• Mark Tremblay, M.A., M.P.A.

Routines And Their Effect On Health And Responsibilities

By: Daniel Gonzalaz



For most, our daily routine consists of work, health, daily chores, and sleep. We tend to try and set up everything so that we can do what we need to in a day.


Most of us prefer following a certain routine, building it up over time, and getting used to it. But what happens when something changes it? A change in routine can affect our work, health, and sleep and can affect us for days. The effect that a change has depends on both the magnitude of the change and your resilience.

Personally, my routine changes have become significant. The main culprit for these changes is difficulty sleeping. Usually, this leads to sleeping at random hours and throwing my routine off such as waking up at 1:00 a.m., sleeping during the day, or not sleeping at all. This has become a major problem in my life as I tend to sleep in the day and miss time to do many of the things I normally do.


Through my experience with sleeping issues, I have come to discover the importance of having a routine and its effects on the completion of my responsibilities and maintenance of my health. Waking up at random hours can affect when I take my medicines, do my treatments, and when and how much I eat. Not only that but it can also affect other responsibilities such as work, chores, and daily tasks.


As the holiday season is upon us, I tend to find myself experiencing changes in routines more than usual. Gatherings, traveling, and other responsibilities come up. I tend to pay less attention to my routine and sleep less, eat less and give less attention to my health. This has manifested before in my health such as experiencing pneumonia during Christmas or losing weight.


With the effect they have on our daily lives and health it is important to maintain good routines. Since fixing routines when they are distorted is not easy it is important to maintain some sense of normalcy\ during the holidays. Once you fall off a habit it can be very hard to get it back. Many have experienced this type of difficulty, a common occurrence is the typical exercise routines, once you take a week off it becomes extremely difficult to get back to working out.


In the end, these changes can affect not only how we live but how well we live. Going to work and falling asleep, eating less because you are busy, skipping a treatment because you have no time, or forgetting to take your medicines. All of these can be effects of a change in routine that many of us have experienced at one time or another and while a single time may not be a problem, however, multiple times will have an effect.


Keeping a routine helps us know what we need to do in our day. We know that we need to take our pills during our lunchtime that is scheduled into our work hours, or we do our treatment while we watch that TV show we love, or after/before dinner. We have place markers that give us times to stay organized throughout or day, so even if we don’t have a way to tell time we can still do the things we need to do.


This is why I think keeping normal routines is very important especially for people with CF who rely on them to maintain their health. The aid that routines provide can be critical to us doing what we have to do for our health and other responsibilities. This is why I work hard to fix my sleeping schedule when it goes off course.


Returning to a good routine can take time and responsibility. I tend to have the most difficulty during the beginning of the new year. Staying up late, traveling, and doing things that I don’t normally do tend to affect my routine. I try to maintain as much sense of normalcy as I can to avoid too much difficulty in returning to daily life.


So, while we all have been told to take a break from our routines to do different things (which in my opinion is important for our mental health), I think we shouldn’t stray far enough that we change things without knowing the effect it would have on all of our daily tasks. It is important to remember that for most people with CF routines are key to taking care of one's selves.

 

Daniel Gonzalez, B.S., is a 25-year-old who was diagnosed with CF at the age of 2 and is currently the Treasurer for the United States Adult Cystic Fibrosis Association which, publishes the CF Roundtable. He recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration after a 2-year delay due to health issues. He likes spend time hanging out with friends, shooting pool, playing video games, watching T.V., and tasing and preparing novel and exotic foods.

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