A surprising self-care concept came to me as I tried to write the promised Self Care Tips, but kept coming up with the same ole tried and true, which of course are great, but then I heard Brene Brown say this when Tim Ferris interviewed her for his show: “Routine will set you free.” And then I knew, that’s it. That is the best self-care tip I could ever offer anyone. I’m not talking rigid, can’t change anything kind of routine, I’m talking about the things that keep your life organized and make your brain stay free of clutter. What could be more self-care than this?
Uncertain times call for Self-care
We are living in uncertain times and that can be a bit unnerving, but when our daily lives are the only thing we somewhat have control of, then routine is just what we need for self-care. Being in lock down might seem the time to throw routine out the window, however, routine is certainty and that can be comforting.
Travel and Routine
We travel a great deal, and getting out of a routine wears on me. I love the travel, but I love being home and getting back into the groove. When we started coming to live in France three months of the year, it was partly to give ourselves the ability to maintain a bit of routine without the constant back and forth. Who knew this year would turn into a crisis? Being in lockdown twenty minutes from Paris may sound like a dream, but it’s not when you can’t get there. Self-care had to become a priority.
The way I have maintained my sanity then has been to have a routine. I didn’t come to this right away. I had a few weeks of no routine, but then the government restricted us to running/exercise before ten in the morning and after seven at night, to keep the streets from being too crowded during grocery shopping time. This made me commit to getting out the door by nine so I could power walk for an hour, and that set the spark for my routine, and this self-care has made me feel much better.
So here’s my self-care routine: I wake around 6:30 (no alarm right now. At home in Santa Fe, I’m usually a 5:30 riser). I drink coffee, and read and write in my journal till around 8:00. I meditate for ten minutes. Then I look at my phone to see if I have messages and what emails came in. Then I read the headlines on Reuters and choose articles that inform me of what’s happening in France and back home. (Reuters is news by the way. Straight up news.) Then I dress, pick a pod-cast, put on my headphones and walk for an hour. I come home, I drink a cup of tea, shower up then hit my computer. I’m doing some last edits on my book, as I send it out to agents.
We have lunch. I work. Then I read for an hour, some times dozing off. (I’m a writer, so I read a lot.) Then I do my French lesson. Have tea with my husband and back to work till five or six, depending on what I’m working on. Then we take a short walk to clear our heads, come back and play cards. (This has been one of my favorite things). Then we eat a light dinner, usually salad, and then we talk and read, but every other day, we watch something on Netflix. On the weekend nights we have wine. And on Sunday’s we have a no digital day, though I post our boozy Sunday Lunch pictures on Instagram @janeannpics
Why routine works for self-care
Since I started this routine, I feel much more energized. I love getting to work. And though my routine is interrupted on my day to get groceries, trying to stick to it as much as possible makes a huge difference in my ability to bear this time.
Being in lock-down has given us all time to slow down, and maybe throw routine out the window, but by creating a routine, maybe when this is all over, we can say no to things that don’t matter and stick to what does, true self-care. Routine really can set you free to accomplish more, because you are doing what is most important to you. Remember though, there’s a fine line between routine and rigidity so don’t miss out on the beautiful moments with friends, family or nature because it throws off the routine, just choose wisely.
What’s your routine for self-care?
What are you working on in this lock-down time? If you have questions about routine and self-care, bring them on. If you want to let us know what your favorite routine tasks are, share them and if you like Radical Aging, please share it with friends, family, social media, and let’s get our RAge on!
Peace and Joy,
In case you missed last post, you can find it here: Love in the time of Coronavirus