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KEEP YOUR DAILY ROUTINES IN A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT

Ever wondered how to keep your daily routines in a different environment? Life is constantly changing but sticking to routines provides well needed stability. Whether you are on vacation or just traveling to a different environment, sticking to your usual routine may become increasingly challenging. We all need a break from life sometimes, which is exactly why a change in environment can be beneficial from time to time.  

Written by Zoe H., Dec 15, 2021

 BENEFITS OF STICKING TO YOUR ROUTINE

Routines bring us comfort and the consistency many of us long for. But the moment you leave the comfort of your home, you don’t exactly know what to expect for the day ahead. Sometimes it may even feel like being out of your usual routine leads to poor decision making. For example, letting yourself eat a lot more junk food or changing the times that you eat, which could cause digestive problems.

Routines help with feeling calm, in control and accomplished when we can get through daily tasks in a timely manner. In our other blog post titled, ‘HAPPY MIND, HAPPY LIFE I CREATE YOUR OWN WELL-BEING’ I talk about all of the benefits a routine may present our lives with. One of the key things I mention is how routines reduce anxiety because they create patterns and predictable outcomes, so we know what to expect for the day ahead. When we’re in a new environment, however, we often feel as if things like eating healthy, exercising, or journaling become chores.

I have only mentioned going on vacation so far but what about if you just so happen to find yourself living in 2022, hearing about COVID-19 in every other conversation? Yep, I went there. Home office.  

Like it or not, many of us were forced to start working from home rather than commuting to the office daily to keep everyone safe and hopefully diminish the chances of getting or spreading the virus. In some sense, home office is also a different environment. You are probably used to a morning routine at home, commuting to work and having your own routine there. Being in home office cuts the commute time, which means implementing a new or altering your pre-existing routine to fit the comforts of your home.  

HOW TO KEEP YOUR ROUTINE IN A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT

1. CREATE A LIST OF ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES  

If you are in a new environment, whether that’s going on a vacation, traveling for work purposes, or simply working from home, you will always find yourself with additional tasks. Minimizing the differences between your daily norm and a new schedule is essential if you want to stay healthy and on top of to-do’s. This is where journaling comes in. If you already journal, great. If you don’t, it’s time to start. By writing down your additional tasks or responsibilities that may arise while in a new place, you become more self-aware. For instance, if you know you will have a weekly update call with your co-workers who are also in home office, it’s worth noting it down so you can alter your routine that day and perhaps wake up earlier to get a jump start.  

2. DRAW CLEAR DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN WORK TASKS AND PERSONAL LIFE TASKS    

This might seem like an obvious one, but you may be surprised to see that over time, everything just gets labelled as a ‘task’. Being at home almost all of the time during the pandemic means our employers want to keep in touch and modern-day technology enables them to do so very well. By being on your phone or laptop all day at home, you may find yourself asking when you even started working or when to stop. The constant work buzz may blur some boundary lines, leading to a not so balanced work-life balance. Drawing a clear line between what your work tasks and personal tasks starts with making the distinction of when to do them as well. I mean, do you really want to be transferring work files while also waiting for your pasta to boil? Didn’t think so.  

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 3. REPURPOSE YOUR EXTRA TIME- IF YOU HAVE ANY

Earlier I mentioned how working from home means cutting your commute time. The same basic principle goes for when you are on vacation or traveling in general. There can be additional time that you get just by changing environments. So how do we stick to our routines with all this time left? Repurpose it! The important thing is that you do not have to use this additional time just to get a head start on your workday. You can do anything with it, but why not be efficient while at it? If you have the new year’s resolution of getting more exercise in, you can repurpose that commute time with a quick home workout routine. If you want to eat more healthily, you can use the time to prepare some healthy meals ahead for the day or next couple of days even. Having a good daily routine ensures more productivity, so why not repurpose the commuting time to add to that?  

4. PRIORITIZE THE M&M’S; MEALTIME; MOVEMENT AND SLEEP 

Prioritization is so important! Your mind may be going 1000 miles per hour trying to get all your tasks done, trying to focus on the day ahead or maybe on something that had happened the day before. Whatever may be going on, you must remember to prioritize your needs. Mealtime is essential. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you have snacks in between, that’s also great. But remembering to eat those three main meals of the day will give you an energy boost for your mind and body while you try to get your tasks done. Movement. While a change in environment can bring exciting adventures, you may not move as much as before if the change of environment is just home office. Sitting at your desk is not the most convenient way to get in some physical exercise. Instead, you could implement a morning or afternoon walk into your routine every day and do some at home workouts in the evenings. An additional thing that helps me when I am in home office is standing at my desk. Might sound silly, but I got something to raise my laptop up so that I don’t have to bend over when I type. Convenient, right? And lastly, sleep. We all like to stay up late from time to time watching an exciting new series on Netflix but staying up late can easily become a habit too. Getting enough sleep for the day ahead is crucial. Sleeping at least 8 hours a night reduces stress and anxiety and lets your body rest, internally and externally.  

5. FIND SOMETHING FAMILIAR IN THE NEW ENVIRONMENT TO FOCUS ON OR TO HAVE AS A REMINDER  

This tip might seem like an obvious one, but trust me... I did not think of it right away when I converted to home office. What do I even mean by this? For example, I have the same mouse at work as I do at home on my desk. Because I got so used to it there, I wanted something familiar at home so I wouldn’t have to get used to yet another thing on top of a change in my environment. If you have something as simple as that that can be replicated at home, it might make you feel less anxious and more on top of your tasks. Everyone’s mind tends to automatically draw up connections when they are in a new place because it makes them feel some sense of security. If you can achieve this same thing in home office with something as simple as having the same chair or mouse at home, then a change in work environment can become more and more bearable over time.  

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