Feeling, Living

Life Vest

February 29, 2016

These days, with the swirling of uncharted waters, I am leaning on my routines. 

Mornings are tarot cards and writing, eggs and vitamins, a big mug of tea. Exercise is important, though anything from a long walk with the dog to some climbing at the gym checks that box. Sometimes it’s just running a very slow 2 miles. 

Good music and short breaks help with all the work, as does brain-dumping all my ToDos or a quick phone call with a colleague. I try to focus on 3 major things per day, and if I make it through all of them, it’s especially successful. 

Evening brings another walk, a podcast, my coaching work. I’m glad I have practice coaching calls scheduled, even if I feel terrible right before we get on the phone. Getting into something I love helps move me along. H and I have a bad habit of eating out for dinner lately, and I am making a concerted effort to avoid chocolate before bed. 

I haven’t been sleeping well at all, but that’s probably to be expected. 

All of this is to say that my routines keep me a float. They allow me to put one foot in front, riding the waves, hour after hour to complete a day. They remind me that I am neither my thoughts nor my feelings, but something larger, like that whole “you are not the weather, you are the sky” Pema Chodrond quote. 

I remind myself to drink enough water. I text with a friend. I send a card out to my grandmother. I cuddle the dog. 

While I am focused on cultivating joy this year, some days it’s just enough to keep my head above the waves, my routines the life vest. 

What keeps you afloat or grounded when things get especially tough? I’d love to hear. xo

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  • Reply Rita March 1, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Hmmm…great question. As I was reading, I was thinking about how I let my routines go when things get the way they’ve been the past month. (Away 3 out of 4 weekends is *not* good for me!) Sunday I made myself meal plan for the week, and yesterday I made myself go grocery shopping and cook a real dinner. (Reasons why that’s fallen away have everything to do with changes in our family, both current and impending. And not practical considerations, but symbolic ones.) It felt really good to do that again. Your post is helping me understand why. I think we tend to let go of our healthy routines under stress and justify it as giving ourselves a break, but in truth that just makes the stress worse. Dang it. I love a good reason to indulge in eating chocolate and not exercising. 🙂

    • Reply jtao21 March 4, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      OH – so, so true. Also, I always find myself running laundry, vacuuming and cooking tons of food when I’ve been traveling / away from home working too much. Those routine tasks become such grounding actions for re-entry. I’m just headed into some crazy traveling time… hopefully I remember my own advice!

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