Mindfulness Check-In 2/9/14: Routines

Well, another Monday snowed in! This snow just won’t quit, and yet another Monday missed of classes and other things to be busy about. Actually, I’m still really busy, just not the “in your face, running around busy” and more like the “I’m thinking of the 80 things I need to do today regardless of the snow day”.

So I realized that this past week I did not write a single post on my blog dedicated to planning. I usually try to write at least 1-2 planning resource posts a week, but this past week that didn’t happen. This entire week seemed to have just been a whirlwind of going from place to place, jumping from one thing to the next. Honestly with all of these snow days and then traveling through the snow to places, I’ve actually lost more time than I think I’ve gained. And it’s thrown me off my rhythm. I know that last week’s Mindfulness post celebrated the time that we have to slow down, which I still think is valuable. My posts are not meant to lead you on, and definitely not meant to be just flaky pieces of fake advice. Taking time to watch the snow fall and sip your tea is super important (or whatever it is that you do when you practice mindfulness). But this post is no about hating on snow days, it’s about getting off of your routine.

For me, I thrive with routines. Yes it’s nice every once in a while to have a day “to do nothing”, but even then I usually find that hard to not fill up with at least a few things. I’ve got everything in my Google calendar that requires me to be somewhere, including when I’m having breakfast, leaving my house, and working out. It helps me stay accountable, and also not feel like I’m spinning in a bunch of directions and not getting anything done.

Like this! Courtesy of http://realdreamcatchers.com/

And so I need routines for most things in my life so that I don’t feel like the person above! With all of these snow days, it’s really taken a toll on my ability to stick with my routines that I’ve developed. It’s not like a snow day happens and I think to myself “Now I don’t have to eat healthy!” or “Now I don’t have to write that post!” No, but it definitely becomes more intriguing to take things slower than usual and that can mess with a routine that functions on timing and planning in blocks of scheduled work. Add on commuting in snowy conditions and that makes for a more of a mess when you get home and try to do all the things that on a regular day would fit in just fine. This sounds more like a rant so I’m gonna stop there. The point though is that I had a moment of realization today when thinking why I hadn’t written a post, why I hadn’t practiced my yoga as much, and why I may still be getting so many headaches.  I was off of my routine!

Part of being mindful means doing what feels good for us, recognizing when to stop if something does not feel good with us, and it’s also a practice- which means that even after a month of routine, you can still fall off the bandwagon. When I stopped today to notice all of the 80 or so things running through my mind, I thought about how it was making me feel. Then it led me down the dimly lit path towards what really was causing that moment of swirling anxiety; I was completely off balance from not following my usual schedules and practices. Despite all of the other things I know I need to be doing, at this moment in time I’m choosing to write this post, and that feels GREAT! I’ve been waiting all week to write more, and only now have finally just given myself time to acknowledge my anxiety and get back to what I need- my balanced routine. From Google definitions:

bal·ance
noun
  1. an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

My weights are my commitments and things I am accountable to, and if those are not in an even distribution, I am not upright and steady. If something is taking longer than usual or more of me than I typically expect, I notice and it’s mostly uncomfortable. This is because it’s out of what we’re used to. It’s not bad, though it may make us have a negative feeling or reaction. But remember, it’s often when we’re most uncomfortable that we also experience the most growth! This leads back to the point of my blog, Productive Discomfort. You’ve sometimes just gotta experience what you don’t like, or maybe are scared of, so that you can reflect later and notice your growth and ability to come out of the experience with dignity. So even though this last week I did not write as much as I would have liked, and I felt a bit “off”, I came out of this experience with reflections, insight and a deeper commitment to my practice of mindfulness and routines. Happy Monday!

PS, I challenged myself to write this post without going onto any other website to distract myself (other than Google for the definition and picture for my post). This was uncomfortable since I’m used to stopping at other sites along through my work, but I made it through and published a post I feel happy about. YAY productivity!

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One thought on “Mindfulness Check-In 2/9/14: Routines

  1. Its amazing what a little discomfort can do and the inspiration that follows afterward. Thanks for sharing your thought. Lord knows I needed to hear someone else going through the same ole hoop of fire.

    Liked by 1 person

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