During the times of COVID-19 with many working from home, having a routine can help add structure to days that fly by. At first, I used to view routines as boring and rigid. At the beginning of the quarantine, I had no routine; it was a mess from the moment I woke up to the moment I slept. I would finally start my work at 11 PM, after spending all day scrolling on TikTok. But now, since most of my work is online, I’ve decided to use some of my extra time more productively, adding things into my routine that I was never able to pre-COVID.
Whether it’s a morning routine, a school routine, or an exercise routine, there are many benefits to having one. It creates structure, providing a framework in our lives where most of us are at home most of the time. During times of quarantine, it’s difficult to fall out of the loop. Following a routine you set for yourself is something that can keep you running on that loop.
Creating a routine for yourself can create new, good habits and break your old, bad habits. Incorporating good habits into your routine and schedule will eventually help you get rid of your bad habits, and in turn, replacing your bad habits with good ones.
For example, brushing our teeth. Most people don’t really dread doing it because, well, it’s routine to brush their teeth. This applies to including good practices in your routine because it will simply become a habit sooner or later (only if you keep doing it!).
There are daily, weekly, and monthly routines, where you can assign different tasks to each routine. For example, cleaning your bathroom can be a part of your weekly routine. Daily routines have smaller routines within it, such as having morning and night routines: things you do each morning when you wake up and things you do right before you go to sleep. There are also many more types of routines such as summer break routines, study routines, and exercise routines. You can make it what you want.
Set goals and establish the routine around them. Ask yourself: what goals am I hoping to achieve with this routine? What do I want in my routine that will help me achieve my goals?
Be reasonable and realistic with it. Productive habits take a while to form, so begin by slowly diving into it. If you want to work out every morning but you haven’t worked out in ages, slowly dive into it. Start with 15 minutes of working out, then 20 minutes, then 25 minutes, and so on.
Write out your routine somewhere, whether it’s on a paper or the Notes app on your phone. Put down all the tasks you want to accomplish in your routine and assign times next to them. If you try to memorize all of your routines without jotting them down, you can get confused and stressed out trying to figure out which task you have to do.
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Maybe you didn’t have the drive to work out that morning, and that’s perfectly okay! Making changes can be hard and you might forget now and then.
Drinking a glass of water when you wake up
Meditating, yoga, or stretching
Eating a healthy breakfast or dinner
Read for a couple of minutes
Sitting down and planning out your day or week
Having a social media detox
Organize or clean your working space
Exercise, go for a run
Having time for yourself to relax
Take a good bath/shower
Spend time with family and friends
Having a decluttering day
I hope this helps anyone who is looking to create new habits and/or have a new lifestyle! And remember: the best routines are the ones that are perfectly tailored to you!