How to Get Back into a Routine: Healthy Hacks to Boost You Back into a Routine
Author: Millennia TEA’s Official Science Steeper - Allison Tannis, MSc RHN
We are human - which means you’ll fall out of your healthy habits sometimes, then wonder how to get back into a routine. Whether you’ve been on holiday, simply fell off the healthy habit wagon, or are trying to swing the entire family from summer mode to back to school, these healthy hacks to boost you back into a routine are just what you need.
Healthy Hacks to Boost You Back into a Routine
Luckily, you don’t need superhuman willpower to get back into a healthy routine, you just need small sustainable goals that you can easily schedule into your calendar in a way that work well with your behaviours. Here are a few healthy hacks to boost you back into a routine:
7 Healthy Hacks to Get You into a Healthy Routine
- Drink Water First – drinking water first thing in the morning is a healthy habit that could boost your metabolism, say researchers. Water promotes more calorie-burning through thermogenesis. Plus, being hydrated can improve your cognitive function (brainpower)!
- Take a Moment to Breathe – simple meditation practices, such as breathing or yoga, are linked to a good mood, better mental health (less depression and anxiety), and generally improved well-being.
- Move and Groove – before sitting down at a desk all day, move your body. Even with just a bit of stretching, a morning walk, or a few floor exercises while waiting for the kettle to boil, morning exercise boosts your energy and metabolism.
- Energize with a Healthy Breakfast – When you are hungry in the morning, whether that’s the first thing, or a few hours into your day, be sure to fuel yourself with energizing foods, such as whole-grain carbohydrates and fruits, as well as protein to keep your blood sugar stabilized, and the temptation to eat an entire box of donuts mid-morning at bay. Superfoods, like greens, are the ultimate booster to your morning – try a cup of fresh tea, or better yet, after that cuppa, put those leaves in your blender and enjoy in a smoothie.
- Set Your Priorities – focus on completing the most important task of the day first. You’ll find a burst of motivation comes with a sense of accomplishment once it is done.
- Gratitude and Affirmations – keeping a journal each night of the three things you are grateful for that day, and using self-affirmations throughout your day (e.g. I am worthy of love), can be great additions to a healthy routine.
- Set a Bed Time - Big and little kids need bedtimes. It helps ensure we get the needed sleep (8 hours for adults, 10 for most kids) to avoid sleep inertia (feeling drowsy). Let kids read in bed as a calming activity to ease them into earlier bedtimes.
How to Get Back into an Exercise Routine
The most common healthy habit most people want to get back into their routine is exercise.
- Find a time of day that you are most likely to feel inspired to be active,
- Schedule into your calendar a physical activity that brings you joy for that time
- Set an attainable goal of how long you’ll try to be active each week
- Get a friend involved to help you feel accountable.
How to Get Back into Healthy Eating
Let’s say you’d like to get back to eating more vegetable-rich lunches and snacks, compared to the less healthy, yet convenient and delicious, treats you’ve been eating. Set yourself up for success! Set aside a bit of time in your calendar to shop for vegetables and have time to prep them in the kitchen. There’s not enough time to prep vegetables? Buy prepared trays of vegetables or salads. Get into smoothies – fast, easy, and some of the most nutritious veggies can be stored in your freezer. Convenient healthy vegetables, whether it’s cut up cauliflower in your fridge to frozen smoothie ingredients in your freezer, make healthy eating from snacking to lunch prep much easier.
Tips for Getting Kids into a Back to School Routine
Do you have picky eaters? Take them with you to the store – by having them choose the types of vegetables purchased, they will be more on board with eating more vegetables. It’s much easier to get into a healthy routine when those around you are eager to join in.
A Canadian study looked at the behaviour and habits of school-aged children (ages 11-15) to see how healthy habits influenced academic achievements. Frequent consumption of vegetables and fruit, eating breakfast and dinner with family, and regular physical activity were healthy lifestyle habits associated with better academic performance. Meanwhile, eating junk food often, not getting enough sleep, and obesity were linked with poor academic achievements. The researchers concluded that promoting healthy habits in school-aged kids is important for their success at school, particularly as academic success is linked to better health over their lifespan.
