Routines and how they impact on Wellbeing
During these unusual times, our normal routine can change, through no fault of our own. Things, activities and people may have disappeared completely and changed in subtle ways not necessarily obvious at first. So, over time we may find that we feel a loss, we become unsettled. Without the usual structure within which we operate, life can feel out of control. This is all completely normal. With the removal of certain routines, we may find other activities can begin to take root. Are you aware of what is taking root or it has just happened?
As human beings, routine and structure provide us with security and control in our day to day living. We also have structure throughout the year, e.g. birthdays, tax returns, weekends, work schedules, summer holidays, bank holidays. These built in structures can vary depending on the individual, community, religion and cultural status. They sign post us to timelines and specific activities associated with those timelines. They also provide control which is an important aspect of being human. We all like to feel in control. Currently there is a sense of certain things being out of our control. Therefore, awareness around what you can control can be helpful. Designing a bespoke routine to meet your needs can bring structure to your day, week and lifestyle.
Being flexible is just as important, as we never know when change will occur. So, bearing this is mind, don’t worry if for some reason you have to adapt within your routine, this is something we can do naturally. As a species we have proven that we can adapt to change, and unforeseen circumstances and we will continue to do so. Remember that you are the person that makes the choices and it’s in your control if you want to change anything you have put in place.
If you feel that you’d like to design a routine or schedule to assist in your wellbeing and help you feel in control, consider some of the questions below.
Do you ever stop and ask yourself “What am I doing?”
How do you spend your time, what activities, patterns, routines, fill your precious life? Reflect on what you spend your time doing. Moment to moment, day after day, from one year to the next, time is filled. What you do has a direct influence on your general health and well-being and how you respond to the challenges in life can be done skillfully.
Taking a closer look at the things you do. What nourishes and what depletes you. Paying attention moment by moment, experiences can help you create tools to cope with periods of stress and anxiety.
Try asking yourself these questions:
- Of all the things I do and take in, what nourishes me? What energises me, and makes me feel calm and centered? What increases my sense of being alive, rather than just merely existing?
- Of all the things that I do and take in, what depletes me? Pulls me down, drains my energy, makes me feel tense and fragmented? What decreases my sense of being alive and present, what makes me feel I am merely existing, or worse?
- In what areas of life can I accept and let go. Rather that being in conflict with a situation and using valuable energy in over thinking , can I simply accept in the moment.
- How could I learn to approach the things I find depleting in a different way? To practice being fully present with them, even if I find them boring or unpleasant – to bring the same curiosity and attention to them, instead of judging them or wishing that they were not there?
5. How often do I recognise that I am enjoying what I am doing? What does enjoyment feel like? Where in my routine can I include more enjoyment?
Once you have reflected on the questions what have you observed and how can this information help you? It can prepare the way for change and allow you to experience a shift in perspective for the better.
By being present in more of our moments and making mindful decisions about what we really need. We can use activity and the choices we make about what we take in, to become more aware and alert.
May you be kind in your approach and creative on your journey towards what nourishes you.