Click to find out more

Daily routines reduce stress

Daily routinesRoutines today play a huge part in our family, because our kids really don’t have any control over their day to day life, it can give them an opportunity to feel like they belong in the running of the household and provides a sense of order, control and predictability.

Routines have provided good habits  with structure around meals, sleep times and morning rituals. I am sure that even though my children don’t know it’s happening, they would be appreciative that they have this structure during key times of the day.

I started these routines the minute I move to a single parent life and it has continued on now for a few years.

Some of the positive take out have been:

  • Same time every morning and night when brushing teeth reduces push back from them in actually doing it.
  • Baths and showers before bedtime signifying the end of the day and they can hop into bed feeling clean and calm.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner always at the approximate same time, has reduced craving and grumpiness.
  • When it was housing cleaning time, it taught life skills, never always easy but I can say we have progressed from tidying up rooms to vacuuming and mopping floors  🙂
  • Enabled me to have some order around daily activities even whilst everything else may have been out of control.
  • It ensured that the important things got done.
  • We can then go on auto pilot and conserve energy and brain power.
  • It’s provided security and a sense of control.
  • It saves scrambling and allows us to focus on things.
  • Kids don’t cope with change very well and it has provided predictability.
  • Daily routines reduce stress in our lives

Routines have created a positive effect on my life.

OMG without a routine, getting ready in the morning would have been a nightmare.  I can say that our home is happier in the morning and pretty smooth sailing because of it.

For example:


Getting up and going can be hard whether young or old. If you find it hard getting started in the morning, having a solid routine established from first up in the morning means a much easier flow to the day.

I maintain the same alarm time to get up every morning and it means all the difference between having a good morning and having a bad one. I account for an extra 30 minutes for the potential of a hair hissy, sleepy kids or slow eaters.  It makes all the difference because we are not worried about those roadblocks that chew up time. Because my kids are in school it takes all the stress out. For example my daughter will  come out and say I cant do my hair correctly this morning? I say “Oh really, keep trying you’ll get it” with no stress. If I didn’t have the 30 minute buffer I could be saying “hurry up, we need to get moving” then all hell would break loose J

With getting up, having breakfast, getting dressed and brushing teeth and doing hair, there is really only one way for me to start the day off with practically no stress.


Mealtime also has been a good activity to establish good habits for us. We always have a good breakfast, maybe I am lucky but there has never been an option not to eat at breakfast time and I usually serve up, cereal, toast, fruit and a glass of milk or water (whatever they feel like). Yes it’s a lot and they usually only eat half of everything put in front of them. They go off to school knowing that they are well fed, I read once that it stops junk food cravings and grumpiness as lack of food brings all that on. This study also mentions how the lack of food reduces concentration, I think we get that!

Mealtime has also been a time that we sit together and just eat and talk about the day. We are not perfect, there are definitely times that we eat while watching some TV, just depends how the evening has gone but generally it’s always around the same time and homework or reading has been done.


I found as the kids get older, it’s harder to get them to bed. For some reason they believe they are going to miss on ..who know what? I reckon too it is that they have much more fun running around than laying down to head off to sleep.

Sticking to a rigid sleep ritual has been a god send, well rested children are more pleasurable to be around. Next to eating, this would be No.2 priority. It reduces the amount of whinging and irritability that takes place and are much easy to reason with.

My kids routine starts with either having a quick shower, brushing teeth, going to the toilet and a story.  At the moment  I read a page, then they read a page and about 20 minutes into it they are tiring and its light out.

If I try and get them to bed even 15 minutes earlier than normal, they will fight sleep the whole way, so I found timing is everything. Sometimes if they are restless, I let them listen to some soft music with lights out and I come back in 10 minutes and they are usually off with the fairies.


On weekends, my kids know that there will be sporting activities somewhere such as walking, bike riding or now and then doing something interesting like: indoor rock-climbing. It takes a little coaxing sometimes but when we get to it they are happy with the outcome. I balance it with down time so when we get back they simply lounge around and rest with normally a DVD.

They have come to expect it and it has also put a routine on me for planning such activities for the weekend.  Sometimes I feel we are the best tourist in our own cities.

It’s not a commando routine and that every minute of the day is structured – far from it! Rules got broken, flexibility has also been important when deciding what needs to be done and when?

I really can’t promote routines enough, it has been my saving grace and I am sure it has given me less stress than if I had no routine.