Routine is often thought of as a negative thing. You may have heard people say, or have said yourself, "Oh, just the same old routine," or "I'm so bored with my regular routine!" And sure, one of the main drawbacks of a routine is that it gets old and boring quickly. However, while routines can be boring, in many cases it is our routines that keep us grounded, sane and safe.
This is especially true in times like the coronavirus pandemic, when millions of people around the world are staying home from school, work and social activities. To top it off, parents, spouses and children suddenly need to coexist in a way that they never had to before. Children have virtual schoolwork and many parents still need to work. Routine is a great way to rise to these current challenges so that you come out stronger as a person and closer as a family.
Here are 5 benefits of creating a daily routine (and sticking to it).
At the same time, the routine can and should include family time, whether it's eating meals together, playing games, talking or going for a walk around the block (if allowed). This way, you'll maintain and even build your relationships with each other while still making sure that everyone has time to learn, work, chill out, eat and sleep.
Make Your Routine FlexibleWhile a routine can save you from going crazy when you're stuck inside all day, it's important to remember to maintain a certain level of flexibility. Isn't that a contradiction, you might ask? Yes and no.
One of the (only) benefits of having to stay at home during this tragic pandemic is that kids don't need to be at school by 8 o'clock and parents don't need to clock into work. Embrace this benefit! Structure is important, but now you have the luxury of creating a routine without all the stress.
So as opposed to sticking to your timeframe rigidly, leave some wiggle room for sleeping in, playing computer games and the inevitable breakdowns (of you and/or your children) that arise from being cooped up at home for too long.
Most importantly, create a schedule that allows some time for you to take care of yourself, whether it's a bubble bath, an exercise video or watching your favorite show.
Structure plus self-care is a good recipe for reducing stress, which is the well-known time-, sanity- and relationship-killer.