My counselor always talks to me about the things I can control. That is the foundation of trauma healing. I am building my own confidence and discovering my own self-worth through the things that I can control in my life. It is through that confidence that I am able to manage the moments that I can’t.
One of the things that helps me regain and/or maintain that sense of control in my life are routines. Something I am responsible for, that I can count on for normalcy.
I have quite a few routines: bed-time, cleaning, laundry, child, work, how I eat a caramel milky way – but never really gave them much thought until this morning, when I slowed down for a minute.
Up on the Right Side of the Bed
If I don’t start my day off right, it can suck a lot of energy out me as I try to stay on course. I imagine that is similar for most people, not just me riddled with PTSD and anxiety. But I do feel like it may be a bit harder for me that someone without my history.
This morning I was the first in my family to get up. I am almost always the first to get up (occasionally my photographer hubby beats me to a sunrise). It could be the anxiety I was talking about that always wakes me up like I do, or it could be an internal clock – who knows. Regardless I prefer the alone time in the morning, both for my routine and for my own space of peace and quiet.
This morning as I moved through the different steps of my morning routine with more awareness than usual of the repetitive process each day, I thought I’d share.
My Early Morning Routine
Every morning in much the same order I wander through the following steps before the whole family wakes up and the day really gets going:
- Wake between 5am-6am
- Bathroom (after a certain age, if it doesn’t wake you up at night, it’s your first morning stop, or both – lol)
- Roll around on the living room floor with the cats to say good morning
- Walk through the living room and kitchen opening curtains/windows, I call it waking up the house
- Start the coffee
- Refill the cat’s water with ease
- Try not to trip after opening the can of cat food, as I feed three cats circling my legs
- Prep an orange for the Orioles, make hummingbird food if necessary
- Go outside and put the new oranges out, refill bird feeders (we feed the birds year round)
- Water the plants (seasonal)
- Come back in and get a cup of coffee with my vitamins (very important!)
- Walk down to my office to turn everything on and get to work.
- Occasionally, I’ll throw 30 minutes or so of game play in here on my tablet depending on how early I wake.
This morning I sat out on the porch for a few minutes before coming in for my coffee to watch the birds. A woodpecker kept flying up to the feeders when I was filling them letting me know to get a move on so I figured I’d hang out to see him. He didn’t disappoint.
Routines are Important
I understand how important routines are for me the most on the days when something throws it completely out of whack. For example when we travel I always find myself searching for a new temporary routine where ever we are.
For some it is an organizational thing to keep order and time management of their day.
For me, a routine is about taking control and responsibility for the things that I can in my life and living each moment with intention and awareness.
What kind of routine do you have? Tell me about your routines and why they are important to you.
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For me, routine can decrease the amount of mental energy required for basic tasks, so I have more thinking power left over for other things.
Yes, that’s true too! Routines definitely make it easier to get through the basic stuff while saving energy.