Creating and Maintaining Healthy Routines

associates creating and maintaining healthy routines - persoma counseling

By: Frances A. Musone, MSW Intern

Many of us have routines that dictate our daily lives. You get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work ect. Sometimes mental health and environmental challenges can make it hard to create healthy and effective routines. So how can you build one even with these roadblocks?

Choosing what you want in your routine

Set out what you want to be in your routine.
Some things will be “needs” or things already in your routine like work, sleep, eating, or picking your kids up from school. Then there are the “wants” like exercise, hobbies, or social activities. Identify those wants and how much you prioritize them.

Identify barriers and find solutions to address them.
Things like being too tired, feeling overwhelmed, or working over time can make keeping a routine difficult. Be mindful that some barriers may be out of your control and sometimes the only solution is to modify your routine to work with them. For example, if you can’t financially afford transportation, getting to a gym might be difficult. So instead of working out at the gym, your routine will consist of working out at home.

Add to your existing routine.
If you already have a routine in place that works for you, it will be easier to add to it rather than changing it. One example of this is if you want to stretch more, add it after your workout or before bed instead of doing it when you can.

Make swaps.
If your goal is to incorporate healthier behaviors, one way to do this is by swapping what you already do with the new behavior. One example is if you want to stop drinking coffee, swap your coffee with tea or water.

3 Tips for starting and maintaining a healthy routine:

1) Start small

Changing your routine all at once can be overwhelming and difficult. Incorporating small changes in your routine over time results in a more successful transition.

2) Plan ahead

There is bound to be a change in your schedule or life might get crazy, leading to you finding yourself straying from your routine. To combat this, ensure you prepare and plan for those challenges. Maybe if you know you are bad at making lunch every day, meal prep during the weekend so you don’t have to worry about during the week.

3) Reward small victories and don’t beat yourself up if you mess up

Changing habits and routines can be difficult. Celebrate and acknowledge the positive changes you’ve made. You also might also skip on things in your routine leading to you feeling negative about yourself. When this happens it’s important to remind yourself that no one is perfect and it’s okay to make mistakes.




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