Developing routines and rituals in my life was a game-changer. Usually, I tend to feel aimless and without purpose, and this tends to lead me into a depressive state. I was willing to try anything to finally get me out of that life slump. I reflected back to the times I was in the psychiatric hospital and an outpatient program and I remembered how life seemed suddenly more manageable with a routine.
Please, do not be mistaken. Routines are not just for children and do not have to just be boring. Routine = (My) Key to Life
Why Are Routines Important?
We teach children that routines are important to facilitate good habits through adulthood. The same applies to anyone older, routine implements good habits and can even help eliminate bad habits that no longer serve us. For mental health, routines aid patients to make achievable goals and can help one feel more productive. It can even help individuals stay on track with medications! Overall, routine/rituals can benefit your mental health, physical health, stress levels, and sleep patterns.
My Routines and Rituals
Morning Rituals: I am still working on these, I am not a morning person. My Monday’s through Friday’s look a bit like this – I wake up, brush my teeth, shower, get ready, eat breakfast, and pull a tarot card to set my intention and focus for the day. Getting up earlier allows me time to do all of these things, and eliminates me rushing and feeling unprepared for the day. Let me mention, since I have really tried to implement this routine, I have been rarely late to work.
My Work Routine: In my current full-time position, I am wearing many hats and have a surplus of different duties. I frequently feel unproductive and inefficient.
I had the pleasure to begin bullet journaling. It has helped me at my place of work and in my personal life. The thing I love most about bullet journaling is the fact that there is no wrong or right way. You can have your journal replicate your way of thinking.
Each morning as I start work, I list out my daily to-do list. My brain runs in a constant stream of thought, so my bullet journal allows me to jot down other notes (using different pen colors or different symbols) for any thoughts that may pop up in my head. That can include any ideas towards my freelance work, what I should make for dinner or even a sudden overwhelming feeling.
Night-time Rituals: I come home, make dinner, push and do some freelance work. After, I do my multi-stepped skincare routine, moisturize my hair and braid it. Next, comes the best part. Each night I burn my essential oils and light candles. It gives me a sense of peace and security. That is when I truly feel that I am at home. Then by 11 pm, I try to make it in bed.
Bonuses (Things I am Trying to Fit in)
- More freelance work
- Learn a new hobby
Time Spent with Intention
Do nothing without intentionSolange, A Seat at the Table
Living with intention is simple. Everything you do or do not do holds a consequence. Filling my free time with learning a new skill will ultimately help me in my personal endeavors. Taking a break when I need it will keep me from burning out. Having a reason for doing simply helps you stay on track and motivated. Take on life with intention and be aware of your actions and how they serve you.
Feeling in Control
Unfortunately, we cannot control every aspect of life — but we can plan everything we can so we are better prepared for what life might spring at us. Routine and rituals help us recenter and focus on what is truly important. Keeping up with rituals and routines enables us to have control in certain aspects of our lives. We are able to better navigate our lives being mindful and intentional in our actions. Do you think you live with intention? How so? What are some of your routines or rituals?