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Toolbox Talk - Routines

Max People Health & Safety Bulletin

Bored, stressed and worried? 

The world as we know it has changed (hopefully not for too much longer). As a result, many people may be feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed by it all.

Making adjustments to the way we live allows time for us time to recover and accept the new reality. It can sound counter-intuitive but one way of accepting change is to develop a daily routine as this helps us to feel more in control and clarifies what is important. 

Routine can aid our mental health. It can help us to cope with change, to form healthy habits and to reduce our stress levels.

Can a routine really help?

  • Creates structure in our lives - a daily routine provides structure and a logical sequence in our lives. It gives us a purpose.
  • Routine can anchor us - no matter what’s going on in our day, knowing that at 1230 we will have lunch, 1430 we exercise, 1600 read a book and have tea at 1800 can be a real comfort. Coping with unpredictable periods of time can feel more doable when we have a little structure in place to look to.
  •  Reduces stress - when we have a routine, a lot of the things we do day-to-day slot in, and we don’t have to think about them anymore. Routine can take the guesswork and uncertainty out of bits of our day, which can allow us to feel more in control and less stressed.
  • Daily habits -  putting in blocks of time for things that are important to us can allow us to build in daily habits that help us with our mental health. It could include things like time to relax, or spending time on your new hobby. When they’re part of our routine, it can make it easier to keep up with them because we have the time to do them and they become our ‘new normal’.
  • Sleep routine - sleep is so important for our mental health. Going to bed and waking up at a similar time most days allows our body gets used to our sleep-wake cycle which in turn sets our internal sleep-wake clock.
  •  Build in the important things - structuring our day to include some downtime gives us something to look forward to and allows time to relax. read a book, make a jet plane, have a family competition (in house or online). Be creative and find what works for you.
  • Healthy diet - food can really affect our mood. it's important to keep your diet as balanced as possible. Stay away from the grazing/snacking, set times for regular healthy meals. Your waistline will appreciate this as well.
  • Exercise - not all of us are a fan of exercising, but exercise can boost our mood. There are heaps of free online programs to choose from.


All you need is a bit of motivation to get off the couch and enjoy a bit of movement.
Routine can be helpful when it comes to managing our mental health. It can help us to fit all of the important things into our day. The predictability of routine can offer some comfort in an otherwise unpredictable world.

We have to be a little bit careful not to get so stuck in our routines that they start to cause us stress, or stop us from being able to do things that we want to do. As long as we’re finding our routines helpful and not harmful, and feel able to flex and change them as our life changes, they can be a great thing to build on and develop over time.