The simplest way to get your routine back on track
So, is your normal routine totally shot? Do you even recognize your life lately? With the changes put into place to keep us healthy and safe, it’s very likely that your life may be in a sort of upheaval. We all have different circumstances, so we are experiencing different upheavals.
But most of us can probably agree that life is different now from last month or even a couple weeks ago. And, if you’re like me, you’re wondering if this is the new normal, and if so, something needs to change!
There are a lot of reasons why life seems so crazy now. We aren’t going out of the house. We’re at home all day, maybe with family or maybe even alone. We may be working from home now or waiting to hear about unemployment. It’s likely that we are watching more TV news and reading more articles, blogs, and social media posts.
Depending on the size of our homes and who is around, we could be feeling like we need space or maybe we need company!
These can all be stressors. We may be experiencing information overload, isolation, fear, and worry, and just feeling out of sorts.
These stressors can also cause or increase anxiety and depression.
And, because of these stressors, even though we may have more time at home, we may be getting less done, rather than more (which, in my case, is directly correlated to feeling anxious!).
When we are “out of sorts,” oftentimes we gravitate towards “comfort” and not always the good kind.
What happens when your routine is shaken up?
Since your routine is off, have you been turning to things that aren’t necessarily the “best choices?” Oh I definitely have…
We may turn to negative behaviors that are quick fixes to help us “feel better” fast and in the moment, but aren’t serving us well for any period of time. I’ve been finding myself looking for snacks more often, taking more naps, sleeping in later, and eating fewer healthy foods.
It was sunny yesterday, so I did go sit on the deck a while for some Vitamin D, but I’m definitely not getting outside as much.
My normal routine, prior to being at home/social distancing, started with getting up early enough to meditate, journal, and write (on a good day). Other healthy habits were to have a salad for lunch and yogurt/fruit for snack and go to aquacise class twice per week, in addition to yoga at home.
Well, I stopped having salad and yogurt and aquacise has been indefinitely canceled. I’ve been craving sweets and other carbs and just generally snacking on unhealthy things. (I’m not proud of it, but sweet potato chips are stockpiled in my closet.)
And, getting up early is “hit or miss.” Several days I’ve gotten up late so I had to go “straight to work” at the kitchen table – instead of having time for my morning self care practice. All of this leaves me feeling scattered, out of sorts, and a lot of the time – anxious.
Just so you know, I’ve never been a health nut nor am I into exercise. I prefer not to sweat and want the least amount of exertion possible!
But, I have learned that a LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY! So, I thought I’d write this post to help us – you guys AND me – get back on track as much as possible. And, if this is the new “for now” normal, get us to a place where it feels ok!
We are what we repeatedly do. ~ Aristotle
How to get back on track
The best thing that I’ve found to help with being scattered and turning to things that don’t really serve me well is CONSISTENCY. Since things have been kind of shaken up lately, that consistency may have gone out the window. (That’s why I track things like self care on a habit tracker…you can use my template – get it here!)
In order to be consistent, we need to first figure out the things that are most important to be consistent with.
Ask yourself two questions.
- What has worked for you in the past? For me, it was getting up early – starting my day off on the right foot. Maybe for you, it’s going to bed at a “decent hour” or just making sure you get enough sleep without having to nap in the afternoon. (Notice – these things ARE easy!)
- When do you feel your best? I feel best when I make healthy eating choices and when I include movement into my day. When I do these things, it’s less likely that I’ll feel sluggish during the afternoon. Maybe for you, it’s drinking your recommended amount of water or going for an evening walk.
So, for me, the three things to add back into my routine consistently are:
- Get out of bed when the alarm goes off! (Don’t hit snooze 12 times or even once!)
- Have salad for lunch and yogurt/fruit for snack.
- Get out my mat and move/stretch – yoga and pilates are my go to options. Stretching and using my muscles feel really good to me.
But, I can hear you (and me) saying, “what if I don’t feel like it?” I feel like having pizza for lunch. I feel like taking a nap instead of doing yoga.
Yes, I did say CONSISTENCY is most important, but the second most important thing is to have SELF COMPASSION!
Don’t beat yourself up for missing a day or two.
When one of the staff at my office is freaking out because of a mistake she made, I will often say “ok, but no one died” because of that mistake!
It’s not the end of the world if you have pizza for lunch or stay up too late watching the final episode of Joe Exotic. Plus, beating yourself up or criticising yourself will sabotage all efforts. Think about how you motivate a child to do better. Criticism does NOT make us want to do our best. All it does is make that child (and us) feel badly about herself, and lead to lower self esteem and confidence.
Don’t give up because you miss a day or two.
If we’re going for consistency, giving up isn’t going to get us there. Missing a day here and there doesn’t mean you can never get back on track. Being on track “most” of the time is a zillion times better than giving up all together. That’s just basic math. : )
Let’s take these two SMALL STEPS (SWEAT-FREE, I promise) to help us get back on track during this temporary (or not-so-temporary) shakeup.
- Be consistent with the habits that you know make you feel better.
- Show yourself compassion.
These times are hard because things are changing all the time and there is a lot of uncertainty about our lives, in many ways. It’s easy to get off kilter and reach for comfort/choose behaviors that give us immediate gratification.
Sometimes, we need a reminder to take care of ourselves. And, taking small steps consistently will make a huge difference in how we get through these days and how we feel about ourselves overall.
We got this!
Using a Habit Tracker is so simple and extremely helpful for reminding us of the things we want to do CONSISTENTLY. Get a FREE Habit Tracker here! You can fill it in with your own habits that you want to be consistently doing.