Here are a few hacks to boost your kids back to school routine:
- Get Outside – fresh air and sunlight can help kids’ internal clocks reset and burn off extra energy, helping improve their sleep quality and the parents with the whole getting-the-kids-to-bed struggle.
- Snack Attack – school-aged kids burn a lot of energy, and the right snacks can help them stay powered up and in a good mood. After-school snacks that include two food groups, can help them refuel, and stay focused while completing homework tasks at the kitchen table. Healthy fats can be a great addition to an afterschool snack for hungry kids, such as nut butters, hemp seeds in a smoothie, or a cup of trail mix that contains seeds and nuts.
- Positivity and Praise – kids of all ages, even adults, love a little affirmation that they are doing a great job. Praise them for even the little things they accomplish and you’ll find kids are more inclined to do them the next time without being asked.
6 Hacks for Stress-Free Morning Routines
Being rushed, stressed out, or late can put everyone in a mood in the morning. Here are some tips to help you get ready on time in the morning:
- Set clear expectations of what is expected of a child in their morning routine. Check-lists, egg-timers, or clocks can help kids stay focused and motivated.
- Check the weather the night before, so everyone knows what to prepare for. and have an outfit picked out
- Pack bags with any homework, weather essentials, water bottles, laptops, library books, etc. Pack as much of your lunches as you can the night before (some fresh fruit and hot items are best sliced and heated in the morning).
- Charge your devices overnight for a quick exit in the morning.
- Sleep with the blinds open as morning sunlight can do wonders in helping you wake early on workdays and school mornings.
- Plan a Quick Breakfast such as overnight oats, veggie-filled egg bites pre-made in muffin tins on the weekend or having a great to-go cup you can fill with your favourite healthy green smoothie, a quick, nutritious breakfast can really take the stress out of your morning routine.
Tips for a Productive Routine for Getting Back to Work
Do you hit the workday with a cup of coffee and a quick run through your email? There may be a better way to start your day, says science. According to the Journal of Management, similar to how one detaches from work in the evening, the act of ‘reattaching’ to work each morning, can be a great way to kick start you back into work. This can be done by asking yourself three questions:
- Why is my work important to me? Reconnect with your motivation to work.
- Who is supporting me in this work? Remind yourself, that you are not alone.
- What would I like to focus on today? Set a goal and visualize a focused productive day.
As for that cup of coffee, have you considered fresh tea instead?...
The One Most Healthy Habit to Boost Your Overall Health
Incorporating an easy-to-eat food that offers an abundance of nutrition can really boost your overall health. Ready in your freezer when you want them, Millennia Tea Superfood Tea Cubes are a great source of fresh tea leaves. All of the benefits of green tea, but better! Whether a cup of hot tea becomes part of your morning meditation or you add the fresh tea leaves to your morning smoothie for an energy-packed, nutritious boost to your morning, so many customers comment that Millennia Tea is the one most important healthy habit they do to boost their overall health.
How Long Does It Take to Get Back in Routine?
You’re more likely to stick to a healthy routine if you slowly incorporate change. According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, people who make one or two small changes at a time, integrating them into their current lifestyle, have greater adherence to their healthy routine. With small changes you can build a routine that is healthier - adding in too many changes to a day can be difficult and hard to sustain. Routines take time to establish – take it slow and you’re more likely to be successful at getting back into a healthy routine.
The importance of creating habits and routine. Am J Lifestyle Med 2019 Mar-Apr; 13(2): 142-144.
Healthy lifestyle behaviours are positively and independently associated with academic achievement: an analysis of self-reported data from a nationally representative sample of Canadian early adolescents. PLos One July 2017; 12(7): e0181938.
Morning reattachment to work and work engagement during the day: a look at day-level mediators. Journal of Management March 2019.
Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2003 Dec; 88(12):6015-9.
Hydration and cognitive performance. J Nutr Health Aging 2012 Apr;16(4):325-9.
Time of exercise specifies the impact on muscle metabolism pathways and systemic energy homeostasis. Cell Metabolism 2019 Apr;30(1):92-110.
Sleep inertia. Sleep Med Rev 2000 Aug; 4(4):341-353.
Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking. Front Psychol 2012 Apr; 3:116.