DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Changes in Routines

It has been a long dry spell since my last post, as I got out of my customary routine. This lapse got me thinking about things like routines and habits, and how people typically spend their time, and the patterns of their time use.

Given its universal application to everyone, the truth is, when it comes to the "science of everyday living", not much is known about how people live their lives, particularly when it comes to patterns of daily activity. This topic (patterns of everyday living) is of interest to some "occupational scientists" (those who study humans and their everyday occupations—which includes most everything we do and not just work). Some have called these patterns lifestyles.

Clearly, daily lifestyles for most people have a certain rhythm or sameness to them. Part of this sameness is dictated by the rhythms of nature (seasons, night and day, etc), and others are influenced by our biological rhythms. In the human, the rest-activity cycle is probably the most influential of these.

But, beyond natural and biological influences on daily life activities, we are also "moved" by regular or customary routines. Some of these routines are also influenced by habits. It seems that only when we experience a change in routine or want to break a habit that we notice these patterns of living at all.

The public will no doubt be reading more about habits in the months ahead as the new U.S. president strives to break his smoking habit. One thing that seems evident is that changes in environment (geographic location) can be useful for breaking habits and routines. People who experience "cabin fever" during the long winter months often "get away" to break the monotony of their routines and re-energize their bodies and spirits. This same type of change can be useful for making wanted changes in aspects of our lives that we see as problematic.

I'd be interested in your observations on routines and how the environment can change them. if you have a personal anecdote, strategy or armchair theory about changing what you do, please share it here. Or, if you have links to reports of research done in this area, by all means share it with us here at "DLW".

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About Me

I am a writer, lifelong student, former academic and new blogger. My passion continues to be everyday living. I am interested in what people do, how, when and why they do it, and what it means for their their understanding of the world and hence, their well being.