Advice & Resources

My Thoughts on the Importance of Routines

(And Reflections on How It’s Helped Me)

I’ll just say it right here and now- transitions are tough and can be hard work. It’s that in between period of figuring things out while figuring out what to do or where to go next that’s especially tricky. For me,  it’s been especially difficult just figuring out ways to fill my days while also looking into how to move forward and researching possible next steps- an exhaustive process in itself. Because of this they (my days) have fell into this giant unrelenting limbo of uncertainty and wide open spaces which hasn’t been easy on my mind and spirit.

Unsure of how to soothe the restlessness all while stumbling through these days has been exhausting; but it’s also lead me to look at the areas in my life that I can control since what I do out there and how I move forward are partially out of it-. To start, I know that routine was a great comfort when I had it- it taught me where to go and when. I could count on not having to figure that out for myself without worrying about when to fit that sort of thing in or how to go about it. It was always there- reliable, comforting and mostly the same-.

To help bring it back and alleviate the stress that comes from trying to create an entirely new schedule into one day without other commitments filling it I started simple. To do this I began looking at ways to create routines for myself and see  from there where I wanted to fit them in. At that point both the morning and in the evening seemed like a good place to start in terms of self-care and reflection, so that’s what I did. To those times, I added in a few new and important habits which have also acted like small rewards somedays, and everyday has given those times structure and acted like good bookends marking the days beginning and end and reminders at times to get moving or unwind if I’ve gotten caught up in other things.

To give an idea of what’s helped me here’s a simple breakdown of my routines: 

  • First thing in the morning: I make my bed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Check out daily planner for commitments, blog work to be done and habit progress
  • Journal- if necessary/remembered
  • And get to work

In the evening:

  • Save work and log off technology- leaving it all on desk
  • turn off desk light
  • turn on heated blanket
  • gather toiletries for before bed routine
  • self-care routine (i.e. brush teeth and wash face)
  • Gratitude journal
  • Read

It may only seem simple but these small ways of starting the day and unwinding at each days end has tremendously helped me feel like there’s some predictability to it (even if I still haven’t got much else figured out) and cope a bit better over-all.

That said, what are some of your daily practice/habits; and/or how have they helped you make the most of your days? Let me know down below (in the comments)  I’m interested to know.