We are what we repeatedly do

We are what we repeatedly do

Guest blog written by Noora Huotari from Népra Crew

We are what we repeatedly do. Aristotle once wisely said so. 

Wake up, do your morning routines, bike to work, work, bike back home, do your daily chores, workout, shower, cook food, walk the dog, do your bed time routines and go to bed and sleep. And repeat same things every weekday.

To many, this may sound exhausting and boring, but at least for me, ROUTINES are a big part of coping in everyday life. I also actually love my daily routine. Those simple routines are the things that I start to miss when I’m on a vacation.

Routines help making chores faster and more efficiently, and therefore you might have more time more time for sleep and rest. In addition, routines are calming and create a rhythm for the day. At best, routines help to slow down the pace towards the evening and improve the quality of sleep and recovery from the stress of the day.

My favorite routines include prepping breakfast and charging the coffee maker in the evening for the next morning. This gives me more time in the morning to sleep and enjoy my breakfast and coffee moment. My second favorite routines is the evening tea in bed. That's when I really calm down and get ready to sleep.

Perhaps the most important thing is to find the routines that suit you best. Those that you like and those that are so meaningful to you that you want to repeat them day after day. Of course, it’s always good to remember the balance between holding on the routines and breaking them. Our brains are a funky organ because even though routines are good for us, our mind also needs to be stimulated by breaking the pattern in order to stay fresh and active. (Source: brain association) 

I've always been a pretty outgoing person. I take care of things quickly and I like to do many things at once. It is both my strength and weakness. It's been hard for me to just stop, chill and be present, but I've learned that as I’ve gotten older. Learning has helped me realize that those moments are really important in terms of overall coping. This fall I've ended up making a routine of ”evening stop", which is a moment when I don't do anything at all.

Even those routines are not useful if there are too many of them and they increase the total load even more. Maybe by this I want to say that routines are good, but too many routines are not.

Here's a little task for you:

List 5 to 10 things that you repeat every day. These are your current daily routines. Ask yourself: Do these things make your life easier and support your wellbeing. Is there a routine or a habit that is actually not very valuable for you?

Incorporate ONE routine that increases your wellbeing, which you commit to doing for the next month. It doesn't have to be anything big! For example, drinking a glass of water after a meal or going outside for some fresh air during a workday. Maybe in a month you can already notice that you feel better after workdays than before. Or maybe the change won’t be huge but at least you have tried to add more good vibes to your days.

In the words of Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do.


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Instagram: @noora.huotari

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