Have you been experiencing feelings of anxiety or overwhelm as Melbourne awakens from its COVID-induced slumber?
You’re not alone.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for all of us in Melbourne/Naarm, and though life has been returning to ‘normal’ in some ways, many people are struggling to find a sense of inner grounding and stability as we navigate the still-changing tides.
One thing that can be a profound support, and has been a profound support for me as the world shifts and changes, is routine.
The word may not conjure up the most exciting images, but in times of uncertainty and flux, I believe routine can be a medicine for us all.
How Does Routine Help
Maintaining some kind of nourishing daily routine can be a real bedrock for mental health, by lowering stress levels, increasing feelings of control in one’s life, and helping with focus and productivity.
One of the ways in which routine can be beneficial for reducing stress and supporting mental health is by reducing the burden of decision-making. If we have made a prior decision to drink a glass of water and go for a walk first thing every morning, the decision of what to do when we wake up has been assuaged. In this way, routine acts as a liberating force, because it frees us from and lightens the cognitive load of decisions to be made each morning.
Anxiety is a natural result of uncertainty, and routine can also help to alleviate anxiety by adorning the unknown with rhythmic, predictable scenarios. By replacing the unexpected with something expected, routine gives our bodies and minds something to look forward to and relax into.
Routine also sets us up to do something every day that we know we can do well. Whether it’s walking to the local park or making a delicious green smoothie. Completing the same activity each day will over-time increase our confidence in doing it and create a feeling of success and reward (hi, dopamine!) for having done it.
Creating a Routine
Creating a nourishing routine doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, the simpler it is, the more likely you will be able to sustain it over time.
Try choosing just one of the following options to commit to for a month, and notice whether it brings a sense of calm & nourishing predictability into your day:
- Waking each morning to a big glass of water and a 20-minute walk
- Journaling for 10 minutes before bed
- Writing a gratitude list each morning
- Sitting in a quiet place and focusing on your breath for 5 minutes morning and night
- Going for a run or stretching in your bedroom after work
- Sitting outside with a cup of hot tea each morning and listening to the birds
- Spending 20 minutes of uninterrupted time with a loved one sharing about each of your days
- Joining a Yoga class and starting a daily practice, even just 10 minutes a day
Daily, health-nourishing routines can look many different ways for people, but commonalities are regular intake of nutritious food, regular physical activity, and regularly getting quality sleep.
If you would like support with creating or optimising healthful habits in your life, call Kundalini House today to book in a naturopathic session with me ♡
Tulsi Manjari is a university-trained Naturopath & Herbalist, holding a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy (BHSc) from the Southern School of Natural Therapies.
03 9482 4325