Are Daily Routines Important?
My daily routines changed when I retired and it has been difficult for me to manage these new routines. So, I got to thinking about routines, in general. Per the dictionary “a routine is a habit or sequence that doesn’t vary“. I thought, hmmm, good question for my weekly FB survey.
Without delay, I asked 1) Do you have routines you do every day? 2) What is the benefit? 3) Is there a negative aspect?
Here are the results:
Many people have daily routines such as going to the gym, chugging a large glass of water upon waking, lighting a candle and rubbing face, neck and hands with lotion before bed, praying, taking daily medications, making the bed, meditating and listening to soothing music before bedtime, meeting friends for coffee every Wednesday, journaling, picking up the kitchen, drinking a protein shake every morning, reviewing emails and FB for 1/2 hour upon waking up, reviewing emails regularly to keep from getting backed up, walking the dogs each afternoon or having a cup of coffee within 10 minutes of waking.
My favorite comment on the benefits of routines was “Everyone has routines. We are creatures of habit. Familiarity gives our minds anchor points which helps reduce stress.” In addition, routines keep us alive, support people with successful weight loss and time management, help get important things done each day, give control to the insanity of each day, keep the day organized so there is more time to relax, maintain our health, and breed success.
In contrast, nobody had any negative comments on the FB survey.
Here is a potential negative, though.
What if you have too many routines each day? Do they keep you from accomplishing important projects? There are just so many hours in a person’s day or a work day. Are too many routine tasks causing you to work extra hours to get your projects done or keeping you up late to get important projects done?
This was my recent experience. I had several things I wanted to do each day. Consequently, before I knew it, my day was over.
Like everything else, “everything in moderation”. I challenge you to think of “all” your routines. Are they actually fitting in with your reality? Hey, a great journaling question!
Optimally, you should have some routines, but you should also have other activities that include socializing, some that are challenging, and some that are measurable. I highly recommend anyone going through a major life transition or anyone feeling like they are on a hamster wheel, to review their routines. It is possible to have too few or too many routines.
Joan Marie Gagnon
Author of Journal Your Way to Retirement