Routines are super important.
After all, “how we spend your days is of course how we spend your lives.” – Annie Dillard
Routines can also feel overwhelming, rigid and stressful if we are not mindful of the way we are approaching them. Especially during times of chaos and confusion outside of our home. It can be tempting to scratch all the progress we have made in the way of habits and routines. It can feel like too much to add even one more thing to “the list” when our brains are already full with “what-ifs”.
I feel you. But I am also here to offer another option. Instead of all or nothing, black and white, what if you start small.
Focus on simple routines that create flexible structure and in turn bring more peace to each and every day.
Imagine everyone in your home being on the same page. When it comes to E-learning, cleaning, meal time, screen time…all the things. When there is structure, all members of the family will know what to expect.
Now imagine yourself getting a moment of quiet and calm. A Hot cup of coffee in hand, and a smile on your face.
Bring on the peace!
This is all made possible through the power of simple routines. Say good bye to constant questions and never ending whining (mostly) because it’s not a magic bullet. But it will help! 🙂
Just a disclaimer, we are by no means going for perfection here.
Full disclosure, I am writing this while still in my PJs and it is currently 12:03 pm.
BUT, do I do this everyday? Nope. Not because I couldn’t do it everyday, but because I know the benefits that come from following a basic plan. For me and for my family.
By keeping your routines simple and FLEXIBLE in the midst of uncertainty, you will create a template that can be modified at any time.
You will have something to work with. My opinion is that “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” and stopping all routines is not the answer just as much as rigid rules and disciplined, regimented schedules are not the answer during this time.
Enter-> Flow. Balance. Flexibility.
So now that you are convinced of the importance of routines, even during a crisis…where to begin?
First, let’s define what a routine actually is.
A routine is a set of actions or behaviors regularly followed.
As you can see, there is a lot of wiggle room to make routines work for you and your family. There are no rules to follow, but rather guidelines that have been set by YOU in order to create more ease and flow in your home on a daily basis.
Here are some things to consider in order to determine which routines to start with…and I also created a guide that goes along with the steps below, download your free copy here.
1. Embrace the Season that you are in.
Currently we are all in a similar season, we have transitioned to doing life at home, for the most part. Within this season, we all have varying scenarios happening. Kids, no kids. Big kids, little kids. Work from home, full time mom..etc…
It is so important to recognize and appreciate your unique situation within this challenging season. No comparing, only embracing what will work for you.
2. Determine what is essential.
We have been talking a lot about this in terms of jobs, but I also think it is helpful to think about what is essential in terms of the activities and tasks that we are trying to fit into each day.
3. Eliminate the non-essentials.
Once you are clear on what is essential, like E-learning. You are free to let go of what is non-essential, like Pinterest worthy crafts everyday(unless you enjoy that sort of thing).
4. Define your baseline for self care.
Lastly, never underestimate the power of a happy mama and wife. During these crazy times, you must take care of YOU! Everyone will be better off for it. What are the few things that will help you to feel your best?
Next Design the steps…
1. What time of day.
Which parts of the day feel more chaotic than the others? This is where you can bring some peace and structure through creating a routine.
Ex: Creating a morning routine
2. What elements will you include.
These are the specific steps and actions that you will include. The more simple the better. Ideally keep the steps to under 5.
Ex: Coffee, journal, plan, workout
What is the goal of creating this routine? How do you want to feel. How will this help you and your family to function better?
Ex: I want to feel centered and prepared for the day
Here are a few examples of routines that my family and I are embracing during this time.
Take what works and leave the rest.
One load of laundry
General pickup and tidy
Get Dressed and ready for the day
General pickup and tidy
Set out materials for the morning(journal and planner)
Weekly Tasks and Goals
Reflection and Intention
Meal plan and fridge reset
There you have it friend. Hopefully you have been able to see the benefits that come from creating simple routines that work for you, your family and your home during this time. And the good news is that this crisis will not last forever!
By putting the effort in now to build these simple routines, you are investing in the future.
When life gets back to “normal” and people are starting to feel pulled in many different directions once again. You will have the tools and the foundation to create sustainable flow and be empowered to pivot when necessary.
Remember that this too shall pass. Until it does, we might as well make the most of the gifts that this crisis has offered, like more family connection and time to re-evaluating the pace of our lives overall.