how to create a good routine
A balanced routine provides stability and peace of mind. In this article, I explain the benefits of having a daily routine and how you can create a healthy routine.
NB: I am not advocating living a ‘routine life’, ie. living the same day again and again, forever. This article is on how to use a daily routine to establish calm in times of uncertainty.
If you are experiencing uncertainty in any area of life, you can create comfort and calm by developing a routine which suits your lifestyle.
Many of us feel anxiety, worry or stress at times in life. Our inner worlds can reflect the turmoil of the world outside.
On a personal level, at the beginning of Covid-19 back in early Spring 2020, I found myself feeling anxious; unable to focus, extremely restless and blindly walking around the house with no purpose or intention. All idea of work or productivity went out of the window as I (pointlessly) channeled much of my energy into my mind’s made-up stories.
Enter the routine.
Routine lowers stress, worry and anxiety as it reduces the appearance of uncertainty by creating consistency. Routine builds a sense of security and allows you to feel more in control.
If the word routine fills you with feelings of being trapped or boring, try switching it for the word rhythm. Routine is the rhythm of your day.
Even if you have severe resistance to making a routine, I urge you to try it just for a week or two to instill calm and get back into the driving seat of your life. Then if you wish to, go back to your usual way of running your day and come back to a routine as and when you feel the need to resume a sense of control.
Here are 8 tips for your personalised routine:
1. Circadian Rhythm
Almost all living organisms have a circadian rhythm – a sleep wake cycle which regulates bodily functions and even moods. To keep your circadian rhythm at optimum levels, try to wake up and go to bed at roughly the same time each day. This also contributes towards better sleep and energy renewal.
2. Morning Mindset
How you experience your morning is a big contributing factor towards your mindset during the day. Dedicate time to wake, stretch, meditate and mindfully drink your first tea, coffee, water or juice. This will work wonders on how you experience the day.
3. Pen to Paper
I am a huge advocate of Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages exercise which takes just 10-15 minutes. Ideally first thing in the morning, or with your first drink, write down three pages of free-flowing thoughts. Without pause or correction, just write down what comes into your head. This enables your mind to offload thoughts which could clog your brain or derail your focus during the day.
4. It’s a Goal
Write down your 3-month goals every morning. Religiously. This helps you to keep focus on what you want in life and reminds you why you are doing what you doing. For example, a goal may be to save X amount of money (therefore you are working to earn money to save), or perhaps you have a goal to run the next marathon (therefore you are fitting exercise into your routine in order to have the fitness levels for a marathon).
“Look for magic in the daily routine” Lou Barlow
5. Eating Habits
If possible, take your meals at the same time each day. This aids routine and of course, digestion. If you are working from home, setting a specific time for lunch at least will help you maintain control of your daytime hours.
6. Take a Break
At work, and especially if you are working from home, take regular breaks. General advice is take 10 minutes for every hour of working but if this doesn’t work for you, try different patterns until you find one that you like. (I prefer to stop every 90 minutes for a 20-minute break.)
7. Wellness Wisdom
One of the NLP Beliefs of Excellence is that ‘mind and body are systemic’. Create time in your routine for mind and body health. Fit in a meditation, a short breathing exercise or physical exercise. There are many fitness, yoga or pilates online classes available to choose from, try Joe Wicks or SanctuaryWellness.Live.
8. Creativity & Connection
Don’t forget to allow time for creative activities or hobbies and catching up with friends and family. Make sure you have time to do the things you enjoy to do to feel good, generate happy feelings and encourage relaxation.
Do you have kids? Children benefit from your routine as it helps them learn self-regulation and reduces the impact of change. They will follow your lead.
If you are working from home and finding it difficult to maintain a work life balance or motivation, have lost your clarity or feeling of connection, I can help.
Life coaching and NLP techniques can help you feel more positive, energised and balanced.
Listen to my podcast episode: Think Better, Feel Better in Challenging Times on the Sanctuary Wellness podcast
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