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Establish and Maintain a Routine

Whether we like it or not, summer is nearing the end. This means getting back to a routine, whether it’s for school, jobs, or getting children ready for school again. Establishing a daily routine is a great way to increase efficiency and relieve stress. Here’s a list of tips to help establish and maintain a routine.

Bedtime

It’s no surprise that a proper sleep schedule is crucial for any routine. Sleep plays a key role in physical and mental health. Without the proper amount of sleep, it may be difficult to focus or complete tasks. The best practice to establish a healthy sleep schedule is to have a continuous sleep cycle. Try to wake up and go to bed around the same time every day, even on weekends. Start this habit by setting two alarms: one at bedtime and again in the morning.

Tossing and turning? To help fall asleep at night, put your phone and other pieces of technology away (or even on the other side of the room) at least one hour before bedtime or try a night-time spray like Prime PM. Waking up can also be difficult; try setting an alarm clock on the other side of the room or check out the various sleep apps to help wake you up, like this Wake N Shake app available on iOS.

Plan Ahead

Stay on schedule by using a planner (whether it’s a physical calendar or your phone). Having a planner helps to keep a running tab on all upcoming tasks, social events, and work schedules. Writing a schedule will provide an overview of your day and can help improve time management. With a  visual of the day’s agenda, it’s easy to see what needs to be accomplished and when.

Prep Meals

Busy schedules lead to looking for the nearest fast food option during lunch, however, meal prepping can save money and unwanted calories. Get into the habit of meal prepping by fixing up a weeks’ worth of lunches on Sunday (or a less-busy day). Begin by deciding what sounds appetizing for the weeks’ meals and buying all of the necessary ingredients. Meal prepping is a wonderful way to reduce indecisiveness when it comes meal time.

Prepare Night Before

Mornings can be difficult. Needing to figure out what to wear, eat, and bring for the day’s agenda can be stressful, especially first thing in the morning. Instead, take time the night before to figure out what outfit to wear, meals to eat, and items to bring to help you save time in the morning. Doing so will reduce the need to rush in the morning.

Decompress

Allow yourself to decompress. There are several ways to let loose and give yourself a mental break: write in a journal, exercise, or sit in a sauna, just to name a few. Reflection can help you learn from mistakes and generate new ideas. Allow yourself to think about the day/week and how to continue to improve.

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