5 Ways to Stick to Your Routine

By ena ganguly

As we move into the holiday seasons, some of us will be traveling more often, spending more time with family, chosen and biological, and may have a few work days off. Naturally, this time of the year leads us to move away from our daily routine. I know for a fact that the end of the year has that effect on me, because my partner’s birthday, my birthday, and my mom’s birthday all come in the fall and winter seasons, in addition to celebrating the usual calendar holidays.

During this time it’s difficult to keep up with our daily routines, because our schedules shift, there are more people to take into consideration, and we may travel away from the resources we usually have access to (like a kitchen or a particular store). Here are some tips to support you during this time, and during any time that may cause a shift in your daily routine:

  1. Assess your needs.
    • The first thing to do is to think up all the things your body asks of you every day. This can range from the necessary things like eating or drinking water to the more unique needs like taking your medicine or being able to sustain your religious or spiritual practice.
  2. Figure out your capacity.
    • The next step I would take is to realistically decide what is doable for me and what isn’t so doable as well as plan for days that are busier than others, like when I travel or when I go to visit someone at their house. For example, when I went to Universal Studios, I saw an elderly woman doing namaz, one of the five prayers for the day, near a trash can. She knew she was traveling but created a plan so that she could still stick to a routine that was important to her. Select the things in your routine that are integral to you, like praying, meditating, drinking a certain amount of water, etc. Then create a plan that supports those chosen needs.
  3. Communicate and establish boundaries.
    • Now that you know what components of your routine you want to continue practicing, let others know too. For me, I know I can’t go without doing yoga in the morning, so I let people I’m with know that I will be waking up earlier than them to do yoga. I also ask that they don’t disturb me during this time and let me have my practice to myself. Similarly, you can communicate to others what your needs are and how you would like for them to respect those needs.
  4. Stick to your plan.
    • Once you begin to shift away from your routine, remind yourself to continue on with the parts of your routine you deliberately decided were necessary for you to keep. You kept them for a reason, so remind yourself of those reasons, if need be. This is the hardest part for me, because folks around me don’t have the same needs as me, so to me, it looks like they’re having a grand time while I have to continue stretching and drinking enough water even though I might be on vacation. Nevertheless, you know your body, spirit and mental health best, and if there are practices you must continue with, stick with it and ask folks around you for support when you feel you don’t want to, or can’t, continue!
  5. Practice self compassion.
    • Even so, we all go off our routine sometimes, and that’s okay! It’s not the end of the world. You can pick it back up tomorrow, or whenever you like. Remember to be easy on yourself and give yourself permission to enjoy and celebrate with those around you. You are always in control of your practice.

What does your travel routine look like? What are some ways you like to keep yourself on a routine? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@allgoqpoc) and Instagram (@allgoqpoc)!