Four Benefits of Having Routines

In my last post I wrote about rhythms. This week I want to talk to you about routines and how they support us in life. Now, I know as soon as you read the word 'routines' some of you started feeling resistance and/or are not sure you want to continue reading. Here’s the thing - you already have them in your life. You’ve either been intentional about creating them or they have formed over time. Not many of us intentionally decide to binge on Netflix every night while eating potato chips and drinking wine. But it happens. So why not call the shots in your life? Routines are the habitual way you live your life. I believe that you can be intentional about your routines. They are less sexy than rituals but equally important in creating a soul-centered life. No matter what is happening in your life, having established routines will help ground you. Even if something catastrophic/traumatic happens and your routines all go to hell-in-a-handbasket, you will have a baseline to return to when you are able to focus on equilibrium in your life again. Here are four benefits of routines: 1. Routines eliminate some of your decision making - Established routines save you from making thousands of decisions. They eliminate the guess work in your life. You don’t have to make a decision at night if you are going to brush your teeth before bed. You probably have a routine in place that includes brushing your teeth. Having routines shifts the questions from ‘what’ to ‘when’. You don’t need to decide if you are going to exercise on any given day. You need to decide when. Of course, it can be even simpler if you do the same thing at the same time every day but I find in keeping with rhythms being open to changing schedules is helpful. I often adjust my routine seasonally. I walk very early in the summer for two reasons - it is light out and it is the coolest time of day. In the winter I try and walk later in the day to be exposed to any sunshine available! 2. Routine support your well-being - Routines don’t just make life simpler they can support your health- emotional, spiritual and physical. They are worth establishing. They may vary slightly depending on the day but overall when you take time to consider and build the routines you want to support your well-being your health will benefit. Routines start with asking what you want in your life to feel your best. 3. Routines keep you from making choices from your reptile brain - The amygdala is the part of your brain that is often referred to as your lizard brain. It’s the part of the brain that processes emotions. When you have made a commitment to a course of action (as in a routine). You are choosing from your higher self. You become less reactive. And as you follow through with those routines you strengthen your ability to delay gratification and be less reactive. 4. Routines make your boundaries clear - Recently I was trying to connect with someone and they told me right off the top, “I write in the mornings, so it will have to be afternoon.” I loved it! They have established a routine and are committed to it. It allowed them to have a boundary to protect what is important. I have another friend who doesn’t go out during the week. She has a routine of getting up at 5:30 to go to the gym. She knows she needs to get 8 hours sleep and so she goes to bed early. When asked to go out socially in the evening she suggests an alternative time that works for her. If you aren’t seeing the results you want in your life knowing your rhythms, establishing routines and creating sacred rituals will move you towards alignment in living a soul-centered life. If you need support - reach out to me. Here's the truth - you'll never be able to have complete control over every aspect of your life. The best you can do in an uncertain world is live from your center - even when things seem out of control. You can have the peace of knowing that you have been intentional about your choices. And you'll have rhythms, rituals and routines to support you through life challenges. Let your soul be your guide. \

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