It helps organize the day and can benefit the mind and body.
The pandemic continues and some people might be eager to find some regularity and structure. Having a routine not only guides you through your days, it also gives you mental and physical benefitsWhether it’s adding exercise to the day, helping them sleep better, even helping kids feel more secure or providing a sense of control during such uncertain times.
Here are some tips on how to establish, reestablish and maintain a routine.
It’s happened to you before: you put together routines that give the impression that you are competing for a place in the Productivity Olympics. Instead, either individually or as a family, first focus on gradual and achievable goals.
“Get ready for small victories,” says Dilan Gomih, a fitness instructor and life coach (sort of like life coaching) based in New York City. Instead of telling yourself or yourself that you’re going to start getting up every day at 6 a.m. to exercise, consider starting with a few few exercises per week and gradually increasing them.
For families, some experts recommend breakfast routines, whether it’s starting the day with a good bowl of cereal or using a housework organizing wheel to keep track of each member’s obligations.
It’s also important to understand why you crave a routine, says Chanel Dokun, a life planner who operates in the city of Atlanta and is the founder of LifePlan NYC. “Ask yourself: ‘What do I want to live or feel on a day-to-day basis? ‘“He points out. Most people tend to do chores around the house, but Dokun proposes to focus on things that give you energy or renew you.
If you are someone who prefers pencil and paper, consider always having a notebook or diary where the daily goals that you would like to achieve appear. For those who prefer digital, Google calendars, Asana tables or personal care applications can help you visualize the routine you want to carry out and maintain your organization while you hold the hand.
How you use these tools depends on what works best for you. For some, that may mean scheduling things to fit certain times: exercising at 7 a.m., taking a break at 12:30 p.m. and taking a walk around the block; For others, it may mean creating a list of things you want to do each week.
You can also turn to those around you to supervise that you comply. “Every day my grandmother calls my younger sister and me to do back exercises in the living room,” writes Julia Zhou. “Sometimes we complain about having to do them all, but the little routine takes hold every day.”
With the boys, a good way to count the activity is to do what some teachers do: fill a jar with small stones or coins and also stick self-adhesive, stickers, on a graph for each task performed. If they completed daily chores or homework, maybe your children can be rewarded choosing the movie for movie night or desserts.
“There’s a reason we see kindergarten through third grade teachers using this,” explains Corinn Cross, pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It’s motivating”.
What frames our days is sleep. “Our day begins when we wake up and ends when we fall asleep at night,” says Jennifer Martin, a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Martin suggests finding a wake-up time that works for the person in question and sticking to that time six or seven days a week. “This might mean waking up a little earlier than you want on the weekends, but it will get you a good night’s sleep the next night,” he says. Also keep a constant bedtime.
In the same way, meals can provide a frame of reference. “Understanding your own meal times can optimize the way we structure our day by allowing us to know what hours may be the best to develop other activities such as exercise, sleep or work“observes May Zhu, founder of the nutritional counseling service Nutrition Happens.
Cooking is also an important family activity, Zhu adds. “By setting a specific time to cook before a meal, you have the opportunity to engage children and give them a sense of control, get them to learn more about eating and healthy choices,” she says.
Experts in the field also suggest using dinner to structure the screen quota for children, for example, agreeing a program for before or after dinner.