yet, you have an idea of the things you do everyday. For example, if you’re a stay-at-home parent, you understand you must feed, bathe, and get your children ready for school. These are tasks you must add to your daily routine so they aren’t neglected. Prioritize the tasks you can’t afford to miss and you’ll better control the outcome of your day.
- Eliminate as many variables as possible,
Did you know, having too many options can cause stress? In fact, sorting through an abundance of options can even lead to neglecting priorities. Therefore, it’s wise to eliminate anything that makes sticking to your priorities difficult.
If finding an outfit feels like taking an exam, consider getting rid of the clothes you don’t wear. Use one of your days off to separate your favorite clothes from the ones you haven’t worn in a year or more. If you have a lot of extra clothes, consider donating them to a charity. This makes it easier to find something to wear and also helps people in need.
The same applies to your meals. Do you eat the same four or five meals every week? Why not create a meal plan. You like pizza? Monday’s pizza night. How about tacos. Boom, Tuesday you’ll have tacos. The beauty of making these decisions extends beyond knowing future dinner. You can also meal prep to make things much easier. If you know it’s taco night, you can add meal prep to Monday’s task list. This gives a bit of wiggle room in case an emergency delays your dinner plans.
- Start with small goals.
As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. The same concept applies to creating a schedule. Your initial routine should involve a series of smaller tasks. That way, you get used to numerous small victories. If you immediately try tackling larger tasks, it’s likely you’ll feel overwhelmed and give up. Start small and build your way up.
For instance, if you’ve recently had surgery and put on weight during recovery, one of your goals may be getting back in shape. Instead of adding an hour of treadmill time to your daily routine, start with a few laps around the block. Once you master this, gradually make your workout regimen more challenging.
- Don’t be afraid to make amendments.
Sometimes, sticking to a routine is counterproductive. That is, if you have tasks on your schedule that aren’t serving you. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to improve your productivity.
For example, what if you worked for a company with a two hour morning commute. You set your alarm three hours early so you have enough time to get dressed and make it on time. Once you decide to work remotely, you notice waking up three hours earlier is negatively impacting your sleep cycle. If a task, like this one, becomes a detriment, either adjust it or remove it to make room for something beneficial.
- Have a bit of fun.
What’s your favorite thing to do? You probably enjoy it partially because it’s fun. Sure, every task you need to complete throughout the day isn’t fun, but it’s best to make the most of things and add a bit of fun as you go along. For instance, if cleaning your kitchen is on your to-do list, try making a game or rhyme that lightens the mood.
You can also use a fun song to remember which tasks to perform next. Say your children have their own morning routine. If they have trouble remembering which step comes next, a fun rhyme is a great way to help them memorize each step. If you’ve ever seen a princess movie, she often starts off as a humble, young woman who works for someone. Despite her lowly position, her disposition about doing her everyday routine usually catches the eye of a prince. Long story short, do your best to make your tasks as cheerful as possible.
In these crazy times, there’s very little we have control over. One of the ways to find peace from day to day is to create a schedule and stick to it. A schedule allows your body and mind to overcome the anxiety of the unknown. Adults and children alike benefit from having a routine.
Of course, life won’t always adhere to your daily routine. The beauty of a schedule is you’re trained to know what comes next, so even if things do get a little off track, you know where your next step should be and work towards it. You can even schedule some flexibility time in-between important tasks for mental and physical wellness tasks.
Whether you have a specific goal or simply want to ensure you have productive days, consider making a schedule. You’ll begin seeing a positive difference and feel good about your choices, allowing room for future blessings.