Building a Healthy Routine for a Healthy Lifestyle

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There are some people who seem to get everything done. They stay on top of tasks at work, manage their health and even spend time doing family activities. These people make it seem easy as they effortlessly go through life without missing a beat. Others seem to always be playing catch-up, feeling constantly behind and consistently stressed.

What’s the difference between these two people? Building a healthy routine.

What is a Routine?

A routine is a set of actions you do over and over again, consistently. Most people have many routines in their lives. For example, we make routines out of making coffee in the morning and driving to work. Turning on your computer and checking emails as your first work task is also a routine. These are things you do automatically as part of your day.

However, not all routines are healthy. For instance, you can make an unhealthy routine out of going through the drive-thru for breakfast each morning. Maybe you routinely spend an hour or more watching television on the couch each night.

If you find yourself caught in one or more unhealthy routines, take some time to see how you can improve your lifestyle. Building a set of healthy routines throughout your day can make a big difference in both your physical and mental health.

Tips for Building a Healthy Routine

How do you get started? Building a healthy routine can be overwhelming to think about in the beginning stages, so keep these fundamental steps in mind.

  • Decide what’s important. Your routine can include a lot of different behaviors, so take some time to decide what your priorities are. Are you trying to eat better? Perhaps start by meal prepping on Sundays, making a balanced breakfast each morning or drinking at least three cups of water before lunchtime.
  • Determine where your routines should fit in. It’s sometimes obvious where in your lifestyle you need to develop healthier routines. It’s also not so obvious some of the time. Take a while to think about what parts of your day need some work. If you struggle to wake up or feel motivated in the morning, perhaps you could add a quick 10-minute walk to your routine. If your lunch breaks are usually spent sitting down at a desk or table, perhaps you could plan a short walk for this time instead.
  • Give your routine a try. Try your new routine for a few days and see how it’s working. If all is going well, keep your routine up. Eventually, it will become habitual and a lot easier to stick to. If your routine isn’t working out, don’t feel any shame! Modify it and keep experimenting.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. Building a routine that works for you can take time. Don’t expect for it to happen overnight. Give yourself some time to practice and build consistency. Save plenty of room for modification and for celebrating success!

Routines That Can Improve Your Health

Need a few ideas for routines that can help you improve your health? Try one or more of the tips below and see the difference they can make in your life.

  • Get up a little earlier. Mornings can be stressful when we rush to get everything together for the day. We’ve all had moments where chaotic mornings make it hard to even walk out the door! Having a few extra minutes in the morning can be a game-changer. Try setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier to allow yourself time to sip on coffee, review your agenda, throw some dinner in a crock pot, write in a journal, or do whatever you need to do you can start your day on a positive note.
  • Prioritize sleep. People function better when they’re well-rested. Sleep should be a priority in your life, but many of us are guilty of letting ours fall to the wayside. Try making a bedtime ritual to ensure you are getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night. You will feel more energized and focused.
  • Make a plan. Writing a to-do list in the morning or the night before can help you stay on top of your responsibilities. Being able to see all your tasks in one place can help you stay focused and organized. For bonus points, delegate a task or two to your family. If someone else can do the grocery shopping while you run other errands or fold laundry, this can save you a lot of time and stress! Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help.

We all have different personalities, schedules, likes and dislikes. Each one of our routines will be different, so try not to compare yourself to others. What will yours look like?

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