R for Routines + Repetition
Currently, I am in a routine. It is called the 40 Hour Work Week.
After the wedding, after the honeymoon, after the big investments, the house purchasing, the little ones…the routine settles in. The wake-up, go-to-work, hit-the-gym/pick-up-the-kids, make-dinner, sleep, repeat routine. I typically thrive off routine. I am someone who would not consider myself as having a serendipitous streak. I already know I’m going to be asleep at 9 am this Saturday so don’t ask me to go for a sunrise hike. No matter how far in advance you plan. I already have my Saturday morning mapped out and it involves sleep and cuddling with my cat.
My other happy place is the planner aisle at Michael’s Craft Stores.
I make grocery lists, to-do lists, budget spreadsheets, and deep clean my house each weekend. Call it organization, call it undiagnosed OCD.
Yet, I find myself in a routine that is (gasp!) starting to make me ask, is this it? This is what adulting is all about? This is sure not what it is cracked up to be!
And yet, life is good. My family is healthy, my husband and I have jobs, we have working vehicles, beautiful nieces we get to spoil, yet…why does it feel so…blah?
This is when the longing claws of depression reach out to steal pieces of your peaceful soul. It is when your mind plays tricks on you and says you need a bit of drama in your life or entangles your observations into unhealthy comparisons or you can’t sleep without a drink or there’s not enough money in the account (news flash: there won’t ever be enough money in your account).
It’s a downward spiral only you can catch yourself from falling.
I overlooked the sense of peace and safekeeping a smooth routine can do for the body and mind. I became restless, cranky, and pleased by nothing even though I had everything in front of me.
I had to whip myself back into shape.
If you find yourself in a similar void, here are 3 positive ways you can look at your routine in a refreshing way:
A calm and comfortable order is an underrated necessity to life. If you feel that life is somewhat hum-drum, that more than likely means things are reliable and steady for the time being. Hold onto that peace for it can change in a second.
2. Stress Reliever
Less anxiety, less chaos. A daily routine eliminates the guessing and stressing from the busiest of days. You’ll feel much more at peace when you know where you plan to be and when.
3. Better Sleep
When it’s time to go to bed, you can rest easy knowing that all the daily tasks have been accomplished. You’ve maintained function throughout the day and tomorrow is a fresh opportunity for a new outlook.
Social rhythm therapy is based on the idea that irregular, unpredictable sleeping habits and unbalanced days can trigger manic episodes by disturbing the body’s internal clock.
Basically, you know when you get snappy and cranky at your friend because you’ve only slept for 3 hours the night before? Yep, your body chemistry is all out of wack and you are more than likely going to try to sleep during the afternoon rather than tackle your to-do list for the day. Do you see how this can turn into an unproductive cycle that never stops?
Stick to a routine, your mental health will thank you for it!
A structured daily routine helps eliminate procrastination and encourages you to maintain your priorities in life. A routine does not have to be rigid – it is quite opposite of that. It allows you to arrange the necessities while leaving room for serendipity. This way, you still get things done and have time to enjoy what you really want to invest your time in.