creating rituals

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I woke up this morning and had no clue what day of the week it was. I had to look at my phone to learn that it was Monday. My life lately since coming back from vacation has been nonstop with juggling two jobs. As I mentioned before, I love this chaotic work schedule because it is what works best for me. However, lately I feel like I wake up, get some household chores done, go to work, eat dinner and immediately go to bed.

I need to find some ways to hit the pause button during my running around and find ways to enjoy the day. My to do list is constantly growing as I check one thing off, I will add two or three more things I can get done. I had a rare Saturday off a few weeks ago and after watching tv for an hour I started to get restless. I don’t actually remember the last time I sat on the couch and did nothing all day. That Saturday I got a can of paint from the basement and painted my bathroom a different color because of boredom. Back in January, I had a week off of work and purged, cleaned and painted my basement. Quite frankly, I am running out of home projects to work on in my free time!

My one day off this past week was Thursday and I woke up early to take advantage of every minute I had to do nothing. The day before I had done seven loads of laundry that needed to be put away so I found myself cleaning my parents bedroom, reorganizing their dressers as I put clothes away, and then vacuuming and dusting the entire house. Around 4pm, I received a phone call asking if I could come into work last minute. Without hesitation, I said yes and started to get dressed for the closing shift at work. I need to start practicing the word no. How many times do we find ourselves agreeing to take on more than we can handle? Or changing our plans to accommodate someone else’s plans? I have been trying to get my car washed since February, but other things keep coming up preventing me from going.

At the start of each month I make plans and tell myself that I want to start taking weekly Pure Barre classes, or start wearing my FitBit again or try to get back to reading before bed every night. But at the end of each month, that cookie recipe went untouched, my Fitbit has been dead and I didn’t go to a workout class. With this warmer weather coming (hopefully!), I hope that Spring will motivate me to start turning my plans into actions.

Here are some ways I hope to get back to my daily, weekly and monthly rituals. Let me know in the comments how you get everything done in the day while still having some “me time”.

  1. Start the day with breakfast and coffee
    When we wake up we often start our day running the minute our feet touch the ground. The days I immediately get dressed and rush out the door are often more sluggish and draining on my body. Instead of rushing out the door, I take time out of my morning to make a cup of coffee and eat breakfast every morning. Even if I eat while getting ready at my vanity, I need to start my day with a cup of coffee. It usually only takes 5 minutes out of my morning, but it allows for my body to naturally wake up and get ready to start the day.
  2. Get a planner or to do list and follow it
    Juggling two jobs and usually only having one day off a week if I am lucky leaves little time to get everything I want to get done. I started planning out my week on Sundays to see what hours I am working and what errands or activities I can do when I am not at work. I also block out time to catch up on my tv shows that I missed during the week because if I don’t I know I will never get around to it! I truly would be lost without my planner! I have found that if I look at my week ahead on Sunday nights, I can find I have more free time than I thought I did.
  3. Schedule Exercise
    While I haven’t lifted weights, been on a treadmill or been to a Pilates class in months, I have been aware of how many steps I take a day. Right now I don’t have the time, money or a friend to do a fitness class with, but I have found other ways to exercise. Take a walk, go to the mall and walk around. Do anything that gets you out of the house and just walk.
  4. Keep your living space clean
    I admit that my room looks like a disaster at the end of the week with clothes on my chair, a dozen coffee cups on every surface and an unmade bed. But by cleaning my room once or twice a week I find it now just takes me 5 minutes to put everything away. It is an easy ritual to keep up with, but I can promise it will make you feel so much more relaxed when you have a clean living space.
  5. Light a candle and find some zen before you go to bed
    I have a nightly ritual that I light a candle and dim my lights before I go to bed. Whether I eat dinner in bed, watch an episode of Netflix, or clean my room, there is something calming about having a candle lit. It has become a part of my winding down routine at night and now as soon as my head hits the pillow, I am asleep in seconds!
  6. End the day with a book
    This is something that I have been neglecting lately and want to get back into. For a month I was reading before bed and after a few chapters I would fall asleep. It was some of the best sleep I have had in years too! When you read it prevents your mind from wandering or from getting up to do something.

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