New Routine

Since my UC flare-up, I’ve had to pay much more attention to time. I am taking several medications per day- most are every 8 hours. As the 8 hour mark approaches, my body reminds me that it’s time. I’ve been waking between 4am and 5am every morning which is much earlier than I was waking before, so I have decided to take advantage of this extra time.

It’s really nice to have a couple hours of peacefulness in the morning. Everyone is asleep and it just feels so tranquil. It dawned on me that this is a perfect time to set a new morning routine! I’ve been reading the book, Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin which is about making and breaking habits. According to the book, one of the best times to create new habits is when you have a big life change such as a move, job change, etc. I’d say my current situation qualifies.

Every morning, I decided to have time for self care. As a busy wife and mother it can be easy to put ourselves on the back burner. Waking up early has given me the opportunity to indulge in things I couldn’t find the time for before. I moved my more involved skin care routine to the morning instead of the evening, I practice a gentle morning yoga for 10-15 min, and I write, (hoping to post on the blog more frequently). By 6am, I’m awake, refreshed and ready for my day. I spend the last hour taking care of the dogs, straightening up if needed, and just relaxing until I start my work day at 7am.

It can be difficult to get up earlier, especially if you are going to bed pretty late. Right now, the steroids are giving me insomnia, so I’m not sleeping as much, unfortunately. I think a major hurdle to overcome when it comes to getting enough rest is to know how much sleep your body needs. Everyone is different. I have discovered that I need 7 hours a night. From there, I can easily plan when I should be in bed based on when I want to wake up. I’m not saying it’s easy to go to bed on time- that might actually be the biggest hurdle to getting enough sleep. Once you decide on a bedtime and stick with it, everything starts to fall in place.

While I was creating a new morning routine, I figured might as well create and evening one too. I decided to include my daughter in the nighttime routine to give her more structure and hopefully a sense of calm before bed. Starting at 9pm, we read at least 10 pages of a book, then we practice a gentle stretch nighttime yoga routine for just 10 to 15 min. She’s a teen, so she’s resistant, but I know she will enjoy it after a little repetition. That’s her personality. She is resistant to trying new things, but once she does, she typically enjoys it. It’s a good opportunity to spend quality time together too. I want to add on a 5-10 min meditation after the yoga practice, but I want her to get accustomed to our current routine first. We used to meditate as a family every night, but got out of that routine after just a few nights of being busy with other things. It’s so easy to fall out of a routine when your day changes.

I hope this post will inspire someone to start a new habit. Most of us have something we wish we had time for in our daily lives. It takes effort, determination, and persistence to create and maintain a new habit. Does anyone have tips or ideas for creating and sticking to a new habit? I’d love to hear about it!