We are all familiar with the real estate saying – “location, location, location” and how significant a factor it is when making a wise investment in your home or business. Never has “routine, routine, routine” been a wiser investment in your life and mental health, than at this moment in time. Colleagues, clients, friends, and family I have talked to are feeling the stress of the uncertainty that currently exists.
COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. It will take a significant amount of time to gain a new sense of normal.
I believe in the Serenity Prayer - "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." ~ Reinhold Niebuhr ~
When creating a routine – it is not just about physical tasks for the day; it also includes your mindset. Your mindset is the basic beliefs you hold about yourself and the world. It defines how you feel, what actions you take, and the habits you choose to develop. It shapes your internal and external responses to the world around you. Are you a person who sees the glass half-full or half-empty?
Dr. Steve Orma, www.drorma.com, a CBT clinical psychologist, talks about the parallel benefits of creating exercise routines for our physical bodies, like that of creating routines for our mental health. Things like intentionally choosing how you want to “be and behave” in the moment. Each morning as you wake up you can choose how you want to conduct your day, eg. Being kind to yourself and compassionate to others. This sets to tone for you to begin interacting with the events of the day. If your day becomes hectic or chaotic, go back to your intention words; repeat them silently or aloud, to regain your composure.
Tips for creating a new routine include writing down the things that are important to you to do each day for a week. Think about setting time aside to try new things like mediation, journaling, listening to your favourite music, or learning a new skill. Look at your weekly calendar and block time for what activities matter most to you. Don’t be afraid to adjust and change your activity blocks to respond to life events. Remember, if you don’t have a plan then you run the risk of life events taking over your time and not getting to the things you deemed important.
Some of the benefits of coming up with a routine that works for your new reality includes:
ü less stress as you are making time for the things that are important to you including work, leisure, and relationships
ü better sleep when you stick to a consistent sleep schedule and don’t get stuck into binge-watching TV, Netflix or gaming
ü improved health when you include regular physical activities and healthy eating habits
ü setting a positive example for others in your family to make their daily and weekly routines
This is similar advice I provide to my clients in career transition. Making a daily schedule that works for them creates an environment for success. It is a strategy that works!
Are there any other benefits of creating a new routine that works for you? If so what are they? Please add them to the comment section below.
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