Establishing a daily routine, or a series of processes that promote a positive relationship towards both your work and personal life, is a self- investment that can lend structure and momentum to each day. Following a structured regimen also lowers your reliance on willpower and self-control because actions that are made on a repeat basis require little to no thinking.
Although it might seem like a no-brainer, it’s truly hard to underestimate the power of getting a good night’s sleep. You’ve probably heard it over and over again… but that’s because it’s true! From social media to television and current events, there are so many distractions in our daily lives that can interfere with natural sleep patterns, making the prioritization of sleep even more important.
Sleep also plays an essential role in maintaining brain function including cognition, memory, and productivity. The quality, and duration, of your sleep could also have lasting health implications; research clearly shows that those who get poor sleep on a regular basis are at a much higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
Things like starting your day with meditation, or a simple mantra, are small practices that have the potential to leave a lasting impact on your day. Many people who start the day with meditation, or incorporate it somewhere in their day, feel calmer and more grounded. Other things to try could be making your bed first thing in the morning, starting the day off with a cup of coffee, making a “To Do” list, or going on a short (or long) run before work.
Speaking of running, let’s talk about exercise! A little bit of movement each day can go a long way towards optimizing your physical and mental health. Besides helping with weight control and combating health conditions and diseases, exercise is known to boost energy and mood by stimulating a variety of brain chemicals that can make you feel more relaxed and happy…. Who doesn’t want that!
If you’re a social butterfly, or find that working out alone just doesn’t give you the motivation you need, try a workout class like yoga, pilates, or spinning.
In work and life there can be frustration, anger, and sometimes even resentment. Something your coworker says rubs you the wrong way, or you get a disappointing result on a test and you react automatically, perhaps without ever intending to. Taking a moment to practice mindfulness, even if it’s only for a few minutes, can help add intention and purpose to your day.
One relatively simple way of doing this is through mindful eating. Many of us are so accustomed to the process of eating, that we rarely stop to actually savour and enjoy the food we’re putting into our bodies. Instead, things like listening to your body, eating according to your hunger, and slowing down can all contribute towards making eating a more rich and fulfilling experience.
How you eat is important, but what about what you eat? Filling your body with nutritious, healthy food is one of the most important tools for a life well lived. Making healthy food choices help you maintain a healthy weight, putting you at lower risk for chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, and can also significantly impact your mental health and overall mood.
Adopting a fancy ketogenic or vegan diet isn’t necessary in order to eat healthy (although research suggests that a primarily plant-based diet lowers the risk of developing nearly all chronic diseases). Taking baby steps like keeping unhealthy foods out of sight, eating out less often, and making a plan of what you’re planning to eat are all ways to begin your journey towards a healthier diet.
At the end of the day, remember: what works for someone else might not work for you. Give yourself the time and space to explore all of the different ways that you can customize your routine to fit your needs and lifestyle.