Some of the hardest changes that this year has brought come in the form of disruptions to our regular routine or schedule. So many people have had their work, financial situation, or even housing impacted by COVID-19. That doesn’t even account for other things in the news lately, like the protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Having a routine is important, as many of us know, but with the societal changes caused by COVID-19, many of our routines have been disrupted. Here are some reasons why you should give some thought to what your day looks like:
- Our schedule impacts our sleep. When we go to bed and wake up at regular times, our body gets used to that schedule and adapts to it. This makes it so that we’re more likely to have quality sleep, since our brain will produce melatonin at a regular time every day as part of our circadian rhythm. Sleep impacts basically every other part of our day, from how focused we are to how repaired our body is, and having a routine is a big factor in the quality of sleep we get.
- Having a regular schedule helps us change things. I know, it sounds like I just contradicted myself! There are a lot of times in our lives that we want to make changes, from New Year’s Resolutions, to trying to eliminate certain foods from what we eat. It’s a lot harder to see how we like the consequences of these changes if we don’t have a regular routine, because then we don’t know if the changes that we saw came from what we’re trying out or if it came from something else. So having a regular routine helps when we’re trying to make changes, because then we’ll be able to see the actual impact of those changes.
- Having a routine is like taking steps towards your goals. It’s easy to picture a routine looking like something that is planned down to the minute, but it doesn’t have to be that rigid. Making a routine is more about deciding what’s most important to us, and figuring out how to fit that into our day or our week in a routine way. It can be as detailed or general as you want it to be. The things that we put into our schedule are based off of what we find most important, which is a bit like our goals. This means that a regular routine is like taking regular steps towards your goals.
Our daily schedules are often something that we don’t think about, and when there’s a lot of changes going on that makes this feel like the last thing we want to think about. Something important to keep in mind though, is that when our routines fall in line, then it’s easier for everything else to fall in line as well. This year may have changed what your routine looks like, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t adapt. It’s your routine, so what do you want it to look like?