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Our last blog post talked about reflection, especially as we enter a fresh year. For this next post, I want to touch on setting a plan or routine. We are about halfway through our first activity challenge of the year so I thought this was a fitting time to talk about routine!

Perhaps you are already someone who follows a routine. If you do, does it come naturally to you or is routine something you have had to work hard to create? Is your routine rooted in a “why” or purpose? For many, their routines are in place to help them get closer to a set goal. For some, routines are in place to help create a sense of balance in their life. Why do we as humans crave routine and balance? It is actually a way to promote health. Not everyone’s routine needs to look or feel the same. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. We all have different needs when it comes to our day. Routines are meant to help you incorporate habits and balance in a healthy and positive way.

There are two main benefits of having a routine that I want to touch on today:

  1. Improved mental health and stress management

  2. Helps prioritize what is important to us

Improved mental health and stress management

We are bombarded with decisions every day. Some decisions are “easier” than others but there is significant research to suggest that even the most simple decisions can lead to overthinking and stress due to fatiguing our mind. A routine or plan can help to alleviate some of the stress that is associated with needing to make decisions. Having a plan can help to give us a sense of control over our day or week which frees our mind to think about and do other things. Routine can also ensure that you have time to incorporate movement into your day through a walk or exercise class (which is an excellent form of stress relief) or will ensure that you have set aside enough time to prepare a healthy dinner.

Prioritizing what is important to us

How often do we say that we don’t have time to do something that we want to do? If you are like me, it can feel like that happens too often. To combat this, setting a plan or routine can help! Setting a plan and eventually incorporating it into a consistent routine makes the activity closer to a reality. Doing things that are important to us have benefits on our overall well-being. Doing things that are important to us make us feel more satisfied with our life which can trickle into our overall health as well.

Both of the above play heavily into our mind-body connection. Happiness and reduced stress can lead to healthier behaviors in other aspects of our life. For example, if I am having a “good” day, I am definitely more likely to follow a well-balanced diet for the day. No one wants to eat vegetables when they aren’t feeling their best- at least I don’t!

Take-away activity:

  • What is one thing you would like to incorporate into a routine for the next week?

  • How can you set a plan to check off your next box for the activity challenge?

Two articles to read:

- Anna Schatz

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