I’m going to give you the exact step by step you need to create simple wellness routines in your very real life.
The Essential Wellness Routines You Need Right Now
You don’t need to wait until Monday or January to start making small changes for a big difference.
In fact, it’s when things get a little busy that these routines matter the most. Listen on for more on the power of routines and systems in findings time and creating space for the change that we’re looking for.
I remember the first time I heard about a wellness routine.
At the time, I had a 60-hour per week job, an infant, and a full-time doctoral program.
The idea of spending hours doing self-care and wellness routines seemed so out of the question.
Over the years, though, I’ve realized the power of routines and systems because that is where habits live and that is how we find the time and create space for the change that we’re looking for.
On routines and wellness mindset blocks:
While I think mornings matter a lot, there are four parts of your day you can slip in a little wellness to keep you going throughout the day.
I’ve come up with a simple framework that I call “the 4 R’s”, which will allow you to identify where to put your routines and the purpose of them.
I also created a free, printable worksheet for you to be able to plan out these 4 R-routines.
If you’ve already taken our Feel Good Archetype Quiz and gotten our free resource guide, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
If you haven’t, here’s your chance to access the years of research we’ve done at the Feel Good Effect on wellness mindset blocks.
I’ve partnered with my real-life partner, Dr. Andrew Downs, to tackle the question of what it really means to be healthy.
We found that the biggest issue is not finding the perfect diet or the exact workout, it’s really our mindset that is the biggest barrier for consistent change.
We did research to identify those specific barriers and we were able to distill it down to three very specific mindset blocks that people tend to fall into.
These five quiz questions get at which dominant block you fall into and then you’ll get a resource guide tailored to your type.
There’s the Dynamo, the Seeker, and the Cultivator.
“The feel good effect is a simple mindset and method that offers a way out of perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison and that will small shifts and thinking in action, you can find a whole new way to well.”
The other thing I love about this are the three M’s: meals, movement, and mind.
We take the whole picture of health and wellness into account, including meals, movement, and mind.
The resources that we provide you with after you take the quiz are curated approaches to meals, movement, and mind for your wellness mindset block.
Last up, there’s a Feel Good 4 R-Routine worksheet.
What we know from research is that there is some magic that happens when you write things down.
Being really intentional about routines in writing them down and planning for them will make a difference in terms of how sustainable they are.
“What we know about change and about creating sustainable, lasting feel good wellness is that you need mindset and that you need these strategies and routines and that you need habits.”
Where we go wrong is often that we just focus on willpower, discipline, or habits, and then we wonder why it falls apart when things get difficult.
My Four R Framework:
1 | Refresh: your early morning routine
2 | Revive: your midday routine
3 | Reset: your afternoon routine
4 | Rest: your evening routine
This can be something very personalizable for you, but of course, I will give you some guidance and step by step on how to actually do this
Step 1 | Identify a time of day for each of these micro-routines.
Refresh is your morning routine, which could be right when you get out of bed, or maybe you’re somebody that right out of bed doesn’t work for.
You could do a little morning routine when you get to work, or after you drop kids off at school, or after you start your day.
There is no rule that in order to have a wellness routine you have to get up at 5 AM.
“Look at your life and find what works for you.”
Pick a time and write it down.
The same goes for the other three.
I would encourage you to start with your morning, as it’s often the time we have the most control over, but the midday and afternoon routines have made a really big difference for me because they are in the context of my real life.
They allow me to tune in, reset, and reconnect to my goals and intentions.
Revive is sometime in that mid-morning window.
Reset is around 3 PM for me, right before I pick Elle up from school.
Rest could be right before you go to bed, maybe it’s after dinner, a routine to help you wind down and rest.
Step 2 | Identify what you’re going to do during this time to take the decision fatigue out of it.
I use my Simplified Morning Journal, which includes a menu of possibilities (reading, praying, yoga, pilates, enjoy time with your partner, etc.)
We want to remove the idea of productivity from the equation because that’s not the outcome we’re looking for.
“Shift your mindset away from optimizing for productivity, and flip the script to optimizing for feeling good.”
It’s about reminding yourself that you are worthy of care and build momentum.
“I matter. How I feel matters. Taking care of myself matters.”
I also include a couple of questions to reflect on:
How do I want to feel?
What do I want to focus on?
What do I want to let go of?
They’re usually one- or two-word answers, but it helps me remember what my goals are.
“It’s so important to listen to your life and say, ‘where am I right now?’.”
Create a little menu of options for each time of the day so you have something to choose from.
Maybe it’s a workout class, taking a 5-minute walk, having a cup of tea, listening to a really great song, meditating, reading, etc.
If you’re interested in adding mindfulness or breathwork to your routine, check out this conversation with Ashley Neese on how to breath for health.
Step 3 | Implement your routine.
Try it out and make small tweaks and changes as necessary.
Keep trying for a little while, but if it’s just not working for you, try something else or move the time to a time that does work.
This is for you, so if it’s not working, make those tiny tweaks.
Take the quiz, grab the guide, and make it happen!
If four is too many, start with one.
It should look different for you than it does someone else.
And lastly, if you miss a day, come back for the next two days without judgment.