Do you need a routine?

Lockdown.  For some, it means more time to do jobs around the house, or time to finish off things that have been on the to-do list for ages.  While we’re not working, this sense of freedom can be a good thing.

But, without a stable routine, our motivation can be low as there is no pressure or deadlines to complete our planned task.

We might have lots of ideas about what to do, but without a plan it can be hard to achieve them. When we don’t have this sense of satisfaction our motivation can fall even further.

During this time, many things can feel like they are out of our control.

Having a routine at home is one area where we can regain a sense control. It can help us relax and reduce feelings of worry about decisions we might need to make. It can also increase our confidence and sense of achievement. Without routine and the focus this brings, it can leave us dwelling upon negative thoughts.

Routine can make us more efficient in our day and lead to less procrastination. We wake saying to ourselves ‘I have things to do today!’ rather than having to start from scratch and thinking ‘What will I do today?’.

How to create a routine

 

Think of your healthy habits – can you create some more?  Healthy habits include things like exercise, meditation, mindfulness and eating nutritious food.  Schedule time for these healthy habits during your day.

Social contact – can you keep contact with people regularly?  Technology can keep us connected to our friends and family.  If possible, try to speak to someone each day rather than just sending emails, texts or online messages.  Book time during your day to check your messages so you’re not glued to your phone all day, and switch off at other times!

Make a list of all the other things you need to do each day – cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.  Schedule time for all of them, with plenty of ‘downtime’ (relaxation!) in between.

Each evening before you go to bed, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will I spend day tomorrow?
  • What would I feel good about getting done?
  • Who could I speak to?
  • What could I learn?

Write the answers to these down to create a schedule for the next day.

In the morning set an alarm, get up, shower and get dressed. Look at your schedule for the day.

Start building a routine and take a few moments at the end of each day to notice the impact of following a routine has on you.

And if your routine doesn’t work, you can change it!  Life has changed for most of us and we’re all still figuring this out.  You’ll get there.  Stay focused and do more of what makes you happy.

Natalie Miller, Lead Employment Specialist

Natalie has worked as a career coach at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for over 12 years and has a background in Social and Community Care.  With 3 children as her main hobby, Natalie somehow manages to find time to have interests in interior decoration and design!