Why is a good routine important to your family?

Hubby, bubby and I recently spent four days with friends interstate. It was a beautiful trip. We had 40 degree weather (okay that’s a little hot!) and indulged in fine food such as chocolates, cheeses, takeaways. You name it, we probably ate it!

When we came back to Canberra, however, hubby and I felt flat and bloated. Bub was grizzly and wouldn’t settle. It took us three days to feel ourselves again. The scales, however, took a little longer to show the pre-trip weight, reflecting just how much we indulged.

It isn’t the first time this has happened to us. Often when we visit friends or family interstate we return home feeling like rubbish and all out of sorts.

So, why does this happen?


 Proudly sponsored by ACT Health, Good Habits for Life

Well, it’s because we are out of our routine. For the entirety of our four days away on this trip, we lived a different routine and largely the routine of the people we were staying with. Now, we are grown ups and can make our own decisions regarding what we eat and when we sleep (well actually our sleep is largely dictated by bubby), but our routines ultimately change to be sociable with those we are travelling with.

Our usual routine consists of getting up early (i.e. 6am), having early and healthy meals, drinking lots of water, spending half the day outdoors and the other half indoors, getting some exercise and going to bed early (i.e. 9pm).

Our routine while we were away was getting up early (i.e. 6am, no change there thanks to the little one), having late and rich meals, drinking basically no water, spending most of the time indoors (due to the weather), getting little exercise, and going to bed late (i.e. 12am, but still much earlier than our friends).

I think we often forget how important our routines are to our lifestyle. We need at least 8 hours of good quality sleep every night so we can concentrate and think clearly. We need to drink plenty of water each day to flush out our systems and rehydrate. We need to eat a healthy balanced diet for a healthy balanced body. We need to get outside in the fresh air to get some vitamin D. We need regular exercise to keep ourselves physically fit.

When we don’t do these things we feel sluggish, bloated and miserable. If we, as adults, feel like this when we aren’t living healthy routines, just imagine how our children must feel. They would be living every day performing at half their optimal selves. How can we expect them to grow, learn and achieve with such a poor foundation? For our children, their routine will ultimately impact their days, weeks and months. Their irritability snowballs when they don’t have predictability and structure. It not only impacts us as adults, but our families as well.

But this is a tricky situation: stick to our normal routine verse be sociable?

I feel that we, hubby and I, but particularly me, could have managed this better. I could have insisted we go out for walks instead of lazing about on the couch watching television.I could have made the most of the beautiful cool weather in the mornings and exercised more then. I could have chosen to drink more water, after all, this was my choice not anyone else’s. I could have insisted we participate in the ‘Get into Life‘ tips or at least the indoor activities for kids resource recommended by Good Habits for Life.

All of these things don’t impact our social demands, so why didn’t I choose it? Perhaps because I’d forgotten how important our routine is to our family.

The lesson I learnt: Our routine is so important to us both while we are at home and while we are away. If we are more active during the day, we sleep better at night. If we drink more water, we are more hydrated for our daily adventures. If we get at least 8 quality hours of sleep at night, we are ready to tackle challenges in the new day. Make the most of your holidays, and make the most of a good routine.

For more ideas on healthy habits, visit ACT Health, Good Habits for Life.

Please share your favourite holiday experience below…

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About Lauren Jackman (161 Articles)
Lauren Jackman is the author of Canberra Mummy. A self-confessed perfectionist, Lauren writes about the truth about pregnancy and parenting for perfectionist mummies. Lauren is a mum, wife, author, runner and a not a bad cook