28 Mar HOW ONE MUNDANE CHANGE TO YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE CAN BRING POWERFUL HEALTH BENEFITS
With all that’s happened in the last few years it would have been easy to fall into a rut.
Ruts aren’t entirely bad; in fact routines and habits can be fantastically useful.
Heck, I’ve written a whole series of Audible Audiobooks based on the notion of building positive habits (HERE).
At the same time, however, variety can be the spice of life.
And as this great Inverse article by Megan Edgelow outlines, making some changes can bring powerful benefits for health and happiness …
However, as an occupational therapist and researcher of the impact of activity and participation on mental health, I know that routines can be powerful tools. They can support cognitive function, boost health and provide meaningful activities and social opportunities.
Early in the pandemic, researchers pointed to the value of daily routines to cope with change. As the two-year anniversary of the pandemic coincides with the relaxation of public health measures across the country, reflecting on routines and their value is useful when moving toward a “new normal.”
ROUTINES SUPPORT COGNITIVE FUNCTION
First, having a daily routine and regular habits supports cognitive function and may even free people up to be more creative. Research has found that having regular work processes allows workers to spend less cognitive energy on recurring tasks, which can support focus and creativity for more complex tasks.
Think of typical morning routines that existed before the pandemic: helping family members get on their way, taking a usual route to work, grabbing a warm beverage along the way, saying hello to coworkers, flipping on a computer, or opening a calendar. Having habits like these can set the stage for a productive workday.
A review of the daily rituals of influential artists found that many artists have well-defined work routines which may support their creativity rather than constrain it. Memory research shows that regular routines and habits can support older adults to function better in their home environments.
If taking medications at the same time and putting the keys in their spot is part of a daily routine, less energy will be spent looking for lost objects and worrying about maintaining one’s health, freeing up time for other things people want to do in their day…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE