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Family Jumping at the BeachAs humans, we create and sustain routines. Whether it is where we put the car keys as we come in the door or what we like to order for lunch at our favorite restaurant, we can be creatures of habit, letting routines be the path in our day that leads us from place to place and chore to chore. Routines can be easy - even lazy - and should be examined from time to time: are my routines beneficial to me? But while they should be looked at and sometimes altered, routine does play a very important part of our lives. It can reduce stress, improve health and help to maintain family harmony. Routines can face a real challenge during the summer, when family schedules often change due to school-aged kids being home, college-aged kids coming home and/or changes in work schedules and responsibilities due to summer vacations. Knowing how to adjust and still keep some sense of order and routine is important for all families.

While there may be times we are bored by the "same old same old," having a routine is healthy, and the disruption of a routine can have negative consequences. Routines help us to maintain an exercise schedule, remember to take our daily prescriptions and get enough sleep. Stress can rise when our routines are disrupted, and chronic stress is a factor in a number of health problems, including heart disease and depression. During the summer, when families often undergo a major change in schedule, households can experience a significant disruption in routine. Summertime activities may mean later nights, weekends away, and even a change in eating habits. Better weather may mean more barbecues and nights out. Kids home from school may need to be driven to activities or friends' houses, and college kids may come home trying to live the same schedule they did away from home! All of this can cut into sleep, exercise time, and other healthy routines.

No one believes that you shouldn't enjoy the opportunities that summer offers or that you should change the locks and not let the kids come home! Instead, know what personal routines are important to you and your health and find ways to keep those going during this (or any) time of disruption. (Being able to be flexible and adjust is also important to your overall wellness.) Put your exercise schedule on your calendar and stick with it, but be open to finding new ways to exercise, such as participating in a 3K walk or going biking with the kids. Enjoy your family, but don't be afraid to include your own needs on the "to do" list. Have older kids participate in household chores. Look at any change in routine as a change in the FAMILY'S routine, not just yours.

No matter what time of year, know what is essential for your physical and emotional health. And since your routines may change during the summer, it is a good time to evaluate the "same old, same old" of the year. The changes you make in the summer may be the changes you keep all year long!

We can help you find a health insurance policy that fits your needs and budget. Contact TCU Insurance Agency at (800) 772-8043 for more information on Indiana health insurance.
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