Back To School For Adults: Re-establishing Routine In Your Life
By: Courtney Holcomb, Certified Pilates Instructor, Waveforms Pilates
Summer, especially for those of us who live in Wisconsin, is a time that we look forward to all year. It always seems to storm in and out, and before you know it, it’s fall again. Along with the quick storm of summer, comes a quick surge of activity, events, and irregularity in our schedules. A combination of late nights at events, sitting in the car during a long road trip, running school-aged kids around, and trying to fit in workouts, our body is one of the first things to take a toll.
Our body, like a machine, loves to run on consistency: a consistent sleep schedule, regular workouts, and rituals for honoring self. Though summer is exciting, we often are robbed of our routine. Every year, when “school-time” comes around again, I like to re-assess my daily rituals. I consider this my back-to-school practice. How can I create time and space for myself throughout the week? How can I create a routine that is energizing and uplifting? How can I honor what makes me feel good and happy? How can I restore order to the inconsistency that came with my summer schedule?
Make a Happy List
Rituals are Rich
Developing rituals that are enjoyable, easy, and repeatable gives you a sense of centering for your day. Sometimes in summer, our rituals are fleeting. My favorite morning ritual is enjoying a hot cup of coffee with my husband. Sometimes, it’s 3 PM and I will say outloud to my husband “is it weird that I can’t wait for a hot cup of coffee tomorrow morning?” The answer is no, it’s a ritual that I enjoy! It starts out my day. It helps me jump-start my morning, and puts me in a happy-mood. This ritual makes the top of my list, as simple as it may seem. Rituals that make me happy form the framework of my routine for the day.
Balancing Necessary Tasks with Life-Giving Tasks
Intersperse rituals throughout your day that are not just task-oriented (dishes, post office, folding laundry, gardening), but also life-giving (time with a pet, coffee with a friend, journaling, exercise, volunteering). Make your list of the things that make you happy, and make time for them in your schedule. Falling into a routine and structure, just like you had during your school-aged years, can bring a satisfying framework to your day-to-day. Routines give us a sense of purpose for the days that feel lackluster. Rituals give us grounding points throughout the days that feel chaotic.
What Jobs Bring you Joy?
I dislike doing laundry, my husband loves it. This became one of his household task. I love grocery shopping, my husband dislikes it. This is one of my household tasks. The reality is, we cannot do it all, so we should try and do the things we enjoy. Have something your whole family dislikes doing? Hire out! Changing the oil in the car, both my husband and I can do it, but neither of us enjoy. Our joy is well-worth the $20-30 it costs to outsource.
Making & Taking the Time
What things would bring you joy to do everyday? Make these part of your daily rituals. Intersperse them throughout the day. What is something that makes you happy, but you can’t seem to fit in your day? Make time for this. You need to not just make the time, but take the time. Schedule it in, and don’t negotiate! It’s a life-giving, energy-lifting ritual that you need in your life. This is non-negotiable. Maybe it’s reading, from 2-3pm, before you pick the kids up from school. Put it in your calendar, and don’t let an appointment rob you from your time. If anyone asks, you’re unavailable then.
Routines for Success
Though summer may be nearing an end, with Fall comes an new opportunity to begin the last quarter of the year with a fresh perspective. Create a routine that works for your life. Find what makes you happy and what you love and create time for it! Then, stick with it! Make new rituals that bring you new found energy! Your body will thank you for the consistency, and your mind will thank you for the familiarity.