Before I had kids, I was not too fond of routine, and I was more of a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow person. Just as our kids have a schedule, I found them very helpful to make my crazy mom life more manageable. I never thought I'd say this, but having routines literally saved my life and sanity! Now I finally get why my mother was always trying to get me to stick to a schedule when I was young.
As a busy mother of two young kids, it's not always easy to have time for myself besides looking after my kids, doing the housework and building a business at the same time. Since last year, I've been taking my personal routines more seriously, and I found it actually saves me more mental energy and allows me to have time to do the things that fuel me.
Here are my top 3 reasons why you should have a routine:
1. Stops you from wasting time
Because the time for myself is so so precious, it is essential to allocate time and have specific routines to keep me sane. Otherwise, I waste time scrolling pointlessly on my phone or end up doing something else (There's always laundry!) besides what I want to do (Yoga!). Then I feel guilty for not doing anything purposeful and productive. Not to say that I don't have days where I allow myself to binge-watch Netflix. But having routines helps to minimize wasting time and be more focus on getting things done, and it enables me to do things that fill my mind and soul.
2. Simplifies mom life
Are you constantly stressed in the mornings getting the kids ready for school? Or are you always thinking about what to cook for dinner every day? In those two scenarios, having a routine can help you feel less anxiety and keep things simple. Imagine if you had an evening routine where you laid out clothes for the next day, prepared snacks for the kids, and packed their school bags. By spending a few minutes the day before to think about the day ahead, you will feel more relaxed in the mornings. Or having a routine where you make time on Sundays to meal plan ahead will create more mental space for you to focus on other things rather than stressing about what to cook at 4 pm every day.
3. Creates space for your self-care
As a mother, I know how easy it is for us to leave our needs to the last. When we don't have time for ourselves, we are irritable, edgy, and frustrated—having routines in place helps us keep up with our self-care in between busy mom lives. Imagine waking up 30 mins before your kids, doing a 10 mins stretch, meditate for 5 mins and taking a shower before your day starts. How would you feel compared to jumping out of bed and having to rush through the morning and forgetting to practice yoga yet again and then going straight to work in your home office?
I want to share my morning and evening routines with you to explain how I implement self-care into my day. Hopefully, it can inspire you to look at your routine and see where you can slip in some time for self-care, self-development or get prepared for the next day.
My weekday morning routine starts like this:
Make my bed
Drink warm lemon water
Feed my kids breakfast
Eat a healthy breakfast
Take my supplements
Drink my coffee and read on my phone
Stretch for 15 mins (sometimes my daughter joins me)
Shower and get ready
My weekday evening routine looks something like this:
Clean kitchen and start dishwasher
Work or learn something for two hours
Watch one episode of my favourite program
Meditate for 10 mins
Tidy the living room
Take my probiotics & magnesium
Get ready for bed
So I'd invite you to spend some time thinking about what your daily routine could look like. Take a piece of paper or go to notes on your phone, write down your current schedule, and then add what you would like to start doing. Perhaps it's yoga in the mornings or doing a quick HIIT workout before you start work.
Then schedule the things you want to do in your calendar with alerts. Give yourself 21 days to stick to your new routine, and remember it's okay if you don't do it perfectly. Just keep at it! At some point, you'll stick to your new routine. The trick is to keep showing up even after you missed a day.
Do you need help to stick to new routines?
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