Building your daily routine might be a struggle if you don’t know what you need and what “makes you happy” every day. Every routine is different and they can all be good- you just need to find the perfect one for you. Here are 10 easy steps that you can add to your daily routine, so you can be more productive, with more time to breathe, relax and have a good time, without being exhausted.
1. Read 10 to 20 pages a day
There is a common saying: “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”. Although it sounds cliché, it’s true. Reading is proven to increase your brain power and improve your memory function. It can also make you smarter. If you are reading on a regular schedule, you increase your knowledge by feeding it new words and vocabulary.
Reading is also proven to decrease your stress levels. If you choose to read a book that is interesting to you (why wouldn’t you?!), it’s a moment when you can relax, without any problems or connections with the internet.
And, if this hasn’t convinced you enough, you can read a 200-page book in only 10 days if you read 20 pages a day. And if we think that every month has 30 days, you will be reading 3 books every month!
2. Get off your phone before sleeping and after waking up
OK, so I know this step is not the best and almost all of us do this without even thinking. However, this is the time where you could be reading, listening to music, writing, or just putting time aside to meditate or think and relax, before going on with your day.
And there is actually a scientific reason why you shouldn’t be on your phone before bed. Our screens, from laptops to phones to tablets, produce blue light. If you increase this light or stimulate it, the production of melatonin goes down, making it hard for you to fall asleep.
3. Workout weekly
I am not a hugely active girl. However, I do see the importance of working out and actually moving around rather than constantly sitting down to work.
Working out can look different to everyone, you just have to do what you feel comfortable with. A few examples are brisk walking, running, cycling, playing a sport, swimming, yoga, pilates, lifting weights… the list goes on. Although I would recommend working out outside, in nature, there is no harm in balancing the gym and the park.
Exercising is not just to decompress, relax or reduce stress. It can help you lose weight (sometimes with the help of a healthy diet) or to decrease the risk of diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, or high blood pressure.
Although, from where I stand, working out should never be considered an obligation (unless you are in a position where you need it), but always a choice that makes you happy and comfortable.
4. Drink lemon water
Drinking water in itself is really important. Everyone should at least drink 2 to 3 litres of water a day. That’s a lot, I know, but when you are reminded of the benefits, it doesn’t look so hard. Water is proven to increase skin health and help with acne, to maintain your blood pressure, to boost your performance while working out, to help you in your weight-loss journey. It can also help you with heartburn, kidney disease and dissolve the nutrients your body needs.
This is, however, a bullet point about drinking water with lemon and its benefits. People will just tell you that it tastes good, but that’s not just it. It’s a good source of vitamin C, it can help you lose weight, also improves your skin AND it cleanses your body.
5. Relax straight after school or work
NOW, this one step I do religiously every day. After a long, tiring day of work or school, don't start with more work when you get home. Maybe take a bath, organize your things, have a snack, work out, do whatever makes you feel relaxed, even if it’s “nothing”, like lying on your couch and watching TV.
This is a time for yourself when you can just relax and get ready for some more hours of intense productivity.
6. Listen to music while getting dressed and ready for the day
I know I am not the only one when I say that music makes me feel good. However, being a student, I find little to no time to listen to music (note the exaggeration).
Listening to music puts you in a good mood, that’s why I like to start my day with it while getting ready. It awakens your brain, by telling you “the day is here!”. While listening to music to get ready for the day is great, you can also use it to get through the day, when commuting, working out, reading or even working (if you can still concentrate). I have discovered that even when I am working or studying I need music. That is why sometimes I listen to music that I don’t know the lyrics of.
7. Make sure to have some human connection
I know this one sounds a bit ridiculous, but it’s actually the most important of them all, regarding every factor.
When the pandemic started and we all had to stay locked in our homes, some of us didn’t see our friends and even some of our family for days and months. We didn’t even see some of our colleagues. That means we lost some of the human contacts we had, even losing some relationships.
Science supports the fact that human connections can help lower your anxiety or depression, something some of us had to fight during the lockdown, more than on other days. It can also regulate our emotions and lead to higher empathy and self-esteem.
8. Plan your day/week/month
This is something that I LOVE to do. You might not work like this, however, I feel like it is important and necessary for everyone to keep everything organized, so you don’t get too overwhelmed by life.
I usually only plan weekly or monthly, but every day when I get new homework, I have to organize my day, going from the easiest to the hardest, so I can get motivated and get more done.
Planning monthly or weekly, I use a bullet journal, and every Sunday I go there and try to plan as much as possible. However, while doing this, you should know that during the week, new things will come up that you’ll have to do, so during your planning, don’t overload yourself with a lot of things to do.
9. Make your bed and clean/organize your room
This one step is purely a suggestion, but during the weekend I can only start my work after my place is organized. I work in my room, so my bed has to be made and my clothes need to be put in my closet and it needs to be closed. So, for 10 minutes on Saturday or Sunday morning, I will organize my room, which also gets me in the right mindset to work.
Of course, if you do not work in your room and have a separate space to work, try to have that space tidied up instead.
10. Daily skincare routine
Last, but not least, cleaning and taking care of your skin (face AND body) is a step that you should do every morning and night, for good skin and hygiene.
Every type of skin deserves and needs different care. My advice is to do your research, talk to your doctor, and really try to find what works for you.
AND, don’t forget that washing your face is a moment of pleasure and relaxation, so enjoy yourself.
I really hope that you can take a lot from this article and incorporate it into your life. Remember that everyone is different, which means you need to find a routine that works for you. Take these examples and alter them how you see fit to fit in with your lifestyle. Every routine should feel right and the best.