Everyone has a routine. Maybe it is wake up, go to work, go home, and repeat. However, this kind of routine can quickly become unhealthy. We end up living the same day over and over without giving ourselves time to rest. It can be overwhelming, and incredibly stressful.
A healthy routine may be more important than you think. Starting and maintaining a healthy routine can foster good habits, reduce stress, and help keep you organised.
Here are some tips to starting and maintaining a healthy routine.
Write down some goals. These can be projects you want to complete at work, chores around the house, or something you want to learn. If it is something you want to do, write it down. Now separate these into long-term and short-term goals.
Long term goals
These can look like:
- Lose weight
- Learn a new language
- Get to know your co-workers better
- Continue your education
- Save up for a car
Keep in mind, these types of goals can take a long time to finish, so you often will not see results right away.
It is much easier to complete long-term goals if you break them up into smaller parts. For example, if you are saving up for something, plan to deposit a small amount of money into a savings account at the end of each week.
These can look like:
- Do your homework
- Drink more water
- Plan some time to rest
- Join a local soccer team
- Apply for three jobs
- Vacuum more
- Go to sleep earlier
These are goals you can begin today and start to see the results quickly.
Keep in mind, all these goals need to be realistic. You may be told that in order to be productive, you must wake up early, or only eat specific foods. However, that is not realistic for some people. This is perfectly fine. You can only be productive if what you are doing is within your capabilities. If you set yourself a goal that is unrealistic, you can quickly become frustrated and demotivated.
Is this something you want to do?
Before you start working on your goals, ask yourself ‘Is this something I actually want to do?’ If the answer is no, remove it from your list. Your goals will be much harder to complete if you are not motivated to complete them in the first place.
If you are unsure, try and examine your motivations. Did someone tell you to do this? Are you being influenced by what other people are doing? Is this something that you have never tried before? Try and understand why you are making this a goal.
Plan out your week
You have set out your goals, now to plan when to do them. This can easily be done using a calendar or a planner. Plan what you are going to do every day and allocate some time to work on your goals.
It can look something like this:
You can also build an activity deck, which will provide daily activities you can try to improve your mental wellbeing
You may find it easier to plan each day as it comes, rather than planning for the week. In that case, try to set aside ten minutes each morning to plan out your day.
Commit to a schedule
The hardest part of maintaining a healthy routine is committing to it. Until you build up those habits, it is likely you will forget to complete tasks or take breaks.
Set reminders for yourself where you will see them. You could use sticky-notes, set alarms on your phone, or even make some task bracelets.
“All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” You will get tired and demotivated very quickly if you do not give yourself breaks from work and time to relax. Breaks can lead to increased productivity, happiness, and energy. You can also get a creativity boost.
You can stretch, go for a walk, have a snack, or have a conversation with a friend or colleague.
This is especially important if you work at home as it can be harder to separate work and relaxation if they occur in the same place. Perhaps allocate a room to work in if you do not have an office, like the living room.
Rewards can give you additional motivation while you are working and a sense of accomplishment when you receive them. The most important reason, however, is because you deserve it. You are working hard and trying your best.
Whether it is a sweet treat, some time on your phone, or that jacket you have had your eye on, rewards are an important part of a healthy routine.
Be patient with yourself
Finally, be patient with yourself. Rome was not built in a day, and neither is your routine.
It is highly likely you may struggle committing to your routine sometimes. You just have to remember that it is okay, you can make mistakes, it is all part of the process. Your routine will become second nature once you get used to it. You just have to build up those habits first.
If you need help maintaining a healthy routine, contact EPIC today.
EPIC Assist is a not-for-profit Disability Employment Services (DES) provider that helps job seekers with a disability, injury, mental health condition, or health condition on their employment journey. We can help you start and maintain your routine and be there with you so you’re not doing it alone.