It all starts with having a healthy mindset about routines.
I used to not believe in routine…
It has taken me a long time to grasp the idea that having a routine was a good thing. I thought they were boring, predictable and made you an easy target for predators. And yes, as a woman I think of those things. I still feel that most people lack information about unhealthy or predictable routines and how it can make you an easy target.
Learning to stay safe and protect myself has always been a priority. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by law enforcement and family in the military who taught me the dangers of being too predictable. Unfortunately, this also gave me a negative bias towards routines. It wasn’t until I kept getting stuck on my journey to a healthier lifestyle that I realized that I needed to change my mindset. Although at times, I still find these thoughts to be true, I have learned to embrace and love a good, healthy, self-care routine. But I still follow some of my non-routine, routines, listed below.
Some tips I still use today are:
- Don’t drive the same way to and from work.
- Don’t park in the same parking spot or even the same parking lot.
- Walk different routes to and from your car.
- Try to leave and come home at different times.
My decision to find a self-care routine.
Learning more about my Ayurvedic dosha is how I became aware of my imbalances. I learned that my anxiety and depression was my body’s way of screaming at me, begging for some structure and a healthier mindset. At the time, I was still very resistant and didn’t realize that I was indirectly hurting myself, by thinking I didn’t want any routines. I found as I got older stress started to become a huge trigger causing most of my imbalances. I finally had to change my way of thinking and develop a healthy mindset toward routines. So I told myself that I will create a self-care morning and evening routine.
So what does my self-care routine look like?
Well everyone has to start somewhere, right? Mornings is where I started. It was the easiest for me because I love being up early and it is also when I am most productive.
I start by:
Waking up around 6 am, wash my face and begin with some light stretching for about 10minutes.
I then transition to my breathing exercises, or pranayama, for about 15-20 minutes.
Finally, it is time to sit in silence while I meditate, generally lasting for about 30 minutes.
This is how I start every morning. An hour in silence, reflecting, breathing, observing, and feeling grateful. With this simple routine, I am able to focus more, set a plan for my day and accomplish more on my to-do list. I can sustain my energy for longer and even create more routines to improve my overall health and fitness.
Now, for a night routine.
This is still a work in progress as I am not much of a night person. I have an “on the go” personality which means I end up crashing at the end of the day. This causes my temper to be short, I’m physically exhausted, and I have no more energy for anything else except sleep. Mind you, my sleep has suffered a lot, because of this type of lifestyle. So I have decided to focus my evenings on winding down.
I start by:
Drinking hot tea before bed.
Then about 30 minutes before I go to sleep, I practice a body scan relaxation technique called Yoga Nidra.
That’s it, I try to keep things simple so I can be successful in my goal to a healthier lifestyle. These simple changes have done wonders for my overall concentration and quality of sleep.
Please know that having a healthy routine is very beneficial to one’s overall health, but the journey is in discovering a healthy mindset about your routines.
My routine is not going to be a good fit for everyone. I only encourage people to become aware of habits and routines that make them feel stuck or are in chronic anxiety, depression, or pain. Then begin with changing and improving one of these routines. No matter if it is a morning, night, afternoon, or even a shopping routine, let it be something.
This change won’t be easy. This is all still new to me and not at all “easy”. There is a lot of self-sabotaging habits and mental deprogramming that I continue to work through. But the first step is done; Self-awareness. Although I am still learning how to build healthy routines, I have finally given myself permission to look at routines as something fun, exciting and definitely not boring.
Live Amor Zen Life