It’s no secret that I’m all about having rituals so I can feel grounded in the chaos that my life is at much of the time. With 3 kids, two businesses, and frequent travel, having a daily routine keeps me happy and healthy.
One of the questions I get asked most often is… how do you do it? After that, it’s what do you eat? What’s your day like? The truth is that I’m all about productivity when I’m working and unplugging when I’m with my family so I can focus on them more.
Having a daily routine keeps me on track with my health goals -even during the summer; but did you know that a daily routine can help boost your mood and enhance your overall health?
Speaking from personal experience, without a solid routine, running my businesses, homeschooling the kids, traveling frequently, remodeling homes, and juggling it all… keeping our life together would be impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t “do it all” every day. Most days I go to bed with unfinished to-do’s- lots of them! However, with a routine, I have peace of mind knowing that there’s a plan in place, and I can try again tomorrow and often times picking up where I left off.
I recently recorded a podcast about building a healthy daily routine for a happier life. You can listen below!
What Should Be Your Daily Routine?
When it comes to a routine that works best for you, there is no one-size-fits-all template.
A routine is simply a particular order of events tailored to your lifestyle that helps your days run smoother and keep you on top of the work/life load.
It’s important to keep in mind that what works for someone else might not work for you. So on top of all of your mandatory daily to-do’s, like dropping kids off, work, etc. fill the rest of your time with activities that resonate with you the most.
I think that you should have things that make you happy built into your daily routine. For me, my morning coffee is essential as well as some type of workout (most days), playing with my dog, and hanging with the kids.
How to Create a Healthy Routine
Creating a daily routine doesn’t mean running a military basecamp. You’ll be a little more flexible but it’s important to identify which activities must be done on a daily/frequent basis and those you’d like to accomplish. From there you’ll need to:
1. Write It Out
Once you identify the activities and goals that are essential and most important to you find the place and time to complete each of those events in a way that flows and works best for you.
2. Get a Morning Routine
Start the morning right, and you are on your way to a productive day. Something about using those early morning hours wisely before everyone wakes up is key to revving up your motivation and productivity for the rest of the day. More on this, later.
3. Expect the Unexpected
Life happens, and things will come up so aim to take care of priorities first, and allow some “wiggle room,” for the rest.
Essentials to a Healthy Morning Routine
It seems as if we hear all about the wonders of early morning routines, on repeat. You’ll find dozens of articles, videos, and even books written on the topic, and there’s a reason this habit is praised.
A vital part of keeping a healthy morning routine is filling it with meaningful activities usually done before everyone else wakes up.
1. Wake up before the kids
You probably already do this, but if you are seeking for a good amount of personal time before you get ready for the day then you’ll need to wake up at least 30 minutes to an hour before everyone else.
Nothing says “mom boss” like taking 10 – 15 minutes to wash your face, comb your hair and get into your outfit for the day. Of course, if you plan to work out, do this step after.
Most of my 5am workouts happen because I have my clothes laid out next to my bed, and I can honestly say that I rarely wash my face or brush my teeth before I go to the gym (you probably thought.. ugh, gross!) but at 5 am I don’t really care. My only concern is to get there.
3. Take “You” Time
Spending time alone to accomplish an activity you enjoy can help you feel more refreshed and energized for the day ahead. Mornings are often the only time us mom will have a chance to get in some “alone time”.
Yes, it does mean waking up earlier, but the time spent doing an activity you enjoy is a great way to refresh yourself and prepare you for the day ahead.
When we travel for extended periods of time as a family -like we did last winter for 6 weeks straight- I made sure to take a bath alone (with the door closed) every night before bed. It might seem silly and you probably do this already, but I normally take ultra-fast showers and
Healthy Bedtime Routine for Women
Late nights and early mornings might have worked in college and when my kids were babies -the latter out of necessity; but now that I work full time and I’m juggling a lot in my personal life and work life, sleep is essential.
Getting enough quality sleep benefits both your health AND moods. Gone are the days where I start working on projects after the kids go to bed. I did that for the first 6 years of my business and mornings were rough.
I later learned that without adequate rest, I rely way too much on coffee throughout the day and then I crash mid-afternoon -leading to more coffee consumption and then I find myself not able to fall asleep and watching Game of Thrones until the wee hours of the night.
Without 7-8 hours of sleep on average, I find myself “on the edge” most days and short-tempered. I can attest to the statistic that the average woman needs 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’ve been running off 5, that might explain the low energy, headaches, and sugar or carb cravings.
I’m a firm believer in “sleep cures everything,” and it prevents a lot of common ailments, chronic colds, stress, anxiety, etc. so getting the right amount is a must!
How do I get to bed earlier when there’s so much to do -like laundry- around the house and in my businesses? I simply accept that not everything will get done in my to-do list and wear wrinkly clothes when necessary -kidding! (but not).
One day, I decided I would go to bed shortly after the kids. For me, that means no later than 9:30 pm so I can get up at 4:35 two mornings per week. Those nights I’m also a little tired so an early bedtime is a must.
