Hi team, how has your second day of #25daysofselfcare been? My self care today has included a healthy green smoothie, a sunshiney lunchtime walk and office cake. I have loved hearing about all of your self care activities, from new books to haircuts and frosty runs to delicious cake. Today I have been thinking a lot about routine; about building self care into your routine and how to cope when your routine goes awry. So that’s what I’d like to share with you this evening.
I like routine. I always have. Some of my happiest memories of my childhood are of summer camp where our days we’re planned down into hour slots and the only thing I had to decide what whether I wanted to do abseiling or pony trekking and what I wanted from the tuck shop. I still find that a fairly strict routine helps me to cope. Working a 9 to 5 job is very good for my mental health and I actually find the unstructured time of weekends quite stressful and difficult to navigate.
It will probably come as no surprise that I take quite a structured approach to my self care as well. I like to plan bits of self care in advance and know where it fits into my week. Most of you know what an integral role yoga plays in my self care routine and it really helps me to know that every Monday and Tuesday I can count on being in class. Unfortunately, as of yesterday, the time of the Tuesday class has changed and I can’t go anymore. I just can’t make it in time. When I realised this last night I was beyond pissed off about it, to the extent that I came home in tears to my husband sniffling “but I NEED that class! What am I doing to do now?” You might think this is somewhat of an over-reaction, and you’d be right. Of course there are other things that I can do. I can find another class, I can run, I can practice at home. As I kept the idea of routine in the forefront of my mind today, I realised that my overblown reaction has less to do with missing one yoga class a week and more to do with the disruption that Christmas causes to my routine and the impending 2 weeks of unstructured time off work. My reaction to losing one of the things I rely on to keep me going was really the anticipation of losing all of them over the worst time of year for me.
Christmas is a time of flux when our carefully controlled lives are easily thrown out of balance. We have to skip classes and runs for work dos and nights out. We are stretched in every direction with little time to relax at home or to look after ourselves. The weather disrupts our travel plans. There is an unsettling air of giddiness in the air and many of the things that we rely on as pillars of our self care routine shut up shop for the holidays. Added to that is the problematic time off when trains don’t run, everything is busy, everything costs money to do, the weather isn’t great, there are children everywhere and there is no real imperative to do anything. For me, this is an absolute nightmare and it scares me silly.
So tonight I am going to my yoga mat to try and find balance and clarity in the midst of the festive madness. I’m going to try and make plans to build some structure and some self care into the dreaded time off and I’m going to start saying no to things that I know are spreading me too thin. I’d love to hear some of your tips for maintaining a self care routine when all about you are eating Roses and watching Jumanji.
As always, all my love!