12 Dec

Using Routines to Add Structure to Your Life

morning routine; bedtime routine; structured routines; how to use a routine to create structure; the nectar shack

One of my favorite habits that I have are my routines! The thing I love the most about routines is that they create structure and stability in this crazy thing called life. I have many different routines throughout my day but the most important two are my morning routine and my bedtime routine. I find that the way I start and end my days has a huge influence over how the rest of my day will go. I try to make sure I have beneficial activities in my routines that make me feel energized, positive, and motivated.

My morning routine:

The most important part of a morning routine is the time you decide to wake up. If you wake up at the same time every day, you will have more energy and get better sleep. For these reasons, I choose to wake up at 6am every day. After I wake up, I meditate and read in front of my blue light. My blue light, also considered a happy light, is a UV light that is designed for you to use within the first hour that you wake up. The UV rays act like the sun and help you wake up naturally but it also releases serotonin which can raise your energy levels and help with seasonal depression. I try to keep my light on for 20-30 minutes each morning. Typically, I will do a 12-15 minute meditation and then read for another 15 minutes. After I read, I take my shower, get ready for my day, and take my vitamins. I also try to eat a light, easy to digest breakfast such as a shake or oatmeal.

My morning routine has changed over time and that is okay. Routines can be changed as long as you still have a routine. I love knowing exactly how my mornings will go each day. Having that solid foundation creates a great start to my day and I have found that my energy levels are raised all day long. My routine is especially important for me during the winter months when I find my energy levels are depleted and I could stay in bed all day if I let myself.

My bedtime routine:

My bedtime routine is also extremely important to me. I like to fill the hour before I go to sleep with relaxing activities that slow down my body and my mind. This helps me fall asleep so much easier when I finally decide to lay down. Similar to the morning routine, it is very beneficial to go to sleep at the same time every night. This type of schedule lets your body know exactly when it should start the recovering process each day. I choose to go to sleep at 10pm. I also make sure to stop using all my devices for one hour before I go to sleep. This helps with the damaging blue light that can interfere with your sleep and it also allows me to detach myself from the outside problems.

The first thing I like to do during my bedtime routine is to journal. I find that putting everything that I am thinking about down in my notebook allows me to process my emotions and start to calm my racing mind. After journaling, I like to do some stretches before I go to bed. I stretch for about 5-10 minutes and just do simple things to relax my muscles and de-stress from my day. Then I like to read again for about 15-30 minutes. By this time, I am usually calm and relaxed and can fall right asleep once I lay down in my bed.

By implementing morning and bedtime routines, I found that I fall asleep and wake up easier, I get better sleep, and I have more energy throughout my days. My body thrives on routines and even though some mornings I wake up and the last thing I want to do is get out of bed, I know how beneficial it is to keep my structure.

If you are someone who wants to start a new morning or bedtime routine, I would suggest starting to implement one habit at a time. If you want to eventually stretch, read, and journal each night, then start with just stretching for a few days and then add on reading. This makes it easier to eventually create a whole routine rather than not being able to commit to a full hour. And the best part is, you can have whatever you want in your own routine! Find what will give you energy throughout the day or relax you at night and then implement it to your daily routines!

What are some routines you have and how do they benefit you?

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