“Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” - Prentis Hemphill
We’re not sure about you, but we had a long, hot, and busy summer. As the kids head back to school, after a year (+) of remote learning, we are all readjusting to the new normal of the school year. With this recent shift in our daily lives, we’ve realized now is a great time to establish new and grounding routines. Routines that take time and create space for ourselves to help us stay grounded through the chaos that is life. If the past year and a half have taught us anything, it’s that prioritizing ourselves, and taking care of our own needs, means we can show up as a more patient, present, and intentional parent, partner, friend, and community member.
As the internet and social media will tell you, there are a million ways you can be a healthier human: get up early, drink more water, eat healthy meals, workout, meditate, stretch, drink less coffee, drink less alcohol, yadda, yadda, yadda.
That all sounds great, but ain’t nobody got time for that.
We’ve come to the realization that really, at the end of the day, all these intentional habits have one thing in common: prioritizing yourself. So when we think about creating a new routine, we think about making time for ourselves. This can look like, and mean, a lot of different things. We’ve come up with some guidelines and ideas on how to reclaim a piece of your day and incorporate your needs into your daily routine:
Finding the Time
It’s important to be intentional about creating space and finding time to recharge and/or decompress. However, we know this is easier said than done. But it is essential to your wellbeing to find a sliver of the day to take just for you. Undisturbed and undivided attention focused on what you need. It can be early before anyone else is awake, during the day when everyone is away at school or at work, or in the evening after things have wound down. It can be 20 minutes or an hour. Just find the time that works for you, commit to it, and establish it with your family. This brings us to our next point…
Set Boundaries and Expectations
Whenever it is that you decide to carve out for yourself each day, communicate to your family or partner that this is your “Do Not Disturb” time. You can let them know that once your DND time is over, you will be available and ready to play, chat, connect, etc.
Let’s be honest, we wish we could do all the things that would make us more well-rounded humans. But it’s important that we set ourselves up for success. If we try to incorporate all the “healthy” habits we can think of into our already busy and chaotic lives, we are likely to give up altogether. That’s why establishing a time of day to do whatever it is that brings you joy and helps ground you is a wonderful place to start. Set this as your foundation for a routine, then you can start to build on top of it!
Ways to Spend Your Time
It doesn’t matter what you do with your time, as long as it fills you up or calms you down. It can also change depending on what you might need that day. Here are some ideas on what to incorporate into your daily routine:
- Intentional rest: Mindful rest means taking the time to quiet the brain and still the body. This does not include scrolling through social media or watching tv. Find a peaceful space and a comfortable position, and relax without any outside stimulation. This relaxation practice can help us recharge our body and mind. If you’re interested in learning more about intentional rest, check out our friend Margaret James and her Exploration of Rest course!
- Move your body: Doing an activity that gets us up and moving is a great way to spend some time for ourselves. This could be a walk, stretching, or a workout routine or class.
- Do what brings you joy: Everyone has something they wish they had more time to enjoy! Use your time to reconnect with something that brings you joy, maybe that’s cooking, painting, journaling, or meditating
- Entertain yourself: Sometimes, we just need to check out for a little bit. There’s no shame in spending time to watch your favorite show, read a nonfiction book (or audiobook), or listen to your favorite true crime podcast.
Incorporating time that is just for you into your day is what’s important in establishing your routine. Routines can provide some predictability in our ever-chaotic lives. Much like boundaries, routines help us find a sense of calm because they are always constant - they allow us to see what is coming next. Using our routines to prioritize ourselves and our needs will increase our wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us. With all that said, we encourage you to take some time and find your routine.