Healthy routines mean different things to each individual and at the current time, routines have had to change for many people.

Start the day right ~ today’s official nutrition guidelines recommend breakfast since the body uses energy and nutrients overnight.  Research has shown that children who skip breakfast perform less well academically, socially and emotionally. Eating breakfast improves children’s problem solving abilities, their memory, concentration levels, visual perception and creative thinking (Health4Schools 2006), the same is true for adults. 

Exercise ~ is good in the morning for reducing stress and allowing the brain to make more endorphins (the feel-good hormone).  Exercise done first thing in the morning means there are fewer distractions (phone calls, emails etc.) and it can give a great energy boost at the start of the day.

Planning goals ~ even for people that are retired it is good to have some goals in mind, even if it is just to go out for a walk.  Writing a list of goals / jobs is useful, very satisfying ticking things off when they are completed!

Eat well ~ a balanced diet should include great ingredients, textures and flavours.  Eating the rainbow of different coloured fruits and vegetables is a fundamentally healthy way to eat.  I personally enjoy cooking and trying many different recipes and ingredients.  Some people take supplements – I do – but I am not a nutritionist so do your own research, mine focus on boosting the immune system.

Time for you ~ build in time for you each day, such as a relaxing bath, reading a book, meditating or doing something you love.  Jobs can wait and you will come back with a renewed energy.

Worry well ~ if you are a worrier it can be useful to set aside time to worry unconditionally – perhaps half an hour in the evening.  Write the worries down as you go through the day if you need to.  Go through each worry.  Do ~ is this something I need to do?  How soon?  Delay ~ Can this be dealt with another time?  Delegate ~ can someone else deal with this?  Ditch it ~ if nothing can alter the situation then there is little point is allowing the problem to take up headspace.

Breathing space ~ practicing 7/11 breathing can help keep you calm in stressful situations.  7/11 breathing is where you breathe in to the count of seven and out to the count of eleven.  If 7/11 is difficult, do what is comfortable but the out-breath must be longer than the in-breath.  The body tenses up when you breathe in and relaxes when you breathe out.  Counting whilst doing this helps with stress as you cannot count and think about stressful things at the same time.

Bedtime ~ many people find it hard to sleep as their brains are still working overtime so a bedtime routine is useful.  Keep off social media and away from the TV if it is too stimulating for an hour or two before bed.  Reading a good book can be relaxing; listening to guided meditations or hypnosis podcasts can help calm you and allows sleep to come more easily.

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