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The upside of stress-busting routines, even if you feel like giving yours up


One day, you'll get tired of drinking lukewarm lemon water when you wake up. That's the day you have to keep at it. The day to prove to yourself that you are stronger than laziness, boredom and smartphone addiction. If that day has arrived, we'll help you remember all the benefits of a routine: stress reduction.

To feel like you know where you're going in life.

What if, for once, everything went according to plan? No alarm clocks that forget to go off (or that you turn off while still asleep). No traffic jams on the way to the shower because we got up first. No existential doubts between the muesli and the toast. We can't stop the world from spinning, the train from being late or the last drink from tempting us. But at least we'll have the satisfaction of having stayed in control once in a while.

To be free of a little stress.

Novelty, change and surprise are a remarkable source of energy and inspiration. And a source of stress too. As with coffee, it's all a question of dosage. It's not about giving up on the unknown, but balancing it with a routine, familiar moments, reassuring rituals that make the unexpected even more enjoyable. When you know where you are going, you enjoy the journey more.

Make fewer decisions.

Following a routine means not leaving yourself a choice. You decide once and for all and follow the program. In a world where you can have all the bò bún in your neighbourhood delivered to you, it feels like heaven. Playing at being your own parent, even for 30 minutes a day, is enough to put some order and simplicity back into your life. Not to mention that the more decisions you have to make, the lower the quality of those decisions. This is the famous decision fatigue identified by social psychologist Roy Baumeister. This may explain the only thing Mark Zuckerberg and Karl Lagerfeld have in common: their uniforms. Well, the fact of wearing them, not their uniforms themselves.

Be satisfied with 24 hours in a day.

As a direct consequence of the previous point, sticking to a routine frees up lots and lots of time. Like the fifteen minutes you save by not having to hesitate between meditation and morning scrolling through your email. For those days when you're in a hurry, a routine followed to the letter allows you to stay focused and to be surprised by all that you can accomplish. No really, 24 hours a day is more than enough.

Be able to add #motivation under your sportswear selfie.

Or better yet, at the gym. And join the 200 billion other photos tagged this way on Instagram, proof that there are many of us who love doing it. It also works with #selfcare, #lifegoals and the inevitable #morningroutine. Next week, we're taking it to level 2 by posting an inspirational quote. What do you mean you're not on Instagram yet?

Instead of setting up your Instagram account, find out how to set up your morning routine. And to break the routine, or reward yourself for sticking with it, treat yourself to breakfast in bed every now and then!