6 Ways To Build A Routine (And Stick To It)

March 31st, 2022

Work, paying bills, cleaning, cooking, shopping, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking care of children are just some of the things we are expected to accomplish on a daily basis.

It can often feel impossible to get everything done, let alone take time to care for yourself – especially if you’re already struggling with a mental health condition like depression or anxiety.

By creating routines, we organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern. It becomes easier to get things done without having to think hard about them every time.

Where do I start?

One of the ways to start or re-evaluate your routine is to sit down and spend a few minutes asking yourself a few important questions:

  • What are some things I want to have as a part of my routine? (Eg. Better sleep, a meditation practice or more quality time with the family.)

  • What is getting in the way of doing the things I know are healthy for me? (Am I too tired, do I spend too much time on social media, am I overworking?)

  • What things can I start to do to get over these barriers? (Try to go to bed early or start my day differently.)

  • What people or things can help me accomplish my goals?

  • What little rewards can I add in occasionally for being successful in maintaining my new routine?

How do I start?

Here are some interesting facts about people who stick to a healthy routine:

  • A good routine with diet, sleep and exercise is linked to improved mental and physical health.

  • People with strong routines are less likely to suffer from distress when faced with challenges.

  • It takes an average of 66 days for a behaviour to become a habit – so don’t give up!

6 top tips for building a routine

1.Create the routine that is right for you

We don’t all have the same schedules or responsibilities and some of us struggle with certain parts of daily life more than others. For example, meditation in the evening after work might be better for you than first thing in the morning or you may be someone who prefers healthy snacks during the day rather than 3 meals.

2. Start small

 Changing up your day-to-day routine all at once probably won’t end up with lasting results.  So don’t immediately start meditating for 20 mins every day. Aim for 10 mins every other day and build from there. Pick one small thing each week to add or change.

3. Add to your existing habits

You probably already have some habits worked into your routine, like drinking a cup of tea in the morning. Try adding new habits to existing ones. For instance, if you want to read more, you could set aside ten minutes to read while you have your morning tea.

4. Make swaps

 Think about the things you do during the day that aren’t so healthy and swap them for something healthier. For example, if you feel sluggish in the afternoons and eat sugary snacks for a quick pick-me-up, try taking a brisk walk instead to get your blood pumping and endorphins flowing

5. Plan ahead

When life gets hectic, you may be tempted to skip out on the new parts of your daily routine. By doing things like prepping meals ahead of time, picking out an outfit the night before work, using a meditation app or QiGong video help you to stick to your routine and sets you up for success.

6. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day

Making life changes can be hard and you might forget to do something that is new to your routine every once in a while. You don’t have to be perfect, just try to do better the next day.

Get into the habit of joining a class or workshop to help you take care of your wellbeing. See what The Isbourne has on offer both online and in-house today.