How Routines Can Create a Healthier You

Woman with a developmental disability blowdrying her hair

Have you struggled with your morning routine? Have you struggled getting yourself and the person you support ready for the day? An evening routine that you map out can create a much smoother morning and subsequently the rest of the day!

Routines are so important. They can be can be an outline of what needs to be completed for a successful tomorrow or possibly a way to wind down for the night. According to research from Northwestern Medicine, having a routine can greatly improve your health. They can help with your stress levels, give you a better night’s sleep and can positively affect your life in other areas by being more organized.

Once students go to college, creating their own routine to follow can take some practice. They don’t have a guardian telling them when to do what and to make sure they are ready for the next day. People with disabilities may need an extra helping hand with their schedule to keep them on track.

At AbleLight College there are life coaches that can go into the student’s dorm rooms to help with practicing these routines. If the student would like to lay out their outfit, brush their teeth, set their alarm, make a to-do list, map out their route, take their meds, set out their money, call a taxi for pick-up, etc., they can create a checklist and go through it with help.

“The checklist turns into a routine,” says Samantha Bear, Adult Living Skills Professor and Campus and Community Life Coordinator at AbleLight College. “Theory can be put into practice with some fine-tuning.”

The biggest challenge that the students face is keeping mind over matter. Not being lazy and sticking to the routine can be tough but also produces better results over time. However, the students also must want to do this. It is a part of creating independence and responsibility.

Bear said there are three steps that create the most successful routine:

  1. Recognizing what you need to improve on.
  2. Ask for help when needed.
  3. Mind over matter = success.

Everyone’s routine is unique to themselves. You can add a fun element if you are looking for a way to motivate yourself or the person you support to stick to the routine! Overall, they will make you healthier and much more efficient with your time.