Going to bed earlier was a little difficult at first. With the help of a sleep app, I began tracking my average sleep cycles and I was able to bring up my 5-6 hours of sleep on average to 7-8 hours per night. This alone made a huge improvement in my overall lifestyle.
With the added sleep, I found myself feeling more motivated, more focused at work, and less cranky.
How a Healthier Routine Helps Build a Healthy Lifestyle
A common thread amongst many productive and successful individuals is a solid routine.
Routine takes the guesswork out of our day, making us feel more in control. Of course, not every day will go as planned, and that’s okay, life happens! But a routine can help you stay structured and make it easier to start again.
It Helps You Build Healthy Habits
Routines help to eliminate wasted time, which creates more opportunity for you to accomplish goals and build healthy daily habits.
Example: You want to cook healthy meals from scratch. Rather than scrolling on Pinterest every night for a new recipe, why not pay a meal plan service, that provides you with recipes, shopping lists, and a prep guide to do the work for you? Do yourself a solid and hire it out.
Now, instead of wasting 2 hours on Pinterest, “getting inspired,” I download my plan in 5 minutes and follow it throughout the week. Having a plan in place to help me shop, prep, and prepare healthy meals for the week saves me time that I can spend on other things that are important to me.
Make the Important Things a Priority
You’d be surprised how much more available time you have once you start doing things in order or scheduling them into your calendar. I find it best to use it in a meaningful way, whether it’s personal or shared with family.
Every week, we have family dinner at my parents and inlaws. This is something I work into our family schedule mid-week between karate practice, music lessons, and work.
Family dinners are something I work into my schedule because it gives me a chance to step back, catch up, and refocus on the things that matter most.
For some, it might be learning a new language, while for others it’s running a marathon, or writing a book. Everyone has a goal or two that they’d like to see done -heck, for a while, it was just cleaning out my kids’ closets!
But, because as moms we tend to take care of everyone first; our goals will often get set on the back burner. Implementing a daily routine can streamline your to-do’s and create an opportunity for you to work toward your goals.
Whatever your ambitions may be, block out a space of time and dedicate to spending it working towards that goal.
Daily Routine Example – My Daily Routine
Let me start by saying that no two days are the same. And just like you, I’m often putting out fires in the middle of the day that often make me drop everything and change plans.
However, a routine helps me get back on track the next day or pick up where I left off when possible. It’s important to stay flexible and there’s nothing wrong with moving or rearranging activities when necessary.
Here is an example of my daily routine.
Depending on the day of the week, wake up anywhere between 4:35 am to 6 am. The night before I set the coffee pot to auto-brew so a rich cup of dark gold is waiting for me as soon as I step out of bed.
Whether it’s early morning workouts or later in the afternoon, I schedule those in my calendar as if they are an “event” I must attend to. I also have an early morning workout buddy whom I text the night before and at 4:35am to make sure we are both headed to the gym. We meet up, do our workout, and feel great!
My go-to coffee in the morning around 9 am is a cup of Bulletproof Coffee. It’s more of a ritual for me to pour the coffee, butter, mct oil, collagen, and blend; but I enjoy it thoroughly as well.
If I am not well-rested, I’ll have another cup round 2:30-3 pm. Any later an It’s hard for me to stay asleep throughout the night.
After kid tutoring and homeschool activity drop-offs, I head to the office where I work uninterrupted from 9-4pm. I work straight through lunch, eating at my desk.
Once a week I have a “long day” where I work a 10-12 hour day, usually on Thursdays, to catch up during the week.
I meal-prep my food over the weekend or the night before and this includes a healthy lunch option. At the studio, I had access to a full kitchen but currently, at the new office location, it’s up to me to meal prep all my meals in meal-prep containers.
This Buffalo Chicken Salad meal prep is one of my favorite lunches to bring to work.
Pick kids up
Since my husband usually picks up the kids from their homeschool activities, I am able to stay at the office until 4 pm, or later if needed. A couple of times per week I meet them at the dojo where we all (yes, the entire family) practices karate.
Three years in (at the time of writing this post) and I’m still working towards my black belt. I’m attending classes weekly alongside my kids and this is one activity we do together 2 to 3 times per week.
All of my meals are either prepped the night before, during Sunday-prep, or are quick 30min-or-less meals. Pulling off 5-6 homemade dinners per week is only possible because I use a weekly meal plan that I simply execute.
This is often the most welcomed part of my day. Somewhere between dinner and bedtime I fit in all of the laundry, cleaning, and planing. Although, most of the house chores are hit up over the weekend, with 5 people there is always the need to do laundry -trust me, it never ends!
My bedtime is based on the time I need to wake up the next morning. Most nights, I go to bed between 9 and 10 pm. In the rare occasion that I stay up late watching Netflix or Hulu, I pay for it the next morning, that’s for sure!
One thing is for sure, establishing a regular daily routine that is flexible enough to accommodate the unexpected, helps me keep it together and not suffer when things come up.
As a general rule, however, weekends are for family time, kids’ play dates with friends, shopping for food, and meal prepping for the week.
What is the one constant thing in your daily routine that helps you stay on track with your health and wellness goals? Are you a scheduler?