Routines can get a bit boring…day after day, we get up, eat, go to work, come home, hang out, go to bed…or some variation of this. Some of us stay home with kids, some travel frequently for work, etc. Either way, almost everyone has a routine.
My Attempt at a Routine
I’m at home with the kids and we have a routine. It’s pretty stable because Julian and Lily do their best with one. I do okay with a routine, but if things get shaken up, I am okay. The kids require a bit of notice. Otherwise, one or both can get quite upset and nobody wants that.
They like knowing what will happen when they get out of school- snack, homework, dinner, shower, TV/screen time then bed, with some outside time thrown in if the weather is okay.
This changes when there are school breaks, of course, or in case of horrible flu outbreaks like the one in January. In that case, nobody moves and we watch a ton of TV when we are awake to do so.
We don’t schedule much on weekends- those are open for fun things with friends, family, and my weekly Yoga for Recovery class.
Why Is Routine Important?
Would you want to go through your days not knowing what’s happening next? This does not sound fun, in fact, it would likely create a lot of anxiety. You would become anxious at not knowing where to go, what to do, or even when to eat (besides your stomach telling you).
Routines can create a soothing effect, even if you don’t realize it. It can be comforting. You can leave work or otherwise come to the end of your day knowing that you can relax, however you choose to do so.
Having a routine is also great for kids. It decreases anxiety and creates stability. They can eventually learn to plan things around their routine, like extracurricular activities, with your help.
Routine is also helpful for major life changes and trying to adjust after them- it helps restore a sense of normalcy. It helps make you feel like you’re getting back into real life, not the event that you are coming out of- divorce, a death in the family, moving, or other changes.
How Can I Start a Routine?
If you aren’t a routine-based person, it’s okay. Not everyone is. If you want to try starting one, it definitely requires small steps. Throwing too many changes at yourself can cause overwhelm.
Try these tips:
- Try a small breakfast, quick meditation or other activity in the morning. It can be good to try something new while building a routine.
- Don’t get angry at yourself if you get out of routine. It happens.
- When coming home from work or going out for the day, try an activity to help shift to being home. Most people go through the mail, change clothes, listen to music, etc.
- Try to stick to your routine as much as you can but stay open to change. Rigidity increases anxiety and even anger. Example: having to stop amd pick up a forgotten ingredient for dinner or pet food isn’t the worst thing that can happen in a day.
Depending on why you decided to change or create a routine, your results may be a bit different than someone else’s. Everyone can benefit from a routine, from kids to the elderly.
Have you changed or created a new routine lately?