How to create a temporary routine

How to create a temporary routine
tropical world leeds waterfall

I’m an absolute creature of habit. Organisation helps me function. Take me out of my normal routine and I have to make a conscious effort to not let my brain go haywire. I’ve mentioned in a few mental health focused blog posts before about my need to feel ‘together’ in order for my brain to be happy and routine plays a massive part in that. It’s knowing what is coming next, what needs to be done by when and what goal there is to hit that day means that I can live my life feeling cool, calm and collected.

In between finishing at my old job and starting my new one, I had a whole 9 days off to have a mental health break. To have time that could be spent not worrying about work one little bit. And it was bliss. That said, when I first started thinking about having such a break, I was a bit worried that I’d do myself more harm than good by having so much downtime and I knew that I’d have to give myself a temporary routine just to make sure that I actually got shit done and didn’t just exist without purpose for that precious time off.

Some people will be reading this and thinking ‘wow, dramatic much’ but imagine having that much time to fill without going on holiday, factoring in that there’s a working week in that time where most people you know won’t be free. What would you actually do?

Here’s how you can create your own temporary routine.

Every day had a purpose
Even if it’s not something big or exciting, giving every day a small plan, whether it’s social or by yourself means that it doesn’t feel like a day wasted. I’m absolutely down for mental health days and sometimes you need a break from the world, but be conscious that (especially if you live alone) that a few too many of these can mean you don’t have human conversation for days at a time. Making sure that every day holds something that will bring you a little joy will leave you feeling fulfilled.

Give every day a goal
This is something that I made myself accountable for on my to-do list and I’d really recommend it to anyone who has time off where they’re staying at home rather than going away. It’s amazing how much mess one person can make when they’re not out at work during the day, so give yourself small jobs that stop things like your housework building up and becoming a mammoth tasks means that you won’t end up being left feeling overwhelmed.

Balance social time and down time
Nobody needs to be a social butterfly 24 hours a day, and balancing your downtime where you can have a bit of a social hangover (that time where you don’t have to feel ‘on’ or like ‘your best self’) is important. Let your brain actually relax by giving yourself time to not by concerned by conversation or your mental output.

Try and stick to a sleep schedule
Yes, I know, it’s boring af but it only takes a week off of staying up until the early hours binge-watching shit on Netflix to entirely throw out your sleeping habits and that first day back at work will be horrendous. I’m not saying get up at the crack of dawn (though I am typing this at 7:33am on a Monday morning), but try to stick to a similar sleep habit to what you’re like when you’re at work as a bad sleep cycle is a nightmare to break.

Get up and dressed
Again, sounds basic but it’s easy to just have a PJ day if you don’t have plans. Getting up, dressed (into loungewear of course, if you wear jeans and a bra in the privacy of your own home, you’re a monster), will make you feel more productive.

Don’t binge
And I don’t just mean on snacks (sob, I love snacks). If you drink endless cups of tea because you’re bored, eat sharing bags of chocolate because you’re having a movie marathon and then don’t move from your sofa for 10 hours as you got hooked on a new series on Netflix, well, it’s not good for you is it? Yeah I know, I’m officially the fun police. Keep things in moderation and you won’t put your body through an endless cycle of caffeine and sugar highs and crashes. The aim of time off is to feel refreshed, right?

Plan nice things for yourself
Treat yo’self! Take yourself to the nice coffee shop that you’ve seen on Instagram, go see the film you’ve fancied watching, read the book that’s sat on your to be read pile for three months. Give yourself fun activities to do! During my week off, I took my best friend on a craft beer tour of Leeds, I visited Tropical World, I went to blogger events and I had my first Pizza Hut buffet in years. All of my plans were low key and delightful. Do all the things that you’ve thought about doing but never made time for.

How would you spend 9 days off? Would you cope with making plans for yourself for that time or would you have to jet off somewhere?

Let me know in the comments.


  1. Totally get this and your temp routine sounds spot on. :)
    It's easy to crave these type of days, but ultimately, as you mentioned, I think it has the potential to do more harm than good. Plus, Making the most of days doesn't have to mean doing all the things, so giving some purpose and goals is a fab balance to not doing anything. :)