Thursday, 18 December 2014

Rhythm versus routine

I was reading something yesterday and I had what can only be described as a 'lightbulb moment'. I have always considered it important to have a routine. I generally get up at the same time, shower, get ready for the day, let the chickens out and clean out the coop, feed the cats, have some breakfast, write my list do tasks for the day ..... I have an order and a process to every day. BUT, and this is a big BUT, this system can so easily lead to guilt and ensuing panic if I fall behind on my routine or miss out a task. This was particularly pertinent before, when I was always rushing to try and get everything completed and hating myself for failing multiple times a week to achieve my 'To Do' list! Madness!

The lightbulb moment is to completely rethink the very word 'routine'. What if I changed my thinking and called it 'rhythm'? This is a much more natural process, following times of day, mood, seasons, led by you..... It made perfect sense. When I thought about it, I was already tweaking my routine according to certain factors. I rise much earlier in the summer months to make the most of that delicate early morning sunshine, but in the winter, although I am awake, I love to spend an extra half an hour in my cosy bed, thinking about the day ahead before getting up. My energy levels and concentration are greater in the morning so I tend to do most of my work before midday, I then read, research craft projects, meditate and write in the afternoon when I need a gentler, slower style of task. If you view your days as rhythmic rather than routine orientated, you will naturally move at a pace that suits you. If your body tells you that your day's work is complete in the morning, then trust that and do something pleasurable and calming in the afternoon, knitting, sewing, reading, embroidery, a gentle walk taking in everything around you......

Rhythm allows for a more flexible, person centred approach to your own life. A routine implies structure, limitations and expectations, which can lead to disappointment, a sense of inadequacy and stress. Of course however simple your life may be, we all have jobs to get done, a home to be cleaned and organised, food to be prepared, paperwork to complete and many more daily tasks to do. These will still need to be done, but don't set yourself such a rigid order of accomplishment of jobs. Give yourself a break and re title 'daily routine' to 'daily rhythm of work'! Let your natural rhythm lead the way and be kind to yourself.

Don't forget, we none of us need to be perfect. Good enough should be your motto!

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