The Importance of a Routine

2020 has been a memorable year in many ways, with everyone living each day without much ability to plan too much ahead. Despite numerous challenges, most of us have been able to get the best out of what we can get. We improvise and work hard to get on with our lives.

Luckily in Hong Kong, we have not had a complete lockdown and we all can, to some extent, be able to lead a life of sorts. The format, however, may be very different from what we are used to. Schools / colleges have been online, extra curricular classes online, business meetings online. Business meetings have come to a screeching halt. The inability to meet in person over time can lead to cumulated mental stress from being isolated from society and human interaction. Many psychologists around the world have cited that cutting ourselves off from interaction with others, be it on campus, at the workplace, or just social events, can over time build up on our anxiety and stress.

When we are stressed, our body releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, giving our body more “strength” to respond. Typically, our blood pressure rises, muscles tighten, heart rate increases and breathing quickens – sometimes known as “fight or flight” mode. However, being in this state constantly will over time weaken our body’s natural defense – we cannot stay like this forever. This is not a time for compromised immunity. 

How do you manage this? From my experience over these last few months, these few tips have helped me keep going. No matter what your routine normally is, these should help you sustain a healthy you in the longer term. 

  • Set your alarm. Try and get up round about the same time every day
  • Set an intention for the day. Helps focus the mind. If you have a habit of meditating, even better
  • Jot down a schedule for the day and stick with it
  • Get some fresh air / do some exercise. Go for a run / walk. If you can’t go out, do some Tabata or Yoga or Stretching at home
  • Get your news from reputable sources, especially medical ones, and try and fact check if possible. Don’t believe everything at first sight
  • Read! Time to read those books that have been sitting on your bedside table for months!
  • Help those in need around you. This is the time for us to think and act as One. The act of a helping hand is a gratifying nourishment for our souls.

Whatever effort you make to improve your life will show up as a healthier you. Set an example and positively affect others to join you. Keep it up everyone!

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