Routines are magic.
Tasked with making an endless slew of new, additional decisions daily, our overloaded minds thrive when they’re able to rely on pre-established rhythms and choices.
But when we aren’t present to our daily lives, when we’re just going through the motions, routines can turn into the stale traps a person dreams of escaping.
The way to avoid routine-burnout is to derive exceeding pleasure in the facets of your daily life. And the way to do that is to be very, very picky with every detail of it. To design your daily life.
If you’re just getting up, sloshing water and some cleanser or other on your face, chugging a smoothie, lacing up your crumby old shoes, showering, rushing to work, toiling away, coming home, heating up leftovers, staring at your phone, before going to bed to wake up and do it all over again, you’re getting it done. But getting it done and enjoying the doing are two different things.
Fall in love with your daily routine by filling it with your favorite things. Ensure that what you can control about it sufficiently serves and delights you.
Find the facial cleanser that you love to use. The one that smells or feels so good on your skin that you can, for that instant, enjoy the act of washing your face.
Compose an artful smoothie. Pack it full of your favorite flavors and nutrients. Savor it.
Give yourself the gift of