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Often when we think about “routines” what comes to mind?  While you are thinking of your answer, let’s delve into ways having healthy routines might be of help to you in your life.  Routines can help in a number of ways:

  • Feel life is predictable. 
  • Feel life is stable.
  • Feel we have a sense of control and normalcy over our daily lives.
  • Can be helpful in establishing habits, which makes keeping routines much easier.

Some simple ways to establish routines include:

  • Creating lists (can be a priorities list and a personal needs list)
  • Creating schedules (can be for ourselves and our family together)- have fun with this and be creative- think colors, and add décor.
  • Setting priorities in your routines with an end date- when will you want to get this routine started? (what is most important to us to do each day, week, month, or year?)
  • Writing things down with pen to paper has proven that those are the things that people actually do get done!

Routines don’t need to feel like a chore, task, or a boring to-do list. If we are able to list in our routines that we want to keep what it is we value, what is most important to us, and remember to tend to these important heart-felt dreams with equal importance to what we need to do we can fill routines with fun things we love as well.

Ways to maintain some fun in our routines:

  • Fun routines of listening to music while cleaning
  • Fun routines of rewarding ourselves for finishing something we really didn’t feel like doing with a small treat, a bubble bath, or whatever we can do for ourselves will build in positives to a routine.
  • Find a fun app to organize your routines
  • Find a friend, partner, family member, or other to check in with on how we are both doing with our routines. Have them set routines for themselves and with their support and reflection we can learn from them as well!

Lastly, try to establish simple routines first that is completely doable and try to do them at the same time every day to establish the habit patterns. You can then build on this to add other routines. If you get stuck and fall off the routines you have set, try setting weekly routines if daily is too difficult to maintain and reflect on which days you might want to build in a routine of free time, a routine of self-reflection, and other days more task-oriented routines. Find times during the week when you have more energy or time, and use that time for what are your top priorities. Also, s routine of relaxation and downtime for ourselves will often do wonders to get us back on track.  Remember, routines can be changed and updated as we change and our priorities change!  So give yourself some freedom to adjust as needed.