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Healthy Routines lead to healthier habits

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Whether we realise it or not, we all have routines, some we may be so used to we don't even think about them. 

Some of these may be healthy like getting washed, dressed, teeth brushed and ready for the day whether we are home or going out…………. Or! Get up, put a dressing gown on, start work with intention will just be checking emails and before you know it……. it's lunchtime. !How many of these routines go on to become……… habits! And the reward? Well we are all different it's for each of us to decide what we get out of what we find we do repeatedly

One definition of a habit is:

A habit is a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition (the Free Dictionary)

Mmmmmmm '' acquired through frequent repetition'' 

OK hand up everyone who starts on a new fitness regime, wellness regime, not eating chocolate everyday regime! And finds maybe within a day or two this just isn't working so behaviour goes back to what for us was normal? No exercise, regular chocolate, relaxation is watching a new box set on TV!! 

But we tried, didn't we? We really tried' acquired through frequent repetition'' Mmmmm this suggests maybe changing habits takes time and perseverance

If you want to invest some time in really understanding what matters to you and the changes you would like to make, there are three pieces on our site may be useful:

If on the other hand you maybe want to explore changing some habits as of today, then the wee tips sheet below may offer you some ideas. 

It's important we do become aware of our habits. They can sometimes be unhelpful and as they are a habit, just happen, with no conscious effort or, thinking on our part. Anyone who smokes or, used to smoke, may remember a first thing on wakening up………. a cigarette. 

There was no real conscious decision 'oh, I have just woken up let's have a ciggy' Nope!!

Hand reached out for packet and lighter before brain or, eyes were fully engaged, habit and not a healthy one.

Once we start thinking about our habits, we may realise we go through huge parts of the day on autopilot. Our habits prompt our behaviour. 

Stuck in a loop because somewhere, this habit offers us something we like, a reward. 

This may be the pleasure of eating chocolate or the feeling of relaxation sitting down in front of the TV or having a glass of wine to unwind after a hard day. 

Or, it may be going a walk, having a long bath with essential oils, having quality time with the family, relaxing with a good book.

Now our brains are pretty clever, seriously capable of some pretty impressive stuff, however, when it comes to habits, we are in charge. We programme our brain into what we do when we respond to cues and what we perceive as rewards. 

This is how addictions or unhelpful habits can occur. E.g. the glass of wine at the end of the working day becomes a bottle of wine which you say you can stop anytime, just not today………. or playing the FOB T (Fixed Odd Betting Terminals), you may find its not as much fun as it used to be and you're losing more than your winning, but you will just play again today, you can stop anytime, just not today……….

So how do we nurture healthy habits? Well, one way to do this is to find a new routine. So the cue may be the same, a hard day at work, but instead of playing the FOB T or the glass of wine, you go a walk, read a book, do something which offers you a sense of wellbeing which doesn't risk your health, social life or pocket! 

Find a healthy routine gives you that same sense of reward. Now it maybe you are struggling with unhealthy habits and find it hard to stop, so may need to have a wee chat with someone. Please do as you matter. This wee piece doesn't replace professional advice, it simply offers some new routines which you may find rewarding for your wellbeing and want to adopt

We all have habits and routines and when the world is uncertain, we may find we cling to them even more intensely, as they don't require us to think overmuch about change. We have enough to be dealing with! and our habits or routines are our escape. Great if this is working for you and keeping you and yours safe and healthy, if it's not, maybe time to change.

Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do. 

by Sean Covey
Whit’s happening and resource directory Issue 8!
Changing the script!
 

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