Since social distancing measures came into effect, many of us have undergone sizeable shifts in our daily routines. The need to wake up early and commute to the office or rush to a meeting, class or conference has, for millions, stopped. Afternoons are no longer divided into lunch breaks, school finishing and rush hour.
For some, this will be a welcome chance to slow down, savour a leisurely breakfast in the morning and spend more quality time with loved ones throughout the day. But, without structure to your day or changes in scenery, it is all too easy to fall out of usual routines and feel the days blending into one.
The benefits of keeping to an established routine are well-documented. Research has proven that routine has far-reaching psychological benefits, from reducing stress and improving sleep to alleviating anxiety disorders. This is largely because routines both help make tasks habit, preventing the build-up of mountains of paperwork or laundry, and inject a sense of achievement and progress into each day.
So, it’s hardly surprising that many of us are searching the internet for the answers to questions such as “how to create a routine” and “what is the ideal routine”. But creating rituals may, in fact, be even more effective at adding harmony to our lives.
The primary difference between a routine and a ritual is mindfulness. Routines are simply a sequence of actions carried out at set times – often on