How To Start A Healthy Routine

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

It didn't really dawn on me that my routine was out of whack until I'd lived with my boyfriend for around six months. Before then, I'd always lived with my parents (with the exception of an 8-month stint in a 1 bedroom flat a few years ago when I thought I could afford to live alone - spoiler, I couldn't.)

Before we moved in together my boyfriend lived just over an hour from me so the location we moved to was half-way between us and a completely new town to both of us. I'd visited once before we moved here and it definitely took a while for me to realise that I wasn't adjusting as easily as I'd hoped and that's not because I don't love living where we do or that I don't enjoy living with my boyfriend because I really do, I think it was just because it turned my life upside down.

Routine helps with feeling settled when you might otherwise feel a little out of your comfort zone and it can really be a great tool for managing your mental health. I want to share what I've done to carve out a new routine for myself and also what I'd like to do over the coming months myself - hopefully some of this helps.

It's a bit of a no-brainer that to start a new healthy routine you'd need to eat healthier and cut down on alcohol which is proven to have a very negative effect on mental health. Now, I am not a fruit or veg girl, it's terrible I know but I struggle to get my 5-a-day in (heck, I struggle with 5-a-week) but that doesn't mean you can't still eat well. I've cut out junk food and most processed foods and I stick very loosely to a Slimming World plan to give my diet some structure; in all honesty we love so many SW recipes and snacks so it's not difficult. Following a healthy living plan will become part of your daily routine and you'll start to form new eating habits in no time.

Making exercise a part of your routine will take feeling good about yourself to a new level. As I was completely new to the area we moved to I was keen to join a new gym so that I'd be able to get into a new fitness routine...the only problem is I hate the gym and really didn't enjoy it. I stopped going and got into a bit of a rut about working out, I was in desperate need of finding some form of exercise that I enjoyed. Luckily I stumbled across an amazing fitness instructor who runs 8 different classes a week in a school hall only 5 minutes from our house - it couldn't have worked out better.

I now do Barre, Pound, Fight, Zumba, Clubbercise and a Full Body Workout class each and every week. It's probably my favourite part of my new routine as through these classes I've met some wonderful women and it's really made our new area start to feel like home. It also makes me appreciate the 3x days I get off from classes each week!

One way to make your routine interesting it to start doing something completely new and different. When your surroundings and circumstances change it can feel like the easiest thing to do is to revert back to your old routine to make everything feel somewhat normal again but it's probably the best opportunity to take up a new hobby. I started practicing yoga and blogging again and have tried to make both of these activities part of my routine. Why not start reading more or incorporating a daily walk into your routine?

I know bedtime sounds like it's for 5-year-old's but I think it's a really important part of a daily routine and definitely one that I've not nailed myself yet and still struggle with. Sleep is crazy important for mental health, it's the one time a day we can give our brains and bodies a rest and ensuring we get enough sleep is really important. I always try and turn off the telly each evening at 10pm, my boyfriend will usually watch something on his iPad for a further 20-25 minutes whilst I get ready for bed and then I'm in bed by 10:30pm at the latest. The problem is we then sit in bed and watch silly YouTube videos for a while or we'll play with the cat or end up chatting about something or other. It can be 11:30pm or even midnight before we go to sleep and then we're both up again at 6:30/7am for work. I'm slowly starting to realise I'm just not getting enough hours.

To correct this, I'm going to start switching off from 10pm onwards so that means limiting the time on my phone and not putting the television on in the bedroom before we go to sleep. I also want to start reading more and winding down before bed. One of our worst habits is my boyfriend going on Reddit or me going on social media then going to bed and going 'oh my god did you hear this story about that guy that did this? Look at this video! Look at this gif!' etc.

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip and because I haven't got the night routine figured out I haven't really got my morning one sorted yet but that doesn't mean I don't have good intentions set out.

If you've had a good night's sleep it's very likely that getting up earlier will be easier, that's just science (maybe?). I was actually doing really well in the new year and I'd get up half an hour earlier,  do ten minutes of yoga whilst the cat ate her breakfast, then I'd sort my breakfast, lunch and snacks out for work before getting ready. This meant I wasn't rushing round the house like a mad woman, I'd had a morning stretch and I was never late for work and that's all down to getting up just half an hour earlier.

If you suss out your evening/night routine and get enough sleep, setting your alarm for half an hour earlier the next day will only have a positive affect on your day and that's what I'm intending to try out this week!

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