Chatting with a friend of mine recently and she was telling me about the rhythm that she and her family have found. Rhythm means a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound. I loved hearing it in that way. Rhythm sounds more fluid with flexibility whereas schedule can sound more rigid. So if it helps to refer to your routines as that, do so. But for clarity I will refer to routines. But know i am meaning similar things.
Two routines that I find to be crucial for anyone are morning and night time routines. I find when people reference this I think journaling or being in some meditative state. Not sure where that comes from but that's not what I'm about to tell you to do. Even though I do love journaling and recommend it. There is so much more to your morning and nighttime routines.
Examples of things that can be incorporated into your routines are reading a book to your children before they go to sleep. Or giving them a bath as a cue to start winding down. Maybe it's cleaning up the kitchen and making lunches for the next day. Or responding to messages and then shutting your phone off at a certain time. Or taking a warm shower or having a cup of tea. Something my parents always did that I want to incorporate with Peter. Now that we will have kids is most nights they would sit at the table while we played or watched a show. They would have coffee and chat about the day before bringing us to bed. I can remember knowing that was their time and not to disturb them. They didn't say “okay mom and dad are going to start their nighttime routine” but that's what it was.
Something to keep in mind is you want to incorporate things that serve you and your family best. Time to fill your cup or slow down is so important. With this conversation with a friend of mine that I had. She also talked about her mornings and how getting up before the kids is a game changer. Even if it's 20-30 minutes just to collect herself and set up for the day is so helpful.
Before implementing anything new consider “will this energize me in the morning” or “ will this wind me down and refresh me at night’. If not, maybe consider something else. I love hearing what other people do. We can tend to overcomplicate things or feel the need to switch things up. Also you can change these routines. They're supposed to help and serve you, not bind you. So you can try some for a time and then if it's not working for you, switch it up.
Since I'm pregnant I know some of these routines will change in a few months but for now these are what my routines look like. At night to wind down my routines are fairly simple. About an hour before bed I stop answering texts. I also do my last check of social media and client messages. But once I'm done I don't go back to answer new messages. I cannot say I'm perfect at this but that is my intention. I'm in two accountability groups. One for my business, one for my clients so I submit what I need too to them. I'll then make Peter's lunch for the next day if I haven't already. Then get a snack if I have macros to fill, dim the lights and grab my Kindle and read for a while. If Peter isn't working we would do this together. If we are out things change but I will typically end the night in the same routines but at a quicker pace. Also if i haven't taken my supplements yet i'll take them during this time. Then before I get into bed I brush my teeth, wash my face and pee 100 times. Peter and I always pray together before we go to sleep. Here is where I say three things I'm grateful for and pray for someone else. This has been my flow the past few months. I've been in bed fairly early since getting pregnant. But I'm not mad about it. Lol
My morning routine has stayed fairly similar for a few years now. But day to day the times change. A few mornings a week I have an early personal training client so I get up to train her and then start my morning routine. Otherwise I do my morning routine first thing. I get up for breakfast made by peter. He has done this for about 3 years now. Maybe 10 times it hasn't happened due to different reasons but it's the greatest thing. I wake up to my protein pancake made so I will eat that while reading my bible. I'll read about a chapter and then just sit in stillness for a few minutes reflecting on what I've read. Sometimes I'll journal, sometimes not. If there's something on my mind or a prayer in my heart I'll write that down so I remember. Then I'll read a self help book. Right now I'm reading babywise. So I'll read anywhere from 5-10 pages of that. I like to then sit in stillness again for a few minutes. Then I'll go check in with clients and respond to most social media messages. A Lot of times i'll just make sure i get back to clients. Then when I workout i'll walk on the treadmill for a few minutes beforehand to respond to the rest. So after responding to some messages i'll get my coffee (also made by peter, yes i am a very blessed and taken care of woman). Then I'll start on a work task that's about an hour. Then I work out. This is a typical day for me but it does depend on the day. I don't work or workout every morning but my routine up until coffee is typically the same. I have the same breakfast every day because I know it sets me up in a good way for the day macro numbers wise and for my workout. So it's one less thing to think about.
I would encourage meal prep, grocery shopping and planning out your week to be incorporated into your schedule. These don't have to be daily things. But to know when you're going to do these things during the week can be very helpful and freeing.
Before making any changes. Consider what will serve you best. In the morning you want to find something that energizes you and gets you ready for the day in the way you like. At night you want to find things that wind you down and serve you and your family best. Find your rhythm, not a rigid routine with zero flexibility. I hope this helps you create a routine and rhythm that brings a new peace to your day. Never hesitate to reach out to me if you need more brainstorming for a helpful morning or night time routine.