Working to establish and maintain positive routines could contribute to our motivation throughout the day, as well as helping to manage some stress. Being consistent with routines can create a sense of security and control if things are becoming overwhelming and feel hard to manage.
Think back to when we were in school – a regular routine would be in place to encourage us to perform at our best – with even more on our plates as adults, a rough schedule may still be handy.
Nothing about our current situation is normal, so changes are our routines and lifestyle choices won’t be normal either – don’t be too hard on yourself if this is the case, we’re all continuing to adapt to the change. Whatever your situation, hopefully some of these tips will be a helpful starting point.
Protecting those ‘book ends of the day’ – morning and night can help you to start the day with a positive mindset and end it feeling relaxed and ready to sleep.
In the Morning
Our actions first thing can help to set our overall mood and mindset for the day ahead. Consider what is realistic and do what you can. Feeling the benefit from this could make these morning routines more sustainable. Some ideas:
Wake up at a similar time each day:
This will set your internal clock (circadian rhythms) which will synchronise your body with the time of day and help to promote sleep.
If you can, get outside into natural light on a morning, if not, open your blinds and look into it. Your body gets used to being active when it is light and begins to produce more melatonin (our sleep hormone) when it goes dark. When your body has no access to light it goes into a state of rest – great at bedtime but not throughout the day. Make daylight a part of your morning in a way which suits you best.
Avoid screen time:
Take control of your morning mood without the influence from others on social media, or the overwhelm from your work emails.
Whether it’s making yourself something nutritious, moving your body or listening to your favourite song – do something small for yourself on a morning. This will show your body and mind you are valued and deserve care. Chances are, a little ‘you time’ will contribute to your mood and motivation and leave you feeling ready to deal with what’s next. Find something you enjoy and try to make it a morning must.
In the Evening
A positive evening routine can help us to wind down from our daily to dos and get ready for a good nights rest. Again, with a busy lifestyle, spending hours each evening on a bedtime routine may not be realistic. Some ideas:
Draw a line under your day:
It’s easy to push work boundaries at the moment as for many, work is home and home is work. Be strict with a cut off point and stick to it. Close your laptop, write a list of what you need to address the following day and then get started with your evening. Having a separate space to work and to relax can really support this, although I understand this is not always doable.
Get organised for tomorrow:
Prep breakfast, get your clothes out for the next day, do what you can to make things run smoothly.
Start the wind down:
Wind down pt.1 - Make some time to separate work from rest. This could be as simple as a gentle stretch, taking off your make up or changing into relaxing clothes.
Wind down pt.2 - As your evening draws to an end, switch off electronic devices and turn down the lights. Create a routine that will help you to relax. This could involve meditation, reading, having a bath or chatting to a loved one.
You could get your family involved too, that way the whole house knows it’s almost time for bed.
Be strict with your bedtime. Prioritise the wind down to promote a restful night. Maintaining positive sleeping patterns will contribute to the quality of your routines the next day.
Self compassionate routines
We’re all in different situations at the moment, and some of us don’t have the time or opportunity to invest in routines or self care. Be gentle with yourself, the space for these routines will return. Do what you can, when you feel like you can, at a pace which suits you and with a sense of self compassion.
Holistic Health Coach - Anna Whyte
The ‘Wellness with Anna’ philosophy focuses on taking a more balanced and holistic approach to health. Often, the tools needed to make a lasting change are already in your toolbox. I offer client led guidance in order to support the progress of an individual working to meet their personal wellness goals. I will not diagnose, treat or take responsibility for bringing about wellness change, but direct, listen and support development.
We work together on a journey to make health a main priority, both physically and mentally.