Why Routine Is So Important
The word ‘routine’ might feel like somewhat of a rigid or boring way to live your life but the benefits of implementing a consistent pattern of action into your days are countless.
While routines should be individual to each of us, an effective routine can do everything from improve work/life balance, reduce stress, improve sleep, nurture relationships and promote better physical health and emotional wellbeing. As well as being useful tools to help plan our days, routines help us to create positive daily habits that encourage self-care. The better we get at organising our time, the easier it is to figure out what’s important to us and carve out time for it.
Although routines will naturally vary, one that is critical for everyone to implement is a good sleep schedule. But it’s not just about ensuring you go to bed on time and get enough sleep (anywhere between 7-9 hours on average) it’s also about establishing a consistent wakeup routine that you can implement every day, even on weekends. Your body and brain start preparing to wake up approximately 90 minutes before you actually do, so having a fixed wake up time means they can prepare accordingly and will ensure you don’t feel groggy the minute you open your eyes.
Here are some other great routines to get into.
Take a walk
Going for a 10-minute walk every evening after you eat your last meal is a good routine to get into to help improve digestion and promote relaxation before bed. When we consistently get poor quality sleep, our mood deteriorates, our motivation to exercise decreases and our cravings for poor quality foods increases.
Rest Your Gut
A gut reset routine is one of the best things you can do for your physical health so try and build intermittent fasting into your daily routine. Giving your body a break from eating gives your digestion a chance to rest and minimises the disruption to your gut microbiome’s own circadian rhythm, which can help improve digestive discomfort like bloating.
Pick up a pen
Poor sleep disrupts everything, which can quickly spiral, causing a multitude of physical and emotional consequences. If your mind is always racing and starting to affect your sleep, get into the habit of making a list of things that are on your mind every night before bed. Getting them onto paper means they’re out of your head and can be set aside until you feel ready to tackle them in the morning, leaving you free to sleep easier.
Practising positive breathing may sound like something you don’t need a routine for, but the more you practise, the better you’ll become at helping to reduce your stress response whenever it’s triggered. Try the box breath method which asks you to breath in for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4 and hold for 4. Keep the breath movement in the belly and not the chest area and set aside a few minutes a day to work on it until it feels second nature.