Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed in your daily life or you want to achieve more each day, there are numerous benefits to creating a daily routine. Everyone benefits from a structured daily routine, especially shift workers like doctors and nurses. Without a routine, many people experience mental and physical health issues that further disrupt their life. Discover the benefits of developing a consistent routine and learn how to create a daily rhythm that suits your lifestyle, whether laying out your scrub pants before you sleep or scheduling an early morning jog.
Common Issues from a Lack of Routine
Routines promote health and wellness through organization and structure. Without a routine, you could experience several issues, including:
- Increased stress
- Poor sleep hygiene
- Poor eating habits
- Decreased mental health
- Cardiovascular issues
- Ineffective time management
Health Benefits of a Daily Routine
Daily routines are the key to a healthy lifestyle and creating the life you want to live. They benefit each person differently because everyone has different needs and goals. But many mental and physical benefits come from creating a daily routine, such as:
1. Reduced Stress
A set routine reduces the number of decisions you have to make, creates a feeling of peace from knowing everything will get done, and allows for self-care, alone time, or your favorite activities. All these contribute to reduced stress levels and alleviate other side effects from heightened stress, such as tense muscles, shortness of breath, and increased risk of a heart attack.
2. Improved Sleep
Poor quality or quantity of sleep can lead to numerous adverse side effects like high blood pressure, diabetes, and an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. Buying a better mattress or blackout curtains can help to improve sleep quality by creating a more comfortable environment. But if stress is the cause of poor sleep, creating a set bedtime routine can ready your mind and body for a better night’s rest. You can create a better routine by deciding on a set time for bed, getting off your phone an hour before bed, brushing your teeth, washing your face, journaling, or reading to prepare your mind for sleep. A consistent sleep routine can help you wake at the same time of day and reduce the need for an alarm, which can be disruptive and lead to daytime fatigue.
3. Better Health
With reduced stress and better sleep, your health improves right away. This increase in overall health can mitigate common issues like the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity, enhance immune health energy levels, and strengthen bones and muscles. Feeling well-rested also makes you more likely to develop and maintain a regular exercise routine. Creating time for exercise can improve your overall health by further supporting your cardiovascular and joint health. Regular exercise improves mental health by flooding your brain with endorphins, endocannabinoids, serotonin, and dopamine.
4. Prevent Burnout
Burnout is emotional and physical exhaustion. It’s caused by chronic stress at work or home. Prolonged burnout can lead to more problems like sleep disorders, increased alcohol consumption, depression, and obesity. A good daily routine can help prevent burnout by allowing more time for self-care, improving sleep, and reducing stress.
5. Make Better Decisions
Routines create habits. And because habits are automatic, they allow our brains to think less about each decision. With a solid routine, you also feel less rushed, leaving more time and energy to devote to those more significant decisions to ensure you make the right choices. Daily routines also help you practice self-control and postpone the immediate gratification you might get from making unhealthy snap decisions. This increase in self-control helps you to strengthen your ability to make better decisions long term.
6. Helps Create the Life You Want
A routine that fits all your needs allows you to create the life you want to live. By taking away the minor stresses of each decision, allowing for more self-care and time doing the things you love, you can create the time and opportunity to reach your more lofty goals and live the life of your dreams.
Tips for Creating a Daily Routine
With the many mental and physical benefits of a routine, you should prioritize creating one that will work for your lifestyle. While each person’s path to establishing a routine will be different, there are a few tips that can help get you on track to a better daily routine and life:
1. Create a Personalized List of Goals
Write down goals and wishes to accomplish each day. Start small. Choose tasks and goals you know you can achieve before moving on to larger goals.
2. Create a Structured Daily Schedule
Your schedule should fit your appointments, work schedule, and other daily tasks like washing your men’s scrubs or doing the dishes. This ensures that you complete each activity at the same time each day.
3. Set a Regular Sleep Time
Set the alarm to wake up at the same time every day and fight the urge to hit the snooze button. You can also use a Fitbit or another sleep tracker to help you understand your sleep cycle and wake you in the lightest sleep phase.
4. Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast can help you wake up and provide the energy you need to start your day.
5. Choose a Dedicated Time for Exercise
The morning is the ideal time to exercise because it will get your blood moving and energize you for the rest of the day.
6. Set Aside Time for Self-Care
Self-care is different for everyone, but it can look like reading a book, doing a face mask, or meeting friends for lunch — whatever makes you feel relaxed but energized.
7. Check Your To-Do List Regularly
Avoid time-wasting activities like scrolling through social media during times when you could be productive or have other commitments.
8. Create a Night Routine
You might set out your clothes for the next day, like your nursing scrubs, and then take a shower, brush your teeth, and journal before heading to bed.
9. Remain Positive
When starting a new routine, it can feel challenging. Knowing that you’re setting yourself up for a more productive lifestyle and better mental and physical health can help get you through the tough moments of setting habits and creating routines.
Create Your Routine
Daily routines can help you reduce stress, improve mental health, prevent burnout, and create the life you want. While routines don’t happen in a single day, with some planning and dedication, you can create your perfect daily routine to help you feel better and accomplish more.