With the pandemic ongoing and isolation restrictions being lifted and reinstated every other day, our lives are in a constant state of flux. You may be back in the office part time or perhaps your company has extended your WFH period. Maybe your kids are back to school; maybe they’re back home again. Times, schedules, rules and responsibilities may be changing. You may be wondering how you can get back on track or get back into a routine. This could be getting back on track with work, studies, fitness, eating or even sleep. Here are our tips for getting things back on track:
Schedule your time
Even when you don’t have work or other plans for the day, an important tip is to still schedule your time. Setting your alarm in the morning and blocking out what things need to be done at what times of the day will help with productivity. You’ll be able to see what comes next in the routine and what else you have to do. The hardest thing about having the whole day to do a simple task is not having a set time to do it and constantly saying “I’ll do it later”, when let’s be real — it gets pushed back until it never gets done.
Your routine doesn’t have to be perfect from day one. If you know you’re not going to sit down for 5 hours straight to organise your wardrobe, don’t set it. We get hungry, we get distracted and we get bored. So set realistic time blocks and remember to include breaks; schedule when you’re going to eat, when you’re going to call a friend, or when you’re allowed to check your phone. Gradual changes and taking smaller steps over time consistently will make it easier to reach any goals.
We’re creatures of habit, and sometimes the biggest things standing in the way of forming routine are bad habits. If you want to get more sleep, but find yourself doom scrolling way past bedtime, then put your phone away from your bed (or out of the room altogether if you can use something else for an alarm). If you want to exercise more regularly, but can never find the energy at the end of the day, do it in the morning instead. If you want to start cooking more, but never get to the grocery store , order a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Marley Spoon. It’s healthier and cheaper than take-away 5 nights a week.
Some of us may struggle with a set routine that we can’t stick to. Which can then lead to stress of not being able to stick with it, then giving up altogether. If your days are always different, a less structured routine might work better for you. If this sounds like you, set daily, weekly or fortnightly schedules. For example, if you need to work out at different times of the day depending on the day of the week, find the time of day that works best for you.
Make sure your routine is made for YOU
Your routine needs to be one that’s not only practical but also enjoyable. It should fit well with your goals, lifestyle and what you enjoy. For example if you want to set a routine for yourself where you will workout six days a week but realistically you only have time for three workouts, there’s a less chance of this routine actually sticking.
Take your time
It’s okay not to pick up your routine straight from where you left off. You may need some readjusting and it may take some time. Regardless, the first couple of days or maybe even weeks is going to be difficult, but if you keep avoiding it or you’re not being consistent, it’s going to drag on for quite some time.
Be kind to yourself
As always, the most important thing is to be kind to yourself. If you’re struggling to get back into your routines, think about the outcomes these routines will help you achieve. Whether it’s better sleep, better health, or better organisation, imagine your future self benefiting from the routines you’re trying to implement now. After all, you deserve it.