I recently got back from a three week Christmas vacation with my family (And I had the loveliest time). After working hard all year, I was curious how my days would feel without routine.
(And a little scared too).
No 5 a.m. alarm clock. No gym. No commitments. Nowhere to be. No deadlines.
This three weeks were life on my terms. Time to spend quality time with family and friends, totally care-free.
Now I’m a creature of habit, I love knowing what my day looks like, what’s going to be done, and when, so these things felt a little scary to me.
But after countless times of people telling me to ‘live a little’, that ‘I miss out on the day’ when I turn my lights out at 9 p.m., that I ‘need to let me hair down more’, and that ‘it’s boring to have routine’, yadda yadda yadda…
…I thought I’d try it and live life with no set schedule for 3 whole weeks.
Cue day one – I already broke my ‘no routine’ rule.
I jumped out of bed at 5:30 a.m., grabbed my coffee, scrapped my hair back, and enjoyed my morning workout, then made my way back down to Essex to enjoy a pre-christmas with my Mum.
The first few days of my time off felt hard. I won’t lie. It felt mischievous and kinda wrong to be at ‘home home’ with my feet up on the sofa while the rest of the world were getting stuck into their everyday business.
I was fighting the temptation to sneak a peak at my emails.
I hated not waking up to get to the gym for when it opened.
Not cooking my lunch for the next day felt so wrong.
And laying around on the sofa? Oh no, don’t even get me started on how hard that felt.
The first week was really difficult. But the next two weeks go easier.
I won’t send you to sleep with the intricacies of my three-weeks ‘me time’. But what I will say is that I expected letting go of my routine to be revolutionary.
To show me I could be happy and content with no set hours, and rest as long as I want.
And as lovely as it was to give my self a break and slow the f-down, I felt lost.
There’s a lot of people out there who label routine as boring.
Even the internet worships that the only life worth posting about is the ‘freelance, entrepreneurial life’ where you can travel, and do what you want any time of day.
But it’s not. Not for me anyway.
This sense of feeling lost made me realise that actually, having routine makes me feel powerful!
So I decided to add some of it back in, and it made me enjoy my vacation fully, without this feeling of not ‘being myself’.
So I set my alarm for 6/6:30 each day.
I went down to my step-grandmother’s basement and did an hour of daily movement – whether that be breathing exercises, bodyweight movements, stretching…
I had my coffee before 8 a.m. and sat with a book.
I took my time with breakfast.
I stuck to eating the food that makes me feel my best.
I still slowed-down even adding my routine back in.
And the rest flowed and felt GREAT!
Routine is not the enemy.
Routine makes me get out of bed. Starts my day off right and ends it just as well.
It allows me to get stuff DONE.
It keeps my mental wellbeing in a good state.
It helps me be my best self.
It keeps me energised and on top of my game.
And it allows me to have the room to be the spontaneous girl I do like to un-leash and set my creative flame on fire.
It keeps my body moving and sleeping the right amount of hours so I don’t feel dead by 11 am.
Loving your routine doesn’t mean you’re boring or missing out on the day – It means you’re living a life that works for you and makes you feel great.
I’d even go as far to say that having routine means you’re being loving to yourself too.
I’m not saying my way’s the right way. But my way works for me.
So to those of you who laugh at my alarm clock settings and eagerness to get to the gym early doors – mind your own business cos’ I’m more than ok with that 😉
I’d love to hear about how routine works for you / or doesn’t serve you. Tell me in the comments below ❤
My ‘Jam’ At The Moment:
Ben Phipps – I Don’t Think So