Friday, 9 September 2016
image: make space for routines
Memories can hold the keys to looking good
What were you doing in your life when you felt and looked good? These are key memories, as they give us clues as to what we are currently not doing, and what we could be doing, to feel healthier, look better, have our vibrancy levels at optimum.
Our bodies have memories. So do our brains, emotions and minds. We can "poke around" and remember them, then re-introduce them. Sometimes it doesn't matter whether times are good or bad, we just have the impetus to go ahead to do these things, but other times there is no space in our lives to do this.
Little spaces to do "things"
And yet, space is the very thing that we need to create. Space to do many things, to be sure, but also space for our routines. When we have space for our routines, we can then put our routines in place. We have space and routines for caring for others: friends, family, we make space for our work, but we also need space for ourselves.
If you look back at your optimum times, you may be surprised to find that you might not have actually had more free time than you have now, but you somehow managed to squeeze in time for yourself instead. There would have been a reason that you were determined to do that. And perhaps you don't want to have that same reason in your life, but, you can still make space to quickly fit in your routines.
The two key elements
Make the routines quick and easy to do. The space to do them will be easier to find, or create. Just do it. And this applies not only to looking after ourselves, it also applies to making space for tasks in our work. Or our garden. Or with relationships.
So, what can we do to make space for looking after ourselves? I know that when I shower first thing rather than wait till I've been in the garden, or done some yoga, I get moving quicker.
Look at our own day
Start with your own morning. When does your time get fitted in? After everyone else? Do you make space to eat a healthy breakfast, or would sipping a smoothie whilst you get ready, be better? Is everything organised the night before so that you can have a routine in the morning?
I find that it works for me to have the same breakfast everyday, except when I'm working very early when I have a different routine. Routines save time, they keep our equilibrium on an even keel. If we have children, this in turn keeps their mood happy. Knowing what to do and when to do it, means that children can actually do things fast occasionally.
Then a lunch routine: the same lunch most days? And a brisk walk? Work out what suits you and your life.
Evening: do you have a group of dinners that you can produce quite quickly? Or, if you're a working mum, do you precook some meals in the weekend? I have vivid memories as a young working mum, having a casserole and another dish or two, cooking all of them at the same time, in the weekend. Sometimes my oven would just be quite full, preparing food for the week and cooking a meal for that night too. I always cooked extra rice at one of our evening meals so that we had cold rice to put in our weekly stir fry, the night before weekly shopping.
My eldest children grew up on soup for lunch at home, or we made salad sandwiches at the table, with some protein like cheese, eggs, or meat. Even today, I really want to be mega healthy and have a fish salad for lunch, but happy memories with my kids win out every time: I have soup, or a sandwich. My youngest loved sushi for lunch, and I've started having this, too. Breakfast for my kids was generally a protein smoothie: it helped them concentrate better at school. I guess that I was a boring mum, but I did notice that children having routines, made them happier.
And bedtime: I have found that if you want a good night's sleep, then a wee routine does help. If you want to get your make-up off before bed, and you're always tired: do it earlier, or use wipes. And once or twice a week I mentally go over my wee assortment of clothes, to work out what I'm wearing each day. It takes five minutes, and makes it easier to get clothes ready the night before, because the decision has already been made.
To make it easier: choose one time of day or night, at a time. What can you do to have a do-able routine for this time? How can you make space for it? How can you implement it? The rewards are great from routine, our bodies, our minds, our emotions, thrive on it. Stress is reduced. We get more time for other things.
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