This week I’m going to be talking about the importance of routine, and the massively positive effects it can have on your life.

Often in the past, I’ve heard people say routine is: ‘boring, regimented and no fun’, and in my younger years, I used to agree.

I didn’t want to have my weekends planned with mundane tasks, have bedtimes planned to the hour and have no time at all to myself.

What I’ve figured out more recently, is that that is the exact opposite of how a routine makes me feel.

Routine sets you free, and actually frees up your time to do things you like doing, and you’ll probably end up doing more spontaneous and fun activities because you’ll have more time, due to a more efficient way of life.

I recently came across a brilliant blog site called ‘Rut to Routine’ by Jonathan Tickner.

You should go and check it out if you haven’t already.

He’s written lots of blogs about how to improve your mental health, for those struggling in a bit of a rut.

One of his key phrases on his website is ‘you’ll never change your life until you change what you do daily’ and it makes total sense. Your life is an accumulation of your daily habits.

I asked Jonathan why he started ‘Rut to Routine’ and he said:

‘After being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and going through a really tough period, I was well and truly stuck in a rut. Rather than carrying on, I wanted my health and life back on track.

‘Through my daily routine, I did just that. I learned a lot along the way and wanted to share it because I know it can help other people stuck in a rut.’

Here’s some benefits of routine:

Reduced stress levels

You’ll feel more control if you have a plan.

I’m definitely less stressed when I know what I’m doing and when. Every morning I write all of my daily tasks in my journal and prioritise them in order of importance.

This sets me up ready for the day, with a plan of attack. I come back to my journal of an evening, tick off the tasks I’ve finished, and write a small spiel on how my day went – I always pick and write down a great thing that happened that day, it’s so important to find positives.

Better sleep

Consistent sleep routines and good sleep hygiene are so important.

A lack of sleep can have horrendous effects on both body and brain health especially if it becomes a regular thing.

Try and have the same bedtime every night, this will help with your circadian rhythm (sleep clock).

What is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene refers to healthy habits, behaviours and environmental factors that can be adjusted to help you have a good night’s sleep. Some examples of this would be; no tech an hour before bed, a dark room, and cutting off caffeine hours before you think about winding down.

Better overall health

I’ve experienced better overall health since implementing structure and routine into my life.

My eating habits have improved tenfold. I was sick of waking up late (due to lack of sleep), skipping breakfast and grabbing a coffee at 10am, only to experience the caffeine spike and inevitable caffeine crash, leading to low energy and more bad food choices.

Planning meals means I’m now eating better, getting my fruit and veg in, while also allowing me time to train. It’s mad how these small changes can have such a huge impact on your overall life.

Better mood

If you have a schedule, you can build in time for activities you like.

Adults need time to ‘play’ too, whether it’s reading, gym, video games or even just meeting mates.

Having structure in your life allows for this to be a guilt-free time for you. You’ve ticked off your tasks, emptied your emails, done your chores, and still have time, because of routine.

Try implementing elements of routine into your life and watch things improve. It’s time to bulletproof your schedule and go from ‘Rut to Routine’.