Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Routine Is King

Photo collage by practicalowl.
I have trouble being productive unless I stick to a routine.

Does the trouble lie with age-related challenges to energy and cognition?

Or do I merely have more responsibilities as a middle aged person--busy kids, a big house, paid work, volunteer work and a little bit of a social life?

Whether it's a weather-beaten body or the midlife juggling of duties, I find that I must stick to a routine or I completely fall apart -- mind, body and soul.

I'm younger than the participants of this study of 96 people 58 to 89 years old, but researchers found that those who kept to a regular routine of eating, bathing, dressing, and so forth enjoyed better sleep.

My own research study of 1 shows the following. I have to stick to the following routine:

  • Diet. I must eat a high protein diet that is low in refined carbohydrates, and I have to eat every 2 or 3 hours. (I am hypoglycemic.) I also need to stay properly hydrated. If I fail to do keep a responsible diet, I am dizzy, grumpy and tired (after moving through a hypoglycemic mania first). 
  • Exercise. I must get between 30 minutes and 90 minutes of exercise. If I fail to do this, I have trouble managing anxiety, or I am low energy. 
  • Bathing/Dressing. If I don't get dressed, I am less focused. 
  • Sleep.  If I stay up too late, I have problems with energy and focus the next day. 
  • Household Chores. I need to keep up with housework, or I end up losing things or tripping over things. 
  • Balance. Many of the above points gesture to physical wellness. However, I also need to pursue wellness in these other 5 areas: spiritual, intellectual, occupational, emotional and social. 
My natural tendency is to live in my head and to pursue theoretical abstractions at the expense of practical duties. However, if I fall into this temptation, I turn into a blob.  I have to force myself to stay aware of my body: its needs, its limits. 

What daily tasks are key to your productivity and wellness? 


1 comment:

  1. It is so important to know what works for you--and everyone is different. Good for you and your ability to create order and discipline in your life. I try but at this age wonder if it's ever going to happen. But, women like you who actually do it? Inspire me.