Developing a daily or weekly routine is extremely important. Studies show that people who develop a routine are generally happier, less stressed out, and have more leisure time than people who do not follow any sort of routine.
In high school, developing a routine was fairly simple for me. I started and ended school at the same time every day, I completed my homework assignments immediately after I got home from school, I had cheerleading practice and club meetings at the same time every week, I only went “out” on weekends, and I always slept for at least eight hours each night. However, developing a routine in college has been more difficult for me. Unlike in high school, my school days in college start and end at different times each day of the week, my club meetings that I need to attend often vary in meeting times, I go “out” on weekdays and weekends, and I usually sleep at least five hours each night. My current situation certainly does not resemble that of a traditional balanced routine. I feel stressed and busy all of the time.
Due to these constant feelings of stress and anxiety, I decided to make a change. Two weeks ago, I sat myself down on the small couch in my apartment and made a plan. The first thoughts that entered my head as I began planning my new lifestyle consisted of the ambiguity of what a routine is defined as. There is not one perfectly balanced routine that one should follow, nor can one control every aspect of their life and make a routine out of it. Instead, I realized that I needed to develop a routine based off of the aspects in my life that are consistent and that I am able to control. Maybe this routine will not be quite as balanced and simple as it was in high school, but nonetheless, it is a routine.
I compiled a list of the things of which I felt in control and began incorporating them into my casual new routine. Although my classes begin at different times every day, I can control what time I wake up. My earliest class begins at 10:00, so I set a daily alarm for 9:00 on my phone. I can control what I eat and when I eat. This control of food can be sticky because sometimes people will take it out of hand. Personally, I like to eat three balanced meals a day. One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. Oh, and I like having a daily dessert. Another thing I can control is my fitness. Exercising reduces stress and releases endorphins. I made the goal to exercise around four days a week. Lastly, I decided that I needed to incorporate personal time into my routine each day. I make sure to give myself an hour of daily free time which usually consists of binging on my favorite television show or napping in bed.
Two weeks have gone by since I created this routine. Although I do not always follow it perfectly, having a sense of routine in my life has already had positive impacts on me. I feel less stressed, happy, and healthy. I encourage everyone to develop a routine for themselves. It is important for everyone to have a healthy sense of control over their life.