What do you do you when you are losing your routine or daily rhythm? You’ve failed at some of your habits and keeping on schedule, and now you don’t feel like getting up, exercising, or really trying to follow your daily schedule at all. You feel like it’s just not working for you anymore.
Having some days here and there when you just want to take a break from your regular routine is normal. We all have those times when life is busier than usual and we get tired and run down and just need a break. But, what happens when you start feeling that way on a more frequent basis, and it starts to spiral out of control, first infecting one area of life, then another and another until your regular rhythm feels like it is completely lost?
When I start seeing multiple areas of my daily schedule or rhythm start to fail, I take a step back, and look further at what is going on in my life, what has recently changed. I can usually find the culprit by looking at just a few aspects of life.
I tend to lose my daily rhythm and routine when I am suffering from-
-Lack of sleep
We all need an adequate amount of rest and sleep to keep ourselves energized enough to fulfill the rest of our commitments and to really enjoy life to the fullest on a daily basis. However, sleep is usually the first thing I sacrifice when I am trying to do too much. Evaluate whether or not you are getting enough rest, and make adjustments.
-Lack of ‘me’ time
Because of my quiet, self-reflective nature, I need to be alone on a regular basis. If you have an introverted nature, you probably need the same thing. Taking some time for yourself allows you to recharge and come back with more to offer those around you. Even if you are not an introvert, taking some time to reflect on your life on a regular basis is a healthy thing to do.
-Lack of healthy food
Most of us are aware that the fuel we put into our bodies will greatly affect the output and quality of life we get out. Eating healthy meals is another area that is often sacrificed when we are too busy rushing day to day, too tired in the morning to make a good breakfast, or burned out by dinnertime and just end up grabbing something to go. Whether you prepare meals on the weekends for the weeknights and mornings, or enlist the help of others in your home to help cook each day, healthy meals are crucial to the success of keeping your daily rhythm intact.
-Lack of exercise
Exercising regularly provides increased serotonin levels, which keep us upbeat and much more likely to feel positive and desire to keep to our schedule and rhythms. Finding the time to exercise regularly can be tricky at times, but it is worth the effort as the benefits are unmatched. If you don’t have time for a full workout each day, alternate between working out and an after dinner walk on other days.
-Lack of time with loved ones
Just as having time alone is something we all need, healthy relationships with those we love is also just as important. When other areas of life get in the way, and time spent with your spouse, children, other family members and friends suffer, relationships can strain, and life in general gets out of balance. Keeping relationships balanced should be a priority.
Getting Your Rhythm & Routine Back
If you’re like me, and you fail at one aspect of your daily schedule, it makes it a lot less likely that you will continue with your schedule the rest of the day. You’ll see the whole day as a failure and just decide you’ll start over tomorrow. However, this type of thinking is perfectionist in nature, and not a healthy way to look at handling failure. If one part of your daily rhythm is off, you should pick up where you can and get back into the flow.
If I sleep in and miss my opportunity for exercise in the morning, there are times when I will be tempted to also skip my morning cleaning routine. If I do, it snowballs and I find I most likely won’t take the dogs for their morning walk either. Something as simple as getting up a few minutes late will have a ripple effect on how patient I am with my children because I have to rush them to get to school on time, which can end up with harsh words and a strained morning.
This can continue throughout the day until it feels like the day has happened to me, instead of me living it. Add on to that a few bad days in a row, and pretty soon it feels like I’ve completely lost my rhythm.
As mentioned, one day here and there is a normal occurrence for anyone when it comes to getting off your daily routine a bit, but if it starts happening frequently, it’s probably time to do some self-evaluation.
Evaluate why you are veering from your regular routine, starting with a couple of questions-
-Does my rhythm or routine need to change to support the important goals and people in my life right now?
People change, lives change and with that will come changes in goals, habits and what is important. Maybe you started a new job, got married, your child just started school or any number of other reasons that will make it necessary to evaluate your current daily rhythm and routine. This is a part of life.
Routines and rhythms should change as we change to accommodate and support us in living our lives according to what is most important and significant at the time.
-Am I getting off schedule because of poor choices that I am making?
Perhaps your daily routine is suffering because you’ve been staying up later to watch a new TV show or skipping a healthy dinner to get in an extra hour of work. Evaluate your daily activities and notice where your time is being spent, has it changed lately, and if it has, could this be the reason why your daily rhythm is out of sync?
Once you’ve determined the reason for straying from your daily routine, make the decision to get back on track. Evaluate whether it’s the routine that needs to change, or if you need to revisit kicking some bad habits or poor choices that may be creeping into your life and keeping you from functioning at your best.
Don’t get discouraged about the occasional day off from your daily routine, but if you find yourself experiencing an extended vacation, take some time to evaluate and embrace changes you need to make to get yourself back on track and back to a more balanced, fulfilling daily rhythm.
Photo Courtesy of: Laura Fox at In the Loupe Photography