If you like me, have a lot of routine in your life, then you’ll understand why it is so damn effective.
We often associate the need for routine with having young children. Let’s face it, raising our little ones without routine is chaotic. Yet, it’s not just about those early years.
Routine can have a positive influence at any stage on this journey called life.
If you are yet to be convinced, keep reading. I will outline how routine and has changed my life and even made me a better person.
Further reading: 20 Healthy habits for single parents to live a better live.
WHY A GOOD ROUTINE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
IT’S A LIFELINE FOR THE SUPER SCATTY
I have put this at the top of the list because, even though I am stickler for routine, I am naturally super scatty.
Many friends mock me for the strict systems that rule my life but the reality is that as a busy business owner/single mum, I absolutely need them. The alternative is mothering mayhem and no-one in the family wants that.
Oh yes, knowing what to do and when, is a faithful tool for forgetful folk such as myself.
IT CAN HELP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
It’s true! Having routine in your world can actually promote mental health.
According to The Therapy Group of NYC:
“They help us cope with change, create healthy habits, improve interpersonal relationships, and reduce stress. Studies have shown that daily routines have far-reaching mental health benefits, from alleviating bipolar disorder and preventing substance abuse to managing the symptoms of other mental disorders.”
Enough said. It’s time to get those routines in motion.
RELAX INTO ROUTINES
Routines can sound rather regimented. They bring to mind an army captain shouting orders unhygienically close to our faces.
Home/work/life/kids routines are far from this. A routine can be as simple and calming as your child’s bath and bedtime story at the same time each evening.
Furthermore, settling naturally into a routine will bring peace because rather than repeating the thought process of deciding whether or not to bath your child and at what time, you simply do it.
All up it will create a more content and easier lifestyle for the whole family.
YOU ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Following on from the last point …
If you free your mind of constant decision making by setting and sticking to routines, it stands to reason that you will have more headspace for other things
This can include creativity, productivity and assertiveness. All of which will allow you to function more proficiently on every level. Surely we all want this?
THE IMPORTANCE OF ROUTINE (CONT.)
KIDS LOVE IT
Routine is similar to discipline in that we think our children don’t like it, but actually they thrive with it.
The peeps at Raising Children tell us that:
“Routines help children feel safe, develop life skills and build healthy habits.”
So, if not for you, create some routines for the sake of your children.
THEY PREVENT BURNOUT
We discussed how routines promote a calmer lifestyle and free-up grey matter, all of which has a positive impact on mental health.
But effective routines around self-care can prevent parental (or any other kind of) burnout.
Create routines that give you the break you deserve.
Let’s revisit our kid’s bedtime. You are the master of your routines, meaning you make the rules. So, ensure your little ones are tucked-up and asleep early to allow you time to unwind of an evening.
Further reading: 17 Self-care practices you can do at home.
ROUTINES CAN BROKEN
Like rules, routines can be broken, and that is absolutely fine. In fact, it’s fun.
Back to the bedtime routine …
Letting your kids have a bath-free night and a movie before bed is very exciting because it’s a break from the norm.
If you have school aged children, think of the difference between term time and holidays. We can’t wait for the holidays to start so we can have a break from the routine. Yet, by the end of a long holiday, we become eager to return to the familiarity and comfort of old routines.
THEY WILL HELP YOU LIVE THE LIFE YOU CHOOSE
Even if you co-parent so have time without your children, or they are older and have their own lives, a routine is still a powerful tool to help you live the life you choose.
“Setting a daily routine creates structure, helps us reach our goals and reduces procrastination. The real power in routines is the way they can help us build momentum, break bad habits, prioritise our lives and make us more efficient.”
Often, something as simple as going to bed at the same time each night or exercising three times a week, can make the world of difference.
After a while, your routine will become habitual, then as you reap the results, you’ll understand the power of the simple routine.