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How to Make Any Place Feel like Home: The Power of Routines

Finding consistency within yourself during times of change


By: Richa Jindal


Illustration of breakfast, people walking towards the CITGO sign, a table with a laptop and a book, and a bedroom with a window looking into the sunset
Graphic By: Mia Overbo

Change is complex, and sometimes we don’t change alongside our environment. Moving to college, or anywhere, is difficult, and making a new place feel like home is even more challenging. Remaining grounded and in touch with ourselves in dramatically different environments is hard. So, to make yourself feel at home, return to your roots and core values, which remain consistent regardless of change.


Routines have always bored me, and I never particularly cared for them. However, when I reached college, I realized what I needed most was the very thing I always ran away from: a routine.


While a routine gives your day some direction, the most important thing it does is give you time for yourself. Without routines, it is easy to get caught up in what the day has to offer and forget to take time for yourself. Routines help you commit to yourself every day. So, after reading about routines and spending a year figuring them out, I learned some things to help build one.


Reflect

The first step to anything is to reflect. To create a routine, it is important to have a clear vision of what you want from a day, what your ideal day looks like, and, more importantly, how you want to feel during the day. Think about the things that make you happy and how you can incorporate them into your daily life – choose the smallest and easiest things, even if they are as simple as walking down a different path to classes.


Here are some prompts and exercises that could help:

  1. Observe yourself from an objective, third-party view and look at what you do in a day, how you do it, and what is missing. What could you add or subtract that could enhance your day? Does it align with your goals?

  2. What kind of routines would the person you want to become have?

  3. What are practices that make you feel good in any way?


Make it Easy

Start with the easiest thing you can do. It could be brushing your hair or having hot water in the morning – the easiest and most minor thing you want to do. Choose the most straightforward task and master it. Do it every day and tell yourself it’s the only thing you are going to do. Create an environment that is suitable for your routine. If you want to practice meditation or yoga, choose a time in the day – any time – when your roommate isn’t there and you have time to yourself. Keep your mat next to your bed, or lay it on the floor at night.


Use Intention

Any action, without intention, is meaningless. When performing any task or creating an environment for your routine, infuse intention into your action to get the most out of it. The intention makes it fun, too!



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