How to find a routine that works for you!
It’s no secret — we are creatures of habit. When we lack structure and organization in our lives, feelings of aimlessness, anxiety and stress can soon begin to creep in. A daily routine can be a great way to overcome these emotional roadblocks, clear your head and give yourself more time to achieve your goals. Here, we’ll look into the benefits of a healthy routine and how a habit tracker can help you find one that works for you.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. — Aristotle
What is a routine?
A routine is simply an action, or a set of actions, that can become a habit when repeated daily. They can be good or bad. And we all have them! It could be part of your morning routine to prepare a pre-workout smoothie while listening to the news. In the evening, it might be enjoying a cup of herbal tea with a book before bed.
A good routine is one that pushes you towards your goal. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, you’re far more likely to hit the gym if you’ve taken the time to make that pre-workout smoothie. After relaxing with a herbal tea and a good book, chances are you’ll sleep better than if you spent that time scrolling through social media.
What are the benefits of having a routine?
A healthy daily routine can help improve your wellbeing by providing structure, which can influence your life in various positive ways:
We’re all familiar with the worry of “when am I going to get this all done?” A routine allows you to set time aside for work (or jobs around the house etc.) as well as… you! When you know at 7pm it’s time to shut the laptop and go out for a walk, for example, you’ll be better able to switch off and make the most of your down time.
When you’re running behind because of constantly catching up on yesterday’s to-do list, you’re likely to stay awake worrying about all the things you should have done. It can be vicious cycle. A routine, especially in the evening, can help with sleep, which improves lots of things such as your mood, mental sharpness and energy levels. The perfect partner to your bedtime routine? Our Body&Fit Bedtime Duo — packed with vitamins, minerals and traditional herbal ingredients.
When you plan in things like exercise, having breakfast, and time away from your computer, it’s naturally going to impact your overall mental and physical health in lots of positive ways.
A routine keeps you from making snap decisions. When we’re faced with making multiple decisions throughout the day, our brains become fatigued, making our choices sloppy and careless. This phenomenon is called decision fatigue, or ego depletion, and it diminishes our self-control with every decision we make.
What is a habit tracker and how does it work?
A habit tracker is just a simple and easy way to develop a better awareness of your routines and behaviours. It’s kind of like a calendar, where you cross off each day you stick to a positive routine. Download our free Body&Fit Habit Tracker to give you a head start:
Write all the daily routines you want to make consistent in your life down the left-hand side. It could be making your bed, meditating, taking your vitamins & supplements, exercising, practising guitar for an hour etc. Then, each day you stick to each one, simply check it off. As the month rolls by, you’ll get a record of your progress.
A habit tracker is useful for several reasons:
At the end of the month, it could look something like below.
What is an example of a healthy morning routine?
There is no such thing as a ‘perfect morning routine’. It’s all about what works for you. We do however have some great ideas to add to your habit tracker and help you start the day on top of your game.
Enjoy a tech free morning
If you’re checking your phone for emails and messages as soon as you wake up, you’re immediately putting yourself into a reactive mindset, rather than a proactive one. Try to stay detached from technology for the first hour or so of your day. You’ll be more present and ready to head out the door with a positive focus.
Get your body moving
There’s nothing like starting off the day with a little movement. It doesn’t need to be long, complicated or intense. Whether it’s a light yoga session, taking the dog for a brisk walk, or a quick workout with your resistance bands, physical activity is a great way to energise the body and clear the mind. Try to switch things up every week or so to keep your routine interesting.
Eat a healthy breakfast
It’s the most important meal of the day, yet many people tend to skip it. A healthy breakfast, like this chia protein pudding, will give you energy throughout the day and help you focus without the hunger pangs. If you struggle to find time to make breakfast in the mornings, you can always make it the night before and put it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can make yourself a tasty high-protein breakfast shake complete with carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Drink a fresh glass of ice-cold water
The last time you took even a sip of water was at least 7 or 8 hours ago, so grabbing a refreshing glass first thing is always a good way to wake up and hydrate. A good tip is to infuse some lemon in a jug of water overnight so it’s nice and cold in the morning. The lemon cleanses the body, gives you a boost of vitamin C (which helps maintain the normal function of the immune system) and freshens your breath. Check out our blog to find out the secret to drinking more water and discover all the benefits of staying hydrated.
What is an example of a healthy evening routine?
An evening routine is one of the easiest ways to enjoy better sleep, which can unlock a whole world of benefits to your health and wellbeing. Again, there’s no perfect way to spend a relaxing evening, but here are some ideas to help you sleep well and wake up refreshed, energised and ready to take on the day.
Write a to-list for the following day
It only takes a few minutes yet writing down a list of things you need to do the following day can keep your mind from spinning when you’re trying to drift off. Once they’re on the page, you won’t need to worry about forgetting certain things. Put your list where you’ll see it in the morning, and you can tackle them when you wake up.
Turn your bedroom into a sleep oasis
Dedicate part of your evening routine to preparing your bedroom for the perfect night’s sleep. If you can, set the temperature to somewhere between 15 and 21 degrees, dim the lights, close your curtains and tidy up any clutter like unfolded clothes, slippers, empty glasses etc. Make sure the very last thing you do is get into bed and try not to do anything other than fall asleep. You want your brain to see your bedroom as an oasis of slumber and nothing else.
Enjoy a light snack or herbal tea
A heavy meal right before bed is never a good idea, especially with alcohol (learn more about how to enjoy alcohol while staying fit and healthy here). It can lead to uncomfortable heartburn, indigestion and middle-of-the-night restroom trips that’ll disrupt your sleep and leave you waking up tired and groggy. On the other hand, going to bed with an empty stomach can also make it hard to fall asleep. A light snack an hour or so before you hit the hay is a good way to calm your stomach — a protein cookie with a cup of detox tea, a superfood waffle with some natural peanut butter or, if you really want to treat yourself, a delicious chocolate moment (with no added sugar).
Turn off your electronics
It might feel relaxing to watch your favourite show on Netflix before bed, yet electronic devices (laptops, phones, tablets, TVs etc.) emit a strong blue light that tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Instead of falling asleep, it works to stay awake by suppressing melatonin, a hormone that has long been associated with the sleep-wake cycle. Say goodnight to your devices at the start of your evening routine and, if possible, try to avoid using them until the following day.
Get ready to set your new daily routine!
Now’s the time to download our Habit Tracker, set your daily routines and try to stick with them as much as you can. You don’t need to put too much pressure on yourself. It’s totally normal to skip a habit for a day or two, especially when you’re busy, on holiday or just forget to do it. If a month sounds like too much, try starting off with a week or two and see how you go. Soon, you’ll be performing your routines without even thinking about them and enjoying all the benefits of your new and improved lifestyle!