September is often seen as a fresh start, an opportunity to get back on track with healthy habits which may have taken a back seat over the summer months, and start again in a routine which suits our lifestyle and individual goals.
This September, there seems to be even more of a ‘back to school’ feeling, – as for so long we have felt such uncertainty, re-establishing some form of routine feels like a long time coming!
Why can routines be beneficial?
Making a plan for the week ahead, or trying to establish a realistic routine can provide purpose and maintain structure / direction to your week. 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, with a timetable and breaks throughout the day to encourage us to perform at our best. With even more on our plates as adults, a rough schedule may still be handy. Routines can encourage a positive and productive mindset, help to keep us motivated and organised, but can also be an important reminder of when the busyness should come to a pause, and down time commence.
Where do I start?
Whether it’s more movement, regular rest or productivity at work, consider what you want from your daily / weekly routine? What would you like to regularly incorporate into your lifestyle? And what needs to be there too?
Creating a clear distinction between work and rest is a positive starting point, especially since this line may have been a little blurred over the last 18 months. Think about what you need to prioritise in each part of your day, whilst being mindful of what is realistic and enjoyable too.
Consider the 3 P’s:
Plan: Look at your diary on a Sunday and make a plan of what needs to be done in the week ahead. Write it down to get it out of your mind and on paper. Think about where you could fit in your daily rituals / self care activities which make you feel good. Consider whether or not everything on your to do list realistic. Do you have a healthy balance between work and down time?
Prepare: What do you need to do in order for your plan to be successful? Do you need to communicate with anyone? Get anything ready?
Spending half an hour after the working day taking a look at your plan and getting prepared for the following day can be a beneficial way to ensure you stay on track, as well as a wind down from the working day.
Prioritise: What’s urgent, what’s important, what can wait? Prioritise those things that absolutely need to be done, but don’t overwhelm yourself. If it can wait – let it.
Some positive additions to your daily routine
- Morning and evening rituals
Our actions first thing can help to set our overall mood and mindset for the day ahead without the influence or stress from outside factors. Starting the day doing something that makes us feel good can help to promote positivity for what the day has in store. An evening routine can help us to wind down from our daily to dos and get ready for a good night rest. Protect those book ends of the day by avoiding overwhelm and prioritising self care.
- Less screen time
Social media or lots of time online can impact our mood, motivation and productivity. Set screen time boundaries and see if you notice a difference to the quality of your routines.
- More movement
Can you squeeze in some movement at a time of day which works? Even a quick stretch between meetings or a walk around the block before you sit down at your desk will be beneficial. Providing head space from the busyness and helping to motivate you to stay on track.
- Positive nutrition
Eating well isn’t always easy – often this takes routine, preparation and practice. Eating nutritious foods will help to fuel you for what the day has in store and have a positive impact on your mental health too. What can you do to make this a part of your weekly routine? Back to the 3 P’s!
- Time in nature
Regular time in nature contributes to lower stress levels and improved mental focus. Nature notifies your brain and body that it’s time to rest. Build nature into your routine to get outdoors for some time and space from the busyness, in a bid to calm your mind and improve your mood.
Routines can help to ground us into each day, providing structure and purpose over overwhelm and uncertainty. Consider your daily / weekly routine at the moment; if it is in need of a bit of attention, hopefully the tips above have helped.
Happy September everyone!
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.