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Sociologist and nutritionist Cecilia Portnoj coaches holistic wellness at Lagom Health. She guests our Edit every now and then. Here she shares her thoughts on the importance of having routines, but also on why it's good to sometimes break them.

I believe in the power of routines. It may not sound sexy but neither is the situation when self-control becomes a concept you’ve never heard of or when you realise that you’re snapping at people for no reason. Researchers have found that routines can have far-reaching psychological benefits, including relieving anxiety, stress and insomnia.

For me routines work as stabilizers. They anchor me both mentally and physically. When I’m feeling off track or out of control I know that returning to my routines will make me feel more focused, structured and safe. My thoughts will be more centered, I will be more efficient and I will feel less tense. Everything will fall into place.

But I do think that breaking your routines every now and then is extremely important. It keeps life interesting and exciting, and most importantly it challenges you. Instead of thinking that you loose control when deviating from your routines, think of it as a powerful way to stimulate new thinking. By breaking bad or non-functional habits and by questioning your routines you will create space for new ideas. You will also notice that you better adapt to change.

My best tips for questioning old habits and routines are:
1. Turn off your auto-pilot and practice being present.
2. Find a way to break out of your comfort zone and discover how much richer life can be.
3. Look over your routines, which routines do you like and which ones do you wish you didn’t have?
4. Focus on the routines that give rhythm to your hectic life.
5. Don’t focus on constant perfection, emphasize flexible consistency and course correction.

Take care!

– Cecilia Portnoj, Lagom Health

Read more about Lagom Health here.

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