What day is it again? Lately, it seems like each passing day is blending together with all the others. We’re all going to bed later and sleeping in, too. And that can leave us all feeling not like ourselves. What we’re missing might just be that daily routine — and there are countless upsides to maintaining one.
In fact, research shows that daily routines offer positive benefits, such as increased productivity and creativity, as well as alleviated anxiety and stress levels, something we could all use these days. While it’s not always easy to snap into a routine, these simple tips can help you reclaim your days — and be more productive, too.
1. Limit Morning Usage of Your Smartphone
We all do it. Our alarms wake us up, and we immediately check our smartphones. At first glance, checking your inbox, the news or social media first thing in the morning might not seem like such a bad thing, but new research shows quite the contrary. A study that included people in their 20s conducted by Sweden’s University of Gothenburg shows that high smartphone usage is linked to higher reports of depression in both men and women.
When you constantly check your smartphone, your apps are vying for your attention, which can disrupt your attention and focus and make it impossible to begin your day calmly, ultimately leading to anxiety and stress. When you check your smartphone first thing in the morning, you’re also setting the tone for a distracted day. And you’re losing time, too. What begins as a five-minute check can turn into a 15- or 30-minute scroll session.
There are several popular methods to help you become less dependent and distracted by your smartphone in the morning. First, try putting it on airplane mode at night. When you wake up in the morning, you won’t be bombarded with notifications that you feel obligated to answer. Replacement activities, such as morning meditation, exercising or journaling, can also help you take back your mornings.
2. Get Dressed Every Morning
Sure, it’s tempting to stay in loungewear all day, especially when working from home. But experts say there are benefits to getting ready each day. In fact, the simple act of getting dressed is directly related to your mental health. Plus, getting dressed in the morning impacts your mood and can boost your levels of optimism, productivity and motivation.
Experts say neurotransmitters in our brains, including serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and norepinephrine, ignite a sense of purpose and boost our mental state when we get dressed as part of a daily routine. Bottom line: Make your morning routine something you’re excited about. Try new styles or new outfits that you wouldn’t normally wear to feel good and boost your mood.
3. Establish Healthy Eating Habits
Snacking and grazing more than usual? You’re not alone. If you find yourself snacking more throughout the day, it might just be because you’re not filling up at regular mealtimes. Besides plant-based fats, enjoying half a plate of non-starchy vegetables and plenty of protein can help keep your hunger at bay throughout the day. Additionally, setting time aside to cook each day also provides health benefits.
Get Ready to Reclaim Your Livelihood
If you’re searching for ways to keep positive and productive, the answer might just be establishing and maintaining a daily routine. From intentionally limiting your smartphone usage in the morning and getting dressed each day to cooking healthy meals regularly, these daily routines can improve your outlook and overall well-being. So, get ready to reclaim your life and livelihood.