Routines Create Coping Skills in Traumatic Times
[caption id="attachment_11966" align="alignleft" width="352"] Dr. Angel Iscovich, MD, author of "The Art of Routine"[/caption]
Dr. Angel L. Iscovich, M.D. joins host Laura Reeves to talk about creating routines as a coping mechanism in traumatic times. An emergency room physician and Miniature Schnauzer enthusiast, Iscovich’s book “The Art of Routine
” has great suggestions as we emerge from the trauma of the pandemic years.
Iscovich studied older patients and found that consistently, folks who lived well into their older years had one thing in common. Routines. Even routines that aren’t necessarily “healthy” were beneficial, Isocvich noted.
“I noticed people that were over 100 years of age, centenarians, I noticed two qualities that they had,” Iscovich said. “One is that they have a stable environment. By that I mean both physical and people around them. And two, they had a very, very regular routine. They had a rhythm, a routine, things that they did with great regularity.
“But what I also noticed is what they did varied quite a bit. So, some of them were doing not necessarily healthy things, but that got me to thinking. That may be part of the key is more the *how* than the *what* we're doing. In other words, the routine may be more important than actually what you're eating because here's this 100-year-old having Dr. Peppers every day, you know, and that doesn't seem like the right thing to do, but that there was something to the fact that you had routine and regularity.
“It seemed to me that for us as humans in this world where we're using our digital world as we are today in computers and sort, that we're being constantly interrupted and disrupted and being always tempted to do different things all the time, and that maybe, maybe changing things up too much is not really the way to go.
“We seek and survive by having kind of stability. Homeostasis is what it's called in some of the physiological terms. And having equilibrium.”
Iscovich’s suggestions for building routine for a healthier outcome:
- Recreate your own routine
- Get more exercise
- Get outdoors
- Do daily affirmations
- Quiet time ... get rid of the sensory input
- Self discipline… dopamine works. Do one event, do it repetitively, complete the smallest task. This makes the body and brain chemistry give you a good feeling. Stick with one thing. This stabilizes us in times of uncertainty