Taking care of yourself should be a top priority but the stress of everyday life can cause us to lose track of our health goals and settle into habits that are hard to break. Forming a wellness routine can be the key to living a healthier lifestyle and the good news is – it is much easier than many people think!
You probably already have a morning and evening routine set in place even if you don’t realize it. The way you make your coffee, the time you leave for work, the time you feed the dog or have the kids brush their teeth are all examples of activities that probably happen around the same time each day. A wellness routine is built off of activities like the ones listed above, however, it is much more than just repeating actions.
What is a Wellness Routine?
A wellness routine is a way of prioritizing things in your life with the goal of living a healthier lifestyle. Many people have health goals but a wellness routine involves looking at every part of your day and transforming it into a naturally healthier life over time.
What are the Benefits?
A wellness routine can provide many benefits depending on what you choose to prioritize. You may place value on spending more time with family into your day and see your relationships grow as a result. Or maybe you intentionally allocate time to go grocery shopping so you are able to cook healthier meals at home. The benefits that you see will come from how you structure your time. If your goal is to exercise more often, try blocking off time in your calendar like you would for a dentist appointment or meeting. Some gyms even allow you to book classes online and then charge a cancellation fee if you don’t end up attending. Having something in your schedule makes you more likely to follow through.
You might be asking yourself, why do I need to make a routine? A study done by Tel Aviv University states that “repetitive routines are calming and help reduce anxiety. They’ll also help you take control of your day and subsequently, your life.” Every time you make a decision, you are making an energetic output. Save your energy for decisions that will create the most value in your life and stop worrying about when you will get all of the little things done. By scheduling out your day, you will find that you have much more time to accomplish your goals and therefore have plenty of time to relax and unwind before bed.
How do I start?
It can be overwhelming to think about where to begin, so just start by writing out the things that must be done every day and choose a time to complete those tasks. Setting a daily routine will allow you to incorporate more things into your day and will help you from stressing over the seemingly never-ending to-do list.
Once you have your daily tasks written down, start a new list with what your overall health goals are. These could include anything from: getting more sleep , staying hydrated, spending time each day journaling, or having more time for family. Once you have these narrowed down, slowly start incorporating these items into your routine.
A wellness routine has to be realistic so plan to make these incremental changes into your life over time. For example, if you want to start waking up earlier in the morning and going to bed sooner, make the change by adjusting your alarm clock in increments of 5 minutes over multiple days. Making small changes over time will make it easier for your body to naturally adapt to your new routine. If you are wanting to exercise more often, plan what times you will exercise that week and put it on your schedule. You might start with a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood twice a week, but over time that can turn into a 30-minute jog every day. It takes time to build up your motivation and see yourself making improvements.
Don’t be discouraged if you make some mistakes along the way. You might sleep through your new alarm or decide to ditch your healthy dinner at home to grab take-out and that is okay. The overall goal is not to restrict your life completely but to lead to a life that is naturally supporting your health and wellness plans.