The Importance of Keeping a Routine During Stressful Times

Life is fluid. 

When you think you have everything sorted, something happens that throws you off balance.

When it is not one kid, it is the other. Sometimes it is the dog or another family member.

There is always the negative stuff that happens on the outside world too.

Fear based news always dominates our television and social media channels because it sells (this is maybe a topic for another post)

Wars, pandemics, recessions, violence and the list goes on.

Then before you know, you are 

  • Eating out more often
  • Drinking more alcohol,
  • Going to bed later and later
  • Working yourself to the ground
  • Eating more sugar
  • Skipping your exercise routine

As a coping mechanism to deal with your stress levels that are reaching the red zone on your mind and body.

How do you keep a routine during stressful times?

After I changed all my habits during cancer treatment and felt the heathiest and happiest I have ever been.

Life threw at me something unexpected and stressful at me.

First – the death of a close family member 

8 months later – a serious illness from another family member

I felt my routine was tested to the limits on both occasions.

This is what I did to keep up to my routine

1 – Never compromise on my food

When I didn’t have time to do anything else for me, 

I made sure my food was always healthy.

That meant that the time I had, was used to cooking meals from scratch.

When I didn’t want to cook, 

I reminded myself that my body didn’t need to deal with any more stress.

Crap food adds stress to your physical body

Your physical body needs to deal with the detoxification process to eliminate everything that is filled with 

  • chemicals, 
  • artificial colours, 
  • processed sugar, 
  • alcohol, 
  • drugs and etc.

For one message that is sent from your body to your gut, nine messages is sent from your gut to your brain.

If you are eating crap food, your gut is not in a good way which means your mental health is also going to affected.

In times of stress, you don’t want that added to your plate.

2 – Honour my sleep

This was challenging because normally I sleep with my phone turned off.

For months I had to sleep with my phone turned on in case anyone needed to call me.

I made sure that I kept to my bed time routine to honour my sleep.

I go to bed every night at 9 pm and I turn my devices off at 7:30 pm so 

I get at least 1.5 hours before bed without any interaction with screens.

I practiced more bed time yoga and breathwork than ever before bed 

to ensure I relaxed my body to go to sleep.

3 – Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning

This is something a lot of my clients struggle with.

When you check your mobile phone first thing in the morning, 

you have lost the opportunity to focus on you and on what you want to achieve on that day physically and mentally.

Your mind is all over the place because your thoughts are already racing.

You haven’t attended to yourself or to your body and 

your body feels it, it knows.

I understand when it is a matter of life or death is challenging – meaning if you are waiting for someone to call you in case someone dies.

I experienced exactly that so I would look at my phone to see if there were any missed calls or messages that were urgent – that is all.

I wouldn’t look on my social media accounts, my emails or do any work.

That takes an enormous amount of discipline, I know but I knew it was necessary.

I would then focus on my morning routine – meditation and exercise.

Then I would call or message anyone I needed to.

This meant I would start the day with my cup filled instead of feeling out of control and stressed.

In times of stress, I appreciate that it is very difficult to keep to a routine but it is possible.

I see a lot of my clients having major setbacks after a stressful situation that can lead them to months of a negative spiral physically and mentally.

The key thing is to keep to a routine that keeps your stress levels at bay instead of letting your stress take you to a deeper role.

You are not trying to become an Olympian or a monk during stressful times with your exercise routine and meditation practice.

You are saying to your body – “I am here for you”

You are saying to your mind – “I am in control”

That is all. 

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