Routines make a difference

I woke up this morning all off kilter.   Tired from staying up too late binge watching a show I got into over the holiday break.  I awoke the twins for their first day back to in person learning since being at home eLearning.  I immediately knew I had dropped the ball for all of us.   The twins were all out of sorts.  They had had a tough time settling in last night.  It was all my fault. Why?  Because I had not gotten them back into their routine schedule a few nights before.

I know how important a routine is and yet I dropped the ball on all of us, and we were all feeling the effects.   I usually don’t let them get too far off their normal routine schedule for just this reason.  It is now 9 am and I have already jumped down 2 people’s throats and broken my vow to not post any knee jerk reactions on social media!  Thank God for the delete button.

You may be saying to yourself, why do you think it is getting out of routine that has caused such a crappy morning and how is that what is effecting you?

Humans are creatures of habit, naturally hard-wired to crave stability and dependability. Routines promote this stability, and also support over-all health by reducing stress in our daily lives.

People who don’t have a routine can suffer from

Stress

Poor sleep

Poor eating choices

Poor physical condition

Ineffective use of time

Though it IS important to break your routine from time to time, in order to give yourself a sort of reality check and get you back into your feelings.  The best time to break your routine is on vacation or on a day off from responsibilities.   Not the day before going back to work or school where you need to be invested in paying attention and concentration.

But why?  Humans have a natural ebb and flow of energy through their bodies that help them stay mentally, and physically engaged yet relaxed. A routine only helps us to reduce interruptions and distractions that erupt this natural flow.  When we disrupt this energy and don’t allow time to re-establish our routines before engaging back into the daily tasks and chores, the natural ability to handle even basic needs can feel like daggers to your overall being.  Creating tight shoulders, nervous and hyped up angry feelings, and an overall crappy/snippy attitude.

This also explains why it is all that more imperative to keep kids on a good solid routine.

Children have a much deeper reaction to emotions and feelings because their ability to balance out and regulate has not yet matured, effecting them significantly more.   So, if I feel like biting someone’s head off today, then think how my 12 year old boys must feel.

Okay, now you are at the point of agitated, upheaval, how do you pull yourself back down to a more calm and relaxed state?  There are a few things you can do to bring yourself back to a good energy flow.

Exercise – Your body releases dopamine and endorphins in your brain which make you feel happy, and at the same time, release the chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious.

Meditate/Pray – When you meditate and pray you are conscious of your breathing, sight, smell, sound, taste, which can help calm the brains over active stress chemicals, you consciously re-engage your thoughts to a positive state and a focus on a higher power of support.  Allowing your negative energy to be given over to your faith and positive beliefs.

Journal – By writing out your feelings you can address your energies and work through them allowing them to dissipate into your writing.  It has been found that we engage and absorb more positively by journaling with pen/pencil and paper rather than typing on a computer.

Change your environment – if you have time or the ability, read, take a shower or get some fresh air outside by walking, working in the yard or sitting with a cup of coffee in the sun shine.

Practice a rhythmic activity – I am sure you have heard of fidget spinners or drumming on a table top.  These are just a sample of ways you can perform a rhythmic activity to readjust your focus and relieve stress.

Immerse yourself in a creative activity – Doing something creative that you enjoy like cooking, baking, art or photography can take you away from the stress at hand.

Express your feelings – JUST NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.  There is no better way to increase your stress and the stress levels of all who read your posts on social media.  Instead, call a friend or companion, someone who will listen and understand and not judge you while you release your anxiety.

I have no doubt my twins will have a pretty hard day back for their first day of back in person schooling.  I am so so sorry to the teachers!   But when they get home, I will have a plan for some mental rest and re-establishing all ready for them and tonight we get back no to routine starting with homework, then dinner, chores and finally a good bedtime!

Routines make a difference!

 

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