Has routine gone out of the window?
We may normally complain about the daily routine, the time pressures of getting out of the house on time in a morning, and fitting everything in. Well, how times have changed.
We’ve been thrown into lockdown, isolation, and social distancing without any notice, preparation, or tips for handling it. But, with at least 5 weeks under our belt of a whole new ‘normal’ of working from home, click and collect, homeschooling and childcare, we’re missing that routine we once complained about.
And there’s a good reason for it.
Why routine is an anchor
We might not like to admit it, but having a regular daily routine provides us with a whole load of benefits, for example:
- Certainty – it provides us with a level of certainty in our day. We know how things are likely to unfold and therefore takes the pressure off having to make it up as we go
- Focus – when we have a routine and a schedule in which things need to get done, we most often get focused and make them happen within the allocated time
- Time management – with more focus, certainty, and clarity, we are able to manage and use our time much better than we would otherwise
- Discipline – we all have things to do which we’d rather not (be honest!), but with a routine in place, there is some time to ensure those things happen too
- Health – when we have a routine, there will be times for eating, moving, resting, going to bed and getting up – and this balance of nourishing activities can really support our physical and mental health
Flexibility is a gift … in moderation
Now, of course, we don’t want to feel suffocated by routine and structure. We all enjoy those weekend days or holidays where we don’t have to plan and can take advantage of the flexibility those times can offer us.
But when the flexibility becomes endless we can find ourselves drifting, feeling lost and without a sense of purpose – and for some, that can lead to a downward spiral.
Creating a new routine – the balance right for you
Right now, we have no choice but to take control of what our routine looks like. Whether we’re still working or not, things are different. The opportunity we are presented with is to balance out the right mix of balance and flexibility that works for us.
So, what can you do? Here are a few thoughts – I’d love to know which are helpful to you:
- Choose the days you want to stick to some form of schedule, along with the days when you’d prefer to go with the flow
- Work out with your household some points in the day that are relatively fixed to support your overall health connect – such as meal times, sleep times, and work periods
- Decide which parts of the house are dedicated to what, and during which time periods – an argument about whether a certain room is an office or a movie theatre isn’t going to help anyone
- If you’re able to leave the house for exercise purposes, determine whether this is best alone or together and have a schedule agreed – it not only means you’re more likely to do it, but also helps everyone’s needs to be met
- And get others involved in what the routine looks like – none of us welcome something being imposed without consultation…
Make your routine work for you
There’s an opportunity here. To choose a routine that nourishes you, provides you with moments of joy, and enables you to enjoy this new normal.
Take care and stay safe everyone.
(Featured image credit: chuttersnap on Unsplash)