Reflecting on our habits and exploring our established patterns can be a very challenging thing to do. It can be hard to reflect on how we relate to others and how our routines affect us as people, both positively and negatively. While an interruption in our routine, such as COVID -19, can lead to this reflection, we don’t have to wait for this. We can actively choose to talk our routines through by going to therapy and make a conscious decision to change and adapt our routines. By reflecting on our past habits and seeking help in understanding how these habits affect us, we can continue growing as people.
Many of us have some sort of routine in their lives. This routine may encompass all parts of life or just one small part of it. Routines can help us work through our lives in so many ways. They can bring us structure, certainty, comfort, a sense of calm. So, when these routines are disrupted, it can feel like our whole life is falling apart. But maybe we can embrace the change and use these disruptions to our advantage.
Whatever your routine focuses on, disruption can be very unsettling. Whether your routine focuses on exercise, your sleep schedule or how often you go outside. Or whether it focuses on how and when you work, and how you balance this with the rest of your life. Maybe your routine is something as seemingly small as when you do your laundry or tidy your desk. Whatever your routine revolves around, when this routine is disrupted, we can be completely thrown off.
There are a lot of things that can disrupt our routines. The obvious example, at least recently, is the Covid-19 pandemic. Most people had their structure and carefully made routines ripped out from under them with no warning. And that’s scary. However, so many other things can disrupt our routines in our day-to-day lives. This could be a hospital appointment, the bus being late (we’ve all been there) or a catch up with friends that overran, which, while lovely, meant that your routine was thrown off a bit. These disruptions, no matter how big or small, can, unfortunately, end up disrupting our routine for more than just that day.
One slightly annoying thing about routines is that while it can take us literal months to perfect them and get into the habit of these routines, it can take mere days for them to fall apart. When our routines are disrupted it can be so hard to get back to them. Especially if the disruption is ongoing, such as the current pandemic, as this also means that we may have to adapt our routines.
However, a disruption in our routines doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. While our routines have been interrupted, we can take this time to reflect on our routines. Our routines often incorporate lifelong habits that we have formed over the years. This may be when we get up in the morning, or how we prioritise certain things, like work or maybe our physical health. Some habits can be more helpful than others, and some can just be unhealthy.
In having our routines interrupted, we now have the time to reflect on this. We have the time to really dissect the habits that we have and understand the effects that they have on us. Looking back at the habits and routines that we have had in the past can be really helpful. We can work out which habits helped us out, and which habits, while seemingly helpful at the time, were in fact unhealthy. In doing this, we can understand ourselves and how we work just that little bit better.
Once we have begun to work out which of our habits are healthy, we can begin to incorporate them into a new routine. Now we have an understanding of what is actually healthy for us, we can create routines that can help us to grow as people. We can embrace the change in routine, caused by various disruptions. Embracing this change means that we can change and adapt our routines in ways that mean that they are healthier for us. We can take this disruption as an opportunity to reflect on how we treat ourselves with the ways we carry out our lives.