Is it just me, or does everything seem like it is in flux right now? Things that were super reliable in the past are just… not. As soon as I establish routines that are working for me, something changes, and I have to start over again.
Physical Health Routines
For many years now, I stretch every morning. If I don’t, I don’t move as well. I’m stiff and sore. Morning stretching is here to stay.
I’ve had various other physical routines. Yoga comes and goes; I have tried and enjoyed Zumba, though I never found a class that fit my schedule. The one exercise I come back to is deep water aerobics.
I love deep water aerobics. It gives me a really good workout without straining my back. Depending on how much I push myself, I can get my heart rate up and work all my major muscle groups. I have always loved being in the water, and swimming, and it is a great way to wake up in the morning.
Over the last couple of years, though, my water aerobics routine has not been easy to maintain. Between closures for COVID, and most recently a strike (which, for the record, I whole heartedly support), it seems like every time I get in the groove, they close again. And I miss it!
Spiritual Health Routines
As you (I hope) know, I am big on meditation. I meditate regularly, write my own guided meditations, and even teach a classes on meditation at the Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary. My own meditation practice has been sporadic at best over the last year or more. Wouldn’t have ANYTHING to do with the collective trauma of a global pandemic… NAH!
Another practice I have recommended to many, and done myself off and on, is journaling. Getting my thoughts out of my head is so helpful. Then, when I haven’t written for a while, I feel like I need to catch up, and it is just too much. So I don’t. UGH.
In my old house, I had several altars set up, and I would often pray at one, or make an offering to the Goddess there. We are still unpacking at the new house, and I don’t have them set up yet. I know I want to set up different than before, I just don’t know what I want it to look like yet.
All this to say, I’ve felt adrift for several months with my spiritual health. Yes, I know. All that energy was going to my “earth altar” – finding a home, then moving, then settling in. Which is still in progress, and when the earth altar is unstable, it is very challenging to focus on anything else.
Mental Health Routines
I could totally argue that both physical health and spiritual health routines ARE mental health routines. I am much happier, calmer, and able to cope with stress when I can swim, and when I meditate.
Another way I used to restore my mental health was through reading. As a child, I would stay up late reading. Or when I was told to go outside and play, I’d bring a book and sit and read. There was always a book in my purse.
The older I got, though, it seemed the less attention I had for reading. That seems to be a side effect of social media and being in front of the computer all the time. Or maybe it was less time for reading. Being an adult and having adult responsibilities takes up so much time!
Changing It Up
As 2021 came to an end, and I had some time off work, the call to revitalize my health routines in all areas intensified. My biggest question, aside from what did I want to do, was when?
I already get up early. The commute from our new home to work is an hour each way. After work, I often have meetings or classes, and then it is already time for bed. The pool is still closed, both because of the ongoing strike and public health orders with the rise in COVID cases (again).
One of the big lessons in all the leadership learning I have been doing is about having clear boundaries. It’s time for me to walk my own talk about sacred selfishness.
My morning routine now looks like this:
- RPM – Rise, Pee, Meditate. The meditation may be short or long, depending on whether my son has band or not (if he does, we leave an hour earlier)
- Daily Practice – This daily practice is new for me, though I have used pieces of it in different forms.
- Read passages from two daily wisdom books – Luminous Humanness by Kelly Sullivan Walden and Earth Medicine by Jamie Sams.
- Write the affirmation or nugget of learning for each in my journal.
- Draw a tarot card for the day. I use the Robin Wood Tarot app (available on iTunes and Google Play) which has a Card of the Day feature.
- Write the key words, and whatever info jumps out at me in my journal.
- If time permits, read the whole card description in the app. Robin Wood was extremely detailed with the symbolism in her art, and it usually gives me new insights on the cards.
- Write down my intentions for the day. This helps me stay on track!
- Write down at least three things I am grateful for.
- If time and energy permit, write down anything else I choose.
Additional things I have identified as important are reading, cross stitching, and less social media. I don’t look at social media until AFTER I have done all of that list above. Doom scrolling before bed is also out. I am choosing to read at least one page, or usually a chapter, before bed. There are a couple of cross stitch projects on the go, so I put at least a few stitched in each day.
For my physical health, my intention is to walk the dog at least 4 days a week, and add yoga in where I am able. Though I am really waiting impatiently for the pool to open again.
So far, I’ve managed the daily practice consistently for two weeks. It feels good, and it is something I look forward to, even when I am tired (like today). What routines do you have to look after your health?
1 thought on “Changing Routines”
Keeping your promises to yourself is so important and uplifting. You’ve made a great start to your habits in your new home.
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