Why routine is good for you

Why routine is good for you
Why routine is good for you

We are creatures of habit and in recent years, there has been a considerable amount of psychological research on the important role that routines play in our lives. We all follow routines to some extent and they have far-reaching effects on our mental and physical well being.

Habits such as going for a run every morning or flossing your teeth every night will improve your physical health, for sure. But routine is also good for our mental health: by following routines, we have fewer decisions to make. Creating a natural rhythm to your day reduces stress and anxiety and frees up mental space for creativity and innovation.

However, there’s nothing innately good or innately bad about routines. Whether they have a positive or negative effect on you will depend on your character and personality. Some people find following a routine too strictly feels stifling and can lead to missed opportunities. If you’re reflecting on the influence on your everyday habits, here’s a rundown of the positive and negative aspects of routines.

Bach flowers mix 65: Dejection

Bach flowers mix 65 helps to:

  • Bring light back into your life and make the dark clouds disappear 
  • Bring meaning back into life 
  • Be more attentive to life 
  • Believe in yourself again 
  • Block reoccurring thoughts of suicide out of your mind
Discover how Bach flowers mix 65 can help you

The pros of routines

Because routines are repetitive and predictable they help us to take control of our day, calming us and reducing stress and anxiety.

• Get your day off to a good start

Set your alarm so that you have plenty of time for exercise and/or early morning tasks before you have to leave for work. Don't jump from one job to another but create a daily schedule and stick to it. This frees up mental space and you’ll waste less time and energy.

• Make better decisions

Sticking to a regular, predictable routine allows you to save your mental energies for making big decisions. Whether you’re planning to apply for a new job or move house, routines give you the brain space you need to focus on deciding what’s right for you.

• Enjoy better sleep

Good sleep hygiene starts with your bedtime routine. Switch off all your screens at least an hour before bedtime and try to avoid stressful TV shows and news programmes late at night.

Try meditating for a few minutes or read something light. Some people find that taking a warm bath just before bedtime helps them to sleep: by raising your body temperature and then allowing it to drop back to normal, you are mimicking what your body does as you fall asleep. By getting to sleep on time, you will wake up energised, refreshed and ready to tackle whatever your day has in store.

• Spend quality time with your loved ones

With a hectic family schedule, it can be difficult for families to spend much time together. Creating a routine of eating dinner together every evening - and clearing up afterwards - is an excellent way to give you and your family time and space for chatting and catching up on the day’s events.

• Create more time for doing the things you enjoy

Once you have established a regular, predictable schedule, you’ll find you have more time for doing the things you really love. Whether gardening, reading, an exercise class, or just an evening walk with your partner, your favourite activities will also become part of your everyday routines.

The cons of routines

Following regular habits can indeed help to reduce anxiety, but following strict routines isn’t good for everyone. Adhering too strictly to a routine can sometimes lead to a drop in creativity and becoming stuck in a rut.

• Life can be unpredictable

When you’ve established a routine, things can crop up unexpectedly that will prevent you from following it. This can lead to reduced motivation and productivity than if you had been following a more flexible schedule.

• Missed opportunities

When you turn down an invitation to something you’d like to do because you feel compelled to stay in and catch up with your favourite TV programmes, you know you’ve got into a rut. Sticking to a routine too rigidly can lead to missed opportunities.

• Bad habits

Many of our habits and routines are not good for us. For some people, it’s a cigarette break, for others, chocolates or cake mid-afternoon, or a beer or glass of wine after work - or maybe all three! If you’re trying to cut back, breaking the old habit is the hardest part. It can take up to three weeks to rewire the brain to accept a new routine, so don't give up too quickly.

Creating a new routine

Most of us benefit from routine in our lives. If you feel more routine would be helpful to you, take a pen and paper and note down your daily activities over a week, and see what you can reduce or cut out.

Then work out a new routine that will fit in with your lifestyle and personality. It’s no good setting yourself the goal of getting up with the lark to go for a run if you’re a night owl, as it probably won’t be something you can persist with for very long.

Once you’ve created your new routine, it should be like second nature after just a few weeks. But if something doesn’t work for you, don't be afraid to make changes.

Share
Marie Pure

Other articles


fear of fireworks dogs

7 tips to help your dog with a fear of fireworks

As nice as it is for a person to celebrate New Year, it's not so nice for a dog, especially when the loud fireworks go off the whole night. This is really frightening for many dogs. Read our 7 tips on how you can help your dog with his fear of fireworks.

Read the complete article

Is your sex life putting your relationship at risk

Is your sex life putting your relationship at risk?

Sexual desire is a complex interaction of hormones, emotions and well-being. When your partner is not as interested in sex as you are, it’s rarely a rejection of you as a person. So it’s essential to be as empathetic as you can regarding your differing libidos.

Read the complete article

Top 5 nonsensical reasons to have doubts about yourself

Top 5 nonsensical reasons to have doubts about yourself

It happens to everyone at times: we start doubting ourselves. We worry about the decisions and whether we can face future challenges that life has in store. And sometimes we feel that we just aren't good enough.

Read the complete article

Feeling blue

Feeling blue?

Feeling blue? You're not alone! We all feel sad at times; it's a normal human emotion. Sometimes, it's clear to see what has triggered our depression. Common reasons for feeling sad include bereavement, the end of a relationship, losing your job or money problems. But it's not always so clearcut.

Read the complete article

Signs you're slipping into a burn-out

Signs you're slipping into a burn-out

Learn how to recognise the signs of stress and avoid slipping into a burnout or a bore-out

Read the complete article

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school?

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school? Here are our hints and tips to help if your child is expressing a refusal to go to school.

Read the complete article

goede-voornemens

A new year, a new me

It’s such a positive thing to do and hope springs eternal, so why not commit yourself to a change this year? Here’s our tips on how to stick to your new year’s resolutions.

Read the complete article

Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

When you think about things that will make you happy, what are the images that come to mind? Wealth, beauty, a dream house, long holidays, a top of the range car? Happiness is not a constant and how happy we feel depends on the way we choose to live our lives. 

Read the complete article

How to be less judgemental of others (and yourself!)

How to be less judgemental of others (and yourself!)

Do you feel you’re always criticising and judging everyone, yourself included? Do you feel bad about it afterwards? You’re certainly not alone! Read on to discover how you can judge less and start to accept things the way they are.

Read the complete article

What makes it so hard to go back to school

What makes it so hard to go back to school?

Going back to school during a pandemic is a new experience for everyone, and it's understandable if children are feeling anxious about it. We take a look at some of the issues and how you can help your child to get ready for returning to the classroom.

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research