How to Make Your Daily Routine Work for You
One of the very first things that you are taught as a student of Ayurveda is dinacharya—or a daily routine. It’s an integral component to maintaining stability within your life, while also helping you to live according to the rhythms of nature. A strong routine can help your body stay healthy and work at its fullest potential.
Why Daily Routine Is Important
There are so many articles nowadays talking about the importance of morning and evening routines, and how both of these help to create successful and productive days. It’s easy to view this from a very mechanical and goal-oriented perspective—the more efficiently we can accomplish our day-to-day tasks, the more we can tackle and achieve in life. But we never think about how this ambitious mentality actually affects our beings as a whole.
Strong routines allow our body to know exactly what’s going to happen and when. This consistent rhythm creates an inner resilience and stability that supports us in being better able to manage stress or whatever unexpected situations life may throw at us.
Creating Your Daily Routine
Even when you know the benefits of a daily routine and feel ready to dive in, it can be hard to decide exactly what your routine should consist of. Ayurveda has a beautiful list of simple daily rituals to start with—things like brushing your teeth, oil pulling, tongue cleaning, and showering.
One thing I always try to emphasize with my clients and friends is to find the things that work for you. Is it important to brush your teeth and shower every day? Yes, you absolutely should! Good hygiene is necessary for a healthy body. But you will only feel compelled to stick to a daily routine if it’s something that calls to you, something that you believe is worth maintaining, and that you feel drawn to do because you can really feel the benefits it offers to your body and mind.
Here are a few tricks to help you get started and actually stick to a routine, even when life feels crazy.
- Be realistic with how much time you can dedicate. This is really important, as it will help you figure out how to create a daily routine that doesn’t feel stressful or overwhelming. If you can’t seem to find ANY time, you may want to take a look at “wasted” minutes. How much time do you scroll on the internet or watch TV? Can you go from thirty minutes on Facebook to ten? You’ve just won twenty minutes to devote completely to yourself!
You may also want to think about getting up a little earlier. Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to wake up three hours early, but maybe just thirty minutes, in order to begin your day with tending to your own self-care.
Take a look at Ayurveda’s traditional dinacharya. Pick out the things that you know you do anyways. This is your base. Do you brush your teeth every day? Check. Do you shower every day? Check. You already have a strong springboard to jump from.
What do you want to add? Look again at what Ayurveda recommends in a dinacharya. Is there anything that intrigues you but just haven’t taken the leap to try? Now is the time! Pick one or two things that call to you or pique your curiosity. Intrigue can create excitement and a natural desire to follow through—a recipe for success!
Fine-tune your daily routine for your weeks and weekends. Personally, since I definitely have more time on the weekends, I love to do a deeply nourishing thirty-minute abhyanga (or self-massage with oil) as opposed to a quick seven-minute one during the week. This can look like whatever you would like. Get creative!
Lastly, know that maintaining a daily routine does require a bit of discipline. It’s not easy to get up thirty minutes earlier. Do it anyways. It’s not easy to go for that thirty-minute run. Do it anyways. Remember that your daily routine is about so much more than the actual task itself. Over time it becomes a place of deep nourishment and support, helping us to achieve our wildest dreams and goals.
What do you imagine when you picture the best version of yourself? Your daily routine should help you to get there. Spend some time asking yourself, “What kind of person do I want to be? Where can I improve? What is most important to me?” It’s not about criticizing yourself or wallowing in the things that you haven’t yet accomplished, but rather about connecting to your own unique purpose.
For me, having a consistent daily routine boosts my ability to handle stress, increases my ability to ebb and flow with life, and simply makes me HAPPIER! It is a way to keep the bigger picture in mind even when I am surrounded by chaos. We all know that life is crazy, and busy, and wild. But you don’t have to be. Embrace your routine!