Life is seemingly becoming more and more stressful. Having a routine will leave less room for unnecessary stress. Stress is likely induced by not being on time, not being organized, or being forgetful. Here are the must-haves for planning a routine:
- Create time for proper sleep. This is the foundation of good health. With proper sleep your body and brain have time to recover and prepare to lead you though another day. Not getting enough sleep can damage your immune system, blur cognitive processes, attribute to health problems such as heart problems, depression, and weight gain.
- Get Organized. Plan a certain day were you clean and organize your space. Clutter creates stress. Pack things for work or activities the night before and put them by the front door. If you know where everything is you don’t have to scramble to find it when you need it at a moment’s notice. This leads to more time for rest as well.
- Exercise. Whereas your body needs proper rest it also needs proper challenges. Physical activity gets blood flowing to your brain and motivates you in other aspects of the day. You can get it out of the way first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, or after work. Aim for a good hour of exercise each day, whether it is at the gym, a group class, hiking, biking in your neighborhood, vacuuming, walking the dog, or just dancing to your favorite songs in the living room, it all adds up!
- Pamper yourself. Just as the gym gives you a kind of high, so can pampering yourself. Get up in the morning and do your hair. Go buy an outfit that exudes confidence for your presentation or project coming up. Get a massage every once in a while. This time doubles as relaxation time to power you up for your next goal.
- Prepare your meals. Sometimes we are too busy or too tired from a long day to feel motivated enough to prepare a meal. This often leads to unhealthy choices which leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Choose a day during the week (Sunday’s are a popular choice) to prepare 3-4 days of meals. Prepare your breakfasts and dinners for in your house and pre-pack lunches for work so you aren’t tempted to go to the vending machine every afternoon.
- Plan time for family and friends. Go out to a movie, out for a nice meal, or some beach time. Socializing with your peers helps keep you sane after sitting in an office or classroom all day. It’s refreshing to have conversations about anything else but your work subjects. Planning these things ahead of time helps you stay committed and not easily tempted to back out because you feel tired after a day of work. You’ll be happy and refreshed afterwards.
- Leave room for spontaneity. Don’t pencil in every hour of your schedule book. Being over-booked can also create stress. Having nothing to do can be a good thing sometimes. Perhaps you can go to that store or restaurant you drive by everyday but never get the time to go inside. Learn something new with this extra time, read a book, sit down and enjoy the scenery.
- Put. Down. Your. Social Media. This is also a contributor to unnecessary stress. Intentional or not, you compare yourself to the lives that you follow on the internet. The things people share on the internet are usually snippets of the upsides of their lives. Don’t be fooled to think they don’t have downsides too. Stick to your plan and don’t be influenced by superficial social media posts. Find some mentors to speak with in real life.