Quarantine is the perfect time to create a better daily routine and incorporate healthier habits. For the first time ever, you can take your lunch break at a time that suits you, and adjust timings to your own advantage. Routines are great for our bodies and minds, and if you do it right, you’ll experience many benefits.
If you stick to a routine, you’ll find you are more productive in both your work and personal life. This is because routines can engender a sense of purpose, give you direction in life, and help life to feel meaningful. When you feel that your life is meaningful, you experience enhanced feelings of wellbeing and motivation. And, when you feel motivated, you get more done!
There are other reasons routines enable you to achieve more in your day. Routines help you to save energy since you can identify where you are most effective. And when you do something in the same way every time, a task becomes easier, which means you free up cognitive space for other jobs or more difficult challenges. Further, following a routine helps to keep you grounded and cope with decision-making.
Follow a similar routine every day, particularly if you are working from home. When your working day is finished, log off your computer and leave your desk or the area you have allocated for your work. If it helps, engage in an activity that will help you to unwind or mentally distance yourself from work. This could be walking the dog, cooking a meal, or completing a few essential household chores. As a result, you’ll be better organised and ready to relax.
More Quality Time with Loved Ones
If you’re more productive work-wise and better organised personally, you’ll be able to spend more quality time with loved ones. Make sure to schedule essential tasks into your daily routine so they don’t build up and become overwhelming. You could make it part of your daily routine to load up the washing machine when you make your morning coffee, clean kitchen surfaces after every meal, and order your online shop at a set time every week.
Quality time is time when you are mentally present, not just physically. You are not distracted by concerns or worrying about things you haven’t done, or constantly checking your phone for incoming emails; your attention is focused on the here and now.
Those around you get the best of you, and you are able to enjoy what you are doing. Whether it’s talking, playing a game, watching a film, eating together, or anything else you choose to do with the people who are important to you, it will be a far better experience if you are calm and relaxed.
Less Stress and Better Sleep
Naturally, if you are relaxed, you are more likely to experience a good night’s sleep. Following a routine can help you to reduce your stress levels. Conversely, lack of routine and structure can lead to decreased wellbeing, anxiety, and depression.
Research suggests that routines are associated with feelings of comfort, confidence, safety, and control. For example, if you are accustomed to sitting in the same seat at the same desk every day, imagine how you will feel if you suddenly have to sit elsewhere.
Studies show that children behave better when they have a routine because they know what to expect and therefore feel safe. It’s a similar thing for adults. If you do a similar thing at the same time every day, you know what is coming next. As a result, you can relax and get on with the task at hand.
A bedtime routine for a good night’s sleep:
- Set a regular bedtime schedule to help your brain and internal body clock get used to a set routine.
- Have your last cup of coffee or sugary drink about seven hours before bedtime.
- Stop using electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime.
- Have a warm bath and watch TV or listen to the radio.
An exercise routine for a safe workout:
- Schedule your chosen exercise into your daily plan.
- If you’re going to take part in strenuous exercise like a long run or bike ride, you need to eat in advance so your body has the fuel to create the energy you need.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Warm up with dynamic stretches. You need to warm up and flex the muscles you will be using and start moving to increase your heart rate.
- Cool down afterwards to allow your heart rate to return to its resting rate.
An eating plan for a more nutritious diet:
- Shop in advance so you’ve got the ingredients you need for your snacks and meals.
- Make a meal plan for the week ahead and put it somewhere the whole family can see it.
- Start the day with a healthy breakfast such as porridge, muesli, scrambled eggs, wholemeal toast, or fresh-fruit and low-fat yoghurt.
- Prepare healthy snacks in advance and keep a full fruit bowl nearby.
- Start cooking your main meal before you get too hungry.
Following a routine is good for you physically and mentally and enables you to get the most out of your day. You will experience a sense of purpose and a clearer direction. As a result, your behaviour will be more purposeful. Now is the perfect time to implement healthier routines into your everyday life.
Don't forget to make hygiene a part of your routine by regularly cleaning your hands with hand sanitiser !