The past year has been tough on everyone. As we start getting used to a new normal, it’s so important to figure out how to re-establish healthy routines for the whole family. Of course, sticking to a routine can feel like quite a challenge even in the best of times. That’s why Crème de la Crème put together this list of some tips you can implement as you’re creating and establishing a healthy routine for your family to follow.
Take Some Time to Define and Create Structure
A healthy daily structure doesn’t just happen out of thin air. You’ll need to do the work to design and implement that structure so that you and your family can follow a healthy routine. Start by reflecting on what is true for you now in order to build a structure around your current reality.
It’s so important to acknowledge your family’s true reality to create a routine and structure that really works. An idealized routine is great, but if it doesn’t actually mesh with the way you function, it will just create stress and frustration. So, take a look at your to-do lists and schedules. Think about what has changed, then write down your priorities. Developing a routine that works in your current reality is key to establishing and sticking to that routine.
Once you’ve honestly assessed your needs and goals, actually plan out your days. Figure out some regular activities you’d like your family to try, and set the days and times you want to do them.
Then, write everything down. Even if you have to change some things on the fly, having the scaffolding of your schedule written down can help you visualize what you need to do and stick to it.
Streamline Your Mornings and Evenings
That means waking up and going to bed at the same time. Every day.
As much as the kiddos might want to sleep in or stay up late sometimes, sticking to the same morning and evening routine each day is essential to a healthy routine overall. Waking up and going to bed at the same time creates a natural structure for the rest of the day in between. It also has a tangible health benefit, helping to stabilize your body clock and maintain your natural rhythms.
So, set a time for every member of your family to wake up, and set a consistent bedtime for everyone, too. Even if it’s challenging to get started, once you get into this daily routine, it will help set your family up for success throughout the day.
Stick to Consistent Mealtimes
Likewise, setting and sticking to having each meal at the same time of day can help streamline your whole routine. Whether you’re home a lot during the day or out and about at school or work, consistency is key.
If it’s impossible to plan out every meal, you can still create a set routine for things like breakfast, dinner, and perhaps a small snack. Consistent mealtimes also have a built-in bonus feature: You can plan for family bonding time with an eye toward meals. For example, maybe you have a calmer schedule on Tuesday evenings. You can plan to read a healthy recipe and cook dinner together with your kids each Tuesday, then sit down for a family meal. You’ll create a fun tradition, all while giving your kids something to look forward to each week.
Make Time for the Outdoors
Strive to spend at least a little bit of time outside, each and every day. If you can get some outdoor time in early in the morning, even better. Your body clock relies on the natural cycle of light and dark, so catching a few rays early on in the day can help everyone feel energized and ready to take on the rest of the schedule.
Many ways to enjoy the outdoors exist. If you have a yard, you can build an easy gardening routine into your daily activities, getting the kids involved in some tasks. You can also check your town’s local parks and trails for some easy-to-access outdoor spaces close to home. Even if you don’t have time for long days out in nature every week, you can still go outside for a short time each day.
Exercise Every Day
Getting in some daily movement is also incredibly important when you’re trying to stick to a healthy routine. You can build exercise into your outdoor time, for instance, by taking a family walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.
Daily exercise doesn’t need to be super intense, as long as you’re moving around each day. Stream a kid-friendly yoga session in your living room. Challenge the kiddos to a scavenger hunt you create in your own backyard. You’ll have endless possibilities to build exercise into your everyday schedule when you get creative.
Actively Embrace Your New, Healthy Routines
Forgetting the old and accepting the new is easier said than done, but actively taking steps to embrace the current reality can go a long way in helping your family re-establish a healthy routine. Despite the difficulties the past year presented, kids (and adults!) may wish certain things could stay the same. A more flexible bedtime, more time at home — the list goes on.
You can acknowledge things you might miss while still intentionally letting go of the desire to keep things that way. Remember, then remind your family that change can help everyone grow and become stronger. By reflecting on the bad and good aspects of the past year, you can better move into a new, healthy routine with open minds.
There you have it! Crème de la Crème just gave you seven tips to try while you’re re-establishing healthy routines for all members of your family. We hope this guide helps empower you to create a routine that helps your whole family. Do you have a tried-and-true tip or trick to share that has helped your family adjust and re-establish healthy daily structures? If you do, drop us a line! We’d love to share your ideas with other families.