As soon as your morning alarm rings, it’s time to start making decisions. You either get up immediately or extend your sleep for a few minutes. By this time, you have to answer some questions from within, “what should come first, coffee or shower?” “What should I wear?” With all this in mind, on a busy morning, you are bound to get stressed. Having a daily routine can reduce stress, and you can start the day with the right foot. Reducing stress is just one of the psychological benefits of sticking to a daily routine. Making some choices ahead of time means having a routine that leads to a happier, healthier self.
What Is a Daily Routine?
Routine is a sequence of actions that are followed regularly. For example, if you start with preparing your kids for school every day, followed by having a shower then coffee, that can be termed a routine.
Benefits of Having a Routine
Sticking on routine is healthy, especially for daily routines. This means you wake up at the same time each morning, and you do similar things at a given time. It ensures that you stick to your exercise plan hence enabling you to stay healthy and fit. However, you need to come up with a weekly routine for things that you do not do daily. This can apply to grocery shopping. Ensure that you have one or two routines and enjoy the following benefits:
You Avoid Being Stressed-Out
When you have a plan, it means that you are in control of the situation. Planning ahead of time creates a sense of knowing what’s happening in the next hour. For example, before going to bed, choose what comes first the following day and what to wear. Perhaps you can choose to start with a coffee followed by a shower. After this, you won’t have to choose your outfit since you did so last night. By having such a plan ahead of time, you’ll spend less time preparing for the day, and you will be less stressed. If you like it, make it a routine.
You Sleep Better
When you have a plan, you benefit from better sleep in multiple ways. First, you don’t have to worry about waking up very early in the morning to decide on what to do first or what to wear since you did so before going to bed. Secondly, when you stick to your bedtime routine, you avoid trouble falling asleep. Avoid late-night movies that interfere with your sleeping time. Remember, good sleep can boost you psychologically, and a constant sleep schedule is a key to better sleep.
Having a Routine Gives You Happy Moments
Having a schedule enables you to have a better well-planned day. You finish up your to-do list on time and have some time for yourself. During this free time, have some minutes to play around with your kids, watch a comedy, play video games, or enjoy watching birds as they play. Doing something enjoyable keeps you in a better mood hence benefiting your mental health. If you start your day without a plan, the day might come to an end without you having some time for fun.
You Enjoy Better Health
Your routine should comprise a good amount of time to prepare meals. This means that you set aside some time to shop for everything needed for the meals. Meals planning ensures that you stick and have time to come up with healthy recipes. If you or your loved one is under medication or therapy, having a schedule ensures that you follow the plan.
You Set a Good Example
While sticking on a schedule benefits you as a person, those around you emulate your actions. They try as much as possible to fit in your schedule, and within no time, they normalize with it hence benefiting from your decisions.
When is Having a Routine Important
While maintaining a routine is important for everyone at any given time, in some cases, it’s more important to stick to it. These cases include:
People with bipolar disorder have more sensitive body clocks compared to the other population. Sticking to a schedule may improve symptoms of bipolar disorder, while lack of a schedule may increase these symptoms.
People recovering from addiction need to stick to their schedules to avoid relapses. They need to replace bad habits with good ones. They also need to avoid spending too much time idling to avoid boredom. For example, if they are under medication, they need to take them in time each day.
Other Mental Health Challenges
Circadian rhythms are periods of rest and activity that one goes through in a typical day. Any disruption of these cycles may trigger depression and other mood disorders. People with disturbed circadian rhythms must stick to a schedule to avoid anything that might cause any disturbance.
Benefits Of Routine for Families
If you are good at time management, your children and family as a whole are likely to follow suit. Family routine makes everyone in the family feel safe and secure. Additionally, when you stick to a schedule as a family, everyone knows what is to be done at what time. Researchers believe that there is a link between family routines and children’s social skills and academic achievements. Also, family routines are valuable in times of crisis. For instance, when a parent gets ill, their children will go on with daily activities without hardships.
Routine and Mental Health – Final Thought
If you already have a daily routine, ensure that you stick to it as much as possible. If you are yet to plan on how to go about your day, it’s time to have a plan to avoid stress. Without a routine, you are bound to be confused and to be extra tired from running up and down trying to get the most out of your day. Track your progress and reward yourself. However, the reward must support your goals. For example, you might reward yourself for sticking to your exercise plan with a pair of new sneakers to motivate yourself.