I don’t know about you, but I find it challenging to stick to my routines during this time of year. The shorter days, combined with the bustle of the holiday season all seem to conspire against me when it comes to getting up early, enjoying my outside sit spot in the morning, eating healthy foods and generally engaging in my self-care practices. So, it’s time to change things up!
It occurred to me today, that if something in my normal routine is not working, there’s nothing to say I can’t change my routine. Perhaps it’s time to fit the routine to the circumstances, in this case, the season. And while routines take some time to establish, trying something new can be fun and energizing, kind of like traveling to a place you’ve never been before.
I know, I know. I often tout the importance of sticking to a routine. I stand by that statement, this is just an adjustment, if you will. It’s still important to have a routine, or those self-care practices can get lost in the shuffle. So, today I’m going to re-evaluate my self-care routine to reflect who I am at this time. I invite you to join me. Here are some ideas to find what works best for you:
- Increase your awareness. How well do you know yourself? Observe your thoughts and explore your state of mind. Meditation is a great tool to help in this area and should be a part of your routine.
- Manage your time. Be realistic about what you can fit into your schedule. You may be able to free up more hours for yourself by observing time-drains. Can you turn off your phone for a few hours each day? Can you cut down on TV time? Can you pay someone else for home care?
- Create a self-care budget. Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive and most things on my list are free. On the other hand, there may be some things worth splurging on for you.
- Listen to your feelings. Focus on your values and priorities, instead of keeping up with trends. Skip the things that don’t call to you, even if everyone else is doing it. Except, of course, the meditation. Don’t skip the meditation.
- Pursue your passions. Incorporate the things you love into your routines. That might mean more dance parties or quiet time with a book.
- Try new things. On the other hand, be open to expanding your interests. Experiment with some of the ideas you see on Instagram and ask your friends about what they do. You might be surprised to find out you like CrossFit or bubble baths.
- Seek balance. Think about the areas you may be neglecting too. You might work out regularly but forget to stretch. You might pamper yourself at home but let stress pile up when you’re at the office.
- Have fun. Remember there are no grades and no one is watching. If you love to dance, but resemble Elaine from Seinfeld (like me), try Body Groove from the comfort of your own home.
- Update as needed. Expect your self-care needs to vary over the years and even day by day. Change your plans whenever you need to.
We all have some needs in common, even if we fulfill them in different ways. Make sure your self-care plan supports your overall wellbeing.
- Look after your body. Stay physically fit. Maintain a healthy body weight. Eat a nutritious diet with lots of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains.
- Protect your mental health. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, especially during challenging times, including the holidays. Ask for help when you need it.
- Be social. Build a strong network of support. Stay in touch with family and friends. Set healthy boundaries and talk about your feelings.
- Grow spiritually. Think about your purpose in life. Give generously and connect with something larger than yourself. Join a faith community or practice your own beliefs.
So, if you feel your routine is more of a chore than a pleasure, maybe it’s time to change it up. Use these ideas as a guideline to helping create the perfect routine for you. And don’t be afraid to adjust every now and then.