How to lower stress by adding routine to your life

Photo/James Sedano

Photo/James Sedano

Doing the “same old, same old” may not sound exciting, but it can actually make you – and your family – happier and healthier.

With all the stress we face in our lives everyday, it’s hard to get a handle on what needs to be done, and when. Without proper organization, important things could be missed or forgotten, causing added stress later.

Whether it’s reading, yoga, or just spending time with your family, having committed daily acts are essential to everyone’s day. Having a routine means that your body naturally knows what needs to be done, which eliminates a lot of unneeded stress in daily life.

For me, my early morning power act kickstarts my daily routine:

I begin my day at 4am with one hour of reading, meditating and prayer. Then I walk 3 miles and run 3 miles back. After that, I do a ½ hour of yoga, and then my reward is jumping in the ocean and watching the sun rise.

Make routines work for you. Be happily flexible. Rigid routines are more likely to fail; flexible ones are more likely to last.

Here are some steps to help you get started:

1. Make a List – In order to start getting your life organized, making a list is imperative. Start with a list of things that absolutely must be accomplished that day. Write down what you have to pick up at the store on the way home, or what tasks are due at work. Being able to cross completed items off the list as you go provides a sense of self-confidence and encourages you to check more items off of your list.

2. Keep it simple and specific  Make the goal tangible such as, “I get up every morning at the same to take care of my body and spirit.”

3. Plan for success – Think through what you’ll do if confronted with challenges. Always think if x happens, I will do y. This kind of mental preparation will help you to stick to a diet or exercise routine.

 4. Make your goal a habit – Getting into a daily routine when you’re constantly used to running around can be a hard at first. Set a goal of getting into a routine for 30 straight days. This will turn into a daily habit, and you won’t even have to think about it again.

DrJosefinaBioDr. Josefina Monasterio is a certified life coach, fitness expert, and nutritional counselor based in Vero Beach, Florida. She holds a PhD in Adult Personal Development from Nova University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston University. Dr. Josefina is also a certified Yoga Therapist from the World Yoga Society of Calcutta, India, and host of Healthy Power TV’s “The Dr. Josefina Way.”