Routines. Pooches respond to them. Children can thrive on them and most adults excel when using them. Aside from providing a sense of structure and familiarity, creating a sustainable, practical routine allows us to establish structure, improve efficiencies and generate momentum.
A good routine is imperative at any time of the year, advises Select Wellness co-founder Camilla Thompson. Particularly after an extended holiday period where the usual set routine may not have been followed.
Camilla Thompson says developing a regular routine is good for your mental health as it reduces anxiety, introduces good habits and eradicates any bad ones.
“If you have had a relaxing break – and school holidays are rarely relaxing – but if you have managed that or have been away, the benefits of getting back into a routine can alleviate stress and anxiety.
Self-described as a creature of habit, mother of two Camilla admits she personally struggles when she’s out of routine, as do her children.
That’s why she finds it particularly useful to keep with her routine as best she can during holiday periods, to help ease her family back into the demands of school, work and home post-holiday.
“If you feel overwhelmed with lots to do, it will help to get back into your old routines and potentially look at creating some new ones that will be of benefit. If you are in routine you are more likely to feel on top of work and life admin, so this will help you to manage yourself better,” she says.
“I ease off in some areas but keep consistent in others. It is so easy to get de-railed during the holidays and then it can be very hard to get back into your routine and healthy habits. So if you keep doing some of it, in smaller or less amounts, it’s much easier to ramp back up when you need to.”
Post-holiday it is equally important to get back to your fitness schedule and incorporate a more disciplined diet when returning to your regular routine.
Start out small and set realistic goals, suggests Camilla.
“If we have ridiculously high expectations and goals that are hard to achieve or maintain, then we can end up feeling like we have failed and then we give up.
“It is all about sustainable behaviour change. Micro steps are best, so commit to what is realistic for you and then build upon that incrementally.”
Whilst the goal is always to go back to work and school feeling recharged after a holiday, the amount of time it takes to get back into a routine post-holiday will vary from person to person.
“Rather than looking at relapsing from our routines in the holidays, you can look at it as a reset. It cultivates a more positive mindset and doesn’t make us feel like we’ve gone backwards.”