It seems like the term ‘self-care’ has really been buzzing now-a-days. I always knew taking care of myself was important, of course, but I never really saw the point behind such extravagant self-care routines. All throughout high school and college, I made sure to give myself the time when needed, but there was never a set routine I would follow for more than a week. Every morning looked different, each night was different. I constantly felt tired and drained and never felt a sense of stability. Now in my mid 20’s, I totally get it. I completely understand the rave behind routines now, and I even have them for myself. It took time for me to understand the importance of it and now that I do, trust me, I’m never going back.
Why routines are crucial
If you’re wondering why it even matters to have routines, trust me I get it– I didn't either. I honestly didn’t understand the importance until I had one for myself. Once I got my perfect morning routine down, I quickly realized the positive changes it had on myself. I felt more motivated, excited, and stable–and less stressed, anxious, and tired. Routines give you a sense of stability and it is one of the best forms of self love. Fort Behavioral Health tells us that routines,”help us to create positive daily habits that promote self-care. We can organize our time around things that we deem important to maintain happiness and feelings of fulfillment.” Makes sense, right? For me specifically, I get so excited for my morning and night routines. It’s a few moments of just me-time and I know it’s something I can look forward to after a hard day. I make sure that my night routine is full of relaxing things, as my morning routine is more steered towards motivating myself for the day ahead. And honestly, when I skip my routine I feel the repercussions of it. I feel a little off throughout my day and that I didn’t start my day off on the right foot. But with that being said, I don’t punish myself for taking a break for a day or two. If I don’t feel the greatest and want to lay in bed all morning while watching my favorite show with a bag of chips in hand, you bed I'm going to do just that. Balance is key here, people.
It takes time to create a routine you enjoy
I remember when I first tried to make a productive morning routine for myself (hint: it was a rough start). I felt like I wasted most of my mornings and that I wasn't starting the day with much me-time, so I decided it was time to implement some sort of routine. I didn’t really know where to start so I just watched countless YouTube videos to try to mirror others’ routines. Morning runs, reading, extravagant breakfast recipes, the whole nine yards. I kept with it for about three days, and I would literally dread it each morning. I remember thinking morning routines just weren’t for me and that I was quite literally the laziest person on Earth. I started feeling a bit hopeless and I cut that routine for good. I started sleeping in again, having no motivation to start my day, and I was honestly a mess. But then I tried to create a routine that I would actually enjoy and fill it with things I actually wanted to do. I started off by setting an alarm at the same time every day, and I made sure to give myself some wiggle room. If I woke up at 9:07 instead of 9, I wasn’t going to kick myself for that (which is what I was doing with the first routine). I then filled it with my morning skincare, coffee on the balcony, a little journaling, and that was basically it. It was simple, but it was just for me and I can honestly say I look forward to my little routine each night. I realized that the whole rave around routines was because they should be filled with all of your favorite things, it should be something that makes you happy. Once you start to realize this, the process gets much, much easier.
Implementing it and keeping to it
After I was happy with my routine, I kept at it for a while–I still do. However, there were definitely those days where I could care less about my morning face serum and putting a pen to the paper attached to my journal. I couldn’t even be bothered to get up and I was definitely not going outside. And this may sound crazy to some people, but that is okay!!! You and everyone else is allowed to have off-days and days where you don’t want to do your normal daily things. Honestly, it’s normal to not feel 100% motivated day in and day out. Make sure to not give yourself too much stress over it, because when you do, that is when you start resenting it. If you want the secret to keeping to a routine, it is to give yourself those days to recharge and to treat yourself for staying in bed way longer than you should have. Because guess what? Who cares! No one is going to yell at you for not going on that morning run, so don't do it. The whole point to routines is for yourself, and yourself only. Let that sink in for a second. When I first started this whole routine journey I remember I would post about and make Instagram stories of my blueberry pancakes. Now, there is no problem with showcasing the things you do, but when you notice yourself doing it solely for the reaction of others–that is where the problem is. So, if the routine is just for yourself, then you aren’t disappointing anyone by taking a day off. And before you say you’re disappointing yourself, trust me when I tell you that you're not–you’re doing the opposite. You’re showing yourself a form of love when you decide to give yourself a break, so don’t trip, chocolate chip.
I hope this gave you a little insight when it comes to routines and showed you that no routine is linear. If your routine is to simply just wake up, brush your teeth, a cup of coffee, and watch TV–then that's your routine. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for it, it’s honestly none of their business how you chose to spend your time. So, if you have been wanting to make a routine for yourself, start today! Start small and be sure to fill it with things that will fuel you, not drain you.
Well, BRB! It’s time for my night routine! Good luck!