#PrettyHealthyProject | Creating Routines

There’s a lot of talk in the ‘wellness’ world about the importance of creating routines. A quick search brings up endless blogposts on becoming a ‘morning person’ or ways to improve your evening. I am not discounting the importance of waking up well, improving sleep quality or supporting productivity through habit and practice. For me, the important thing is figuring out routines that work for you.

Creating Routines - #PrettyHealthyProject

In my previous #PrettyHealthyProject post, I focused on drinking more water and making better food choices. However, I had such a busy week volunteering at my equestrian centre that I started to think about my routines. Focusing on these helped make sure I woke up on time each day at 5:45am(!) and keep on top of my specific skincare and food choices.

As a result, it’s occurred to me that consistent routines are perhaps the foundations of a healthy and positive lifestyle. But our lives are rarely routine. We can’t always get up at the same time each day; we don’t always have the time for meal prep or a daily workout. Sometimes we just need a lie-in – and, contrary to what many ‘wellness’ sites may tell you, that’s totally okay.

Strict or flexible?

Some people thrive off a strict routine. They get up early, go about their morning in the same order each day and are never late to bed at night. Others find this method too constricting; if something goes wrong it can ruin their whole day. Do you work better from a super-strict routine, or will allowing yourself some flexibility be more productive?

Time-based routines

Routines can set up the first ten minutes of your morning, or they can structure your whole day. You might want a short plan to start your day right, but if you work from home the latter might be more helpful. When do you most need structure?

Morning

After years of experimentation I have finally secured my morning routine. I don’t allow myself to touch social media until I’m out of bed which is surprisingly effective at getting me up! I take care of my skin before breakfast and then dressed and ready for the day. It pretty much structures the first hour of my day, and I know that by the end I’ll feel set up and productive.

Evening

In the evening I’ve set an alarm which goes off a bit before 10pm signalling that I should start getting ready for bed. This routine includes removing my makeup, taking care of my skin and winding down. It’s more relaxed than the morning. For me, it’s all about flexibility and being able to change things around as and when I need to.

Sunday

Many people swear by spending a few hours on a Sunday setting up for the week ahead. It might be prepping meals, sketching out a to-do list, making plans or tidying up. Taking that time towards the end of the week can help you feel refreshed and motivated for the next seven days.

 

Activity-based routines

By this I mean routines for skincare, fitness, blogging, and so on. These become even more individual. It’s so easy to watch someone’s makeup or exercise routines online and think it’ll work perfectly for you, but in reality that isn’t the case at all. Routines have to be personalised to your needs – but that doesn’t mean you can’t get inspiration from others.

Beauty

For skincare and makeup routines, first work out what you need from the products you’ll be using. A little internet research can get you on your way, and shop assistants are always happy to point you in the right direction.

Exercise and Diet

There are thousands of workouts on YouTube and Pinterest to have a go at. It’s even better if you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine two or three times a week. I like to run, go horse-riding, swim, and cycle. You could join an exercise class or a gym: when it comes to exercise, getting professional advice is always a good idea.

Blogging

How strict your blogging routine has to be depends on your blog itself. If you post daily, you need to be well on top of your planning, writing, and photographs. Weekly bloggers perhaps only need to set aside a few hours a week to put everything together. Regardless, having a blogging routine which can make a real difference to both the quality and consistency of your content.

 

#PrettyHealthyProject - Creating Routines

 

Routines seem to be a favourite topic for bloggers so I was spoiled for choice picking three posts to share! Here’s a cross-section of what’s out there, and remember YouTube is a great resource for routine inspiration too:

    1. Check out Holly’s fantastic post to learn how to create routines to support your productivity
    2. I love this article from timemanagementninja about needing to break your routine in order to fix it
    3. For some more specific motivation, have a look at Amelie’s blogging routine

 

As well as my routines, in the last fortnight I worked on improving my water intake. I saw a marked difference in my energy and was much more clear-headed. However, in order to start feeling even better in myself I need to start making bigger changes in terms of my diet and exercise.

Over the next week I’ll be thinking hard about how I can make better choices when it comes to food. I’m going to be careful about not being overly strict on myself, but I do need to start making healthier decisions. From next week I’ll be trying to add some exercise into the mix: I’d like to go for at least one walk, one run and one bike ride (though hopefully it won’t be as taxing as the 25 miles G and I undertook yesterday, which was perhaps a little overambitious!).

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As always, keep up with how I’m getting on using #PrettyHealthyProject on Twitter and Instagram. Try tagging your pretty healthy pictures and tweets with it too – I’d love to see others getting involved!

Do you have a daily routine? How do you set yourself up for the day ahead? Let me know in the comments!

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7 Comments

  1. Courtney
    18/07/2016 / 9:45 pm

    Great post. I think routines are really important and they help to reduce stress for me since I know what I’ll be doing. I have a morning routine I stick with pretty well and it makes a difference in how well my day runs! I try to stick with a night routine, but that’s a bit trickier to stick to.

    – Courtney
    courtneylthings.blogspot.com

    • Lucy Furneaux
      18/07/2016 / 9:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Courtney! I totally agree that they reduce stress so much. If I don’t follow my morning routine it can affect my whole day and figuring out what works best for me has made such a difference to my mood and productivity. And I find night routines much harder to stick to as well – once I’ve started it’s fine, but I tend to not start getting ready for bed until way too late at night. I guess there’s always room for improvement!
      Thanks for your lovely comment!
      Lx

  2. 18/07/2016 / 7:00 pm

    I am in another world where it comes to this stuff, Lucy. After years of shift work (33) I have never really settled into any routine. Since retirement, I rarely get up before 9, and almost never go to bed before midnight. I do eat quite well, as I shop for, prepare, and serve all the meals in the house. I only allow myself something like pizza once a week, and have reduced my intake of red wine to a maximum of three bottles a week too!
    As for working out, I take Ollie for a long walk (3 hours+) every day, whatever the weather. I walk fast, and rarely rest. I have lost 2 inches off my waist, and manage to keep it up, despite being 64 years old. Your regime sounds very good. You will live to 99, I am certain of that. (I just hope that you remember your name when you get there…)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Lucy Furneaux
      18/07/2016 / 9:51 pm

      I can’t imagine shift work for that length of time! I’m glad you’ve been able to readjust following retirement. It sounds to me like those things work well for you and that can only be positive. It’s amazing what walking can do for fitness and health! And that last comment gave me a laugh – one can only hope…
      Lx

  3. 18/07/2016 / 6:15 pm

    I need to work on creating routines in my daily life. I can be a bit of a mess sometimes, especially when I’m under stress, so having a set routine would probably help me reduce anxiety! I need to start incorporating exercise and eating more healthy food!

    • Lucy Furneaux
      18/07/2016 / 6:36 pm

      I’ve definitely found that setting up morning & evening routines helped curb anxiety, especially whilst I was at university – having that part of my day already planned and structured helped me feel so much more in control and calm as a result. Maybe start with just one, then build in another routine, and then slowly start to make healthier choices with food and exercise? I’ve always found that trying to change everything at once just sets me up for failure, but taking things slowly and adding in one goal at a time has made it feel a lot more achievable!
      Lx

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