Well-being

Routine

Those who have met me IRL know that not only am I likely to trip over myself at any given moment, but I am also a walking contradiction. I want to live in a hot country, but hate hot weather. I’d very much like to learn to cook but have the patience of a small child so turn everything up high and burn it. In theory, I detest routine…In life, I thrive on it. Over the years I have learned that it is a required element for my general well-being or else things tend to go awry pretty swiftly.

Coffee in my panda mug is a welcome pause at the start of the day

While I don’t want life to be boring, doing the same things day in, day out, there’s something to be said for the little things that remain steadfast in our lives. There are moments during a day which anchor you. For me, morning coffee is non-negotiable and not simply because I require a caffeine fix for my brain to function! I relish the process of brewing the coffee, pouring the milk into one of my collection of interesting cups, and sitting for 5 or 10 minutes with a fresh brew.

I once read that a wonderful way to add a little mindfulness to the working day is to own a bowl specifically for eating lunch (or dinner…or elevenses). The practice, I think, stems from the Zen monastic tradition of keeping one bowl; eating from it and then washing it. The act is about finishing the task at hand before moving on to another, a lesson I guess most of us could do with learning.

Rigid routines, while they work for some and maybe for you, have never quite made the cut with me, causing more stress than anything else when I forget to do something or I don’t just don’t feel like it. I used to write out routines by the minute, but I found it just sets you up for disappointment when life happens.

So, I do small things, little anchors of time through the day or week; morning coffee, yoga, I end the day with a good book

In all honesty, it could be better though. Shift work and the nature of my job means I often skip lunch or dinner or both and sometimes sleep is more appealing than having breakfast!

There’s lots more work to do. Perhaps a monastic bowl isn’t a bad idea?

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