Now that we’re all adjusting to life after lockdown, it’s important to put in place daily routines to not only improve our productivity but our overall mental and physical well being.
The obvious but often problematic areas of setting routines revolve around wake-up times, exercise, nutritional choices, managing screen time and night time routines.
We unpack some of the challenges around these with useful tips and idea’s to get you back on track post lockdown.
Create a good morning structure by starting the day at the same time every day. Set the alarm for a routine sleep and wake up time each day. Bedtime and wake-up times are intricately linked so it’s best to plan bed time to ensure that your wake-up routine starts after a good 7-8 hours rest.
Exercising daily is key to mental and physical well-being.
A rigorous cycle, run or some lengthening & stretching yoga & pilates are all good options. There are some great apps and online content available if you need a boost of motivation.
Some of our favourites at TARIO include:
- NHS Fitness Studio (nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio):
The NHS have launched free online content via their fitness studio and range in length from 10-45 minutes. According to their website… “There are exercises to tone your abs, raise your heart rate and tone your upper arms. You will find workouts suitable for new mums, such as postnatal yoga, or health problems such as pilates for back pain. Plus, there’s the Wake up! workout, Vinyasa flow yoga and belly dancing for beginners to get you moving.”
- Barrecore (www.barrecore.com):
A low-impact workout that focuses on strengthening and lengthening muscles without the sweat. Different packages are available to suite every budget.
- Peloton (onepeloton.com):
A pricier option based on a monthly subscription but they offer everything from the famous cycle classes, to yoga, meditation, strengthening, running and walking. Classes can be selected for 10 minutes to 60 minutes with variations in difficulty.
Whatever your choice of exercise, make sure to get the heart rate up and the muscles working. This contribute to physical well-being and releases the happy hormones, endorphins which improve mental wellbeing and helps the body relax and sleep better at night.
Now might be a time to overhaul nutritional choices. Whether vegan, vegetarian, meat eater or not fussed, the key to a healthy diet is making the right choices. No matter what diet you do or don’t follow, planning what you eat is key to making healthy choices and creating positive new routines.
A fridge & cupboard that is filled with ingredients to make quick, easy snacks and meals will curb the temptation to fall back on the lazier option of take-aways & ready-made meals.
Stay hydrated and start the day with a glass of water to rehydrate after a night’s rest, especially important in the warmer months to wake up the body & mind and get your skin glowing.
Fill a bottle with water and sip on it throughout the day. If water gets a bit boring include mint, lemon or fruit to up the taste experience. A mug of mint or chamomile tea after a meal is another way to increase hydration levels and help the digestive system.
Take time to wind down before bed instead of flopping into bed exhausted or falling asleep in front of a screen. A bedtime routine is key to preparing for a good 7-8 hours sleep every night.
A relaxing bath filled with bath salts and essential oils is another way to help decompress after a busy day.
Tidy up and remove any clutter from your sleeping space. This contributes to a stress-free environment which is beneficial when winding down at the end of the day. A clean room also removes any dust particles & bacteria which supports improved breathing for a better night’s rest.
Be a reader – step away from social media and emails before bedtime. Take time to read or journal. This is a good time to reflect on the day that was or set your intent for the next day.
Finally, if you need a bit of extra help falling asleep, try meditation. If you are new to this, there are some amazing apps online to help relax the body and mind.
It can take a few weeks to change habits and at times it can prove difficult and inconvenient. However, don’t be too hard on yourself, if the new structures lapse, just set them up and start again.
The discipline of routines won’t take away the stress from obstacles and setbacks, but they will make life more manageable. Healthy routines are key to living a fulfilled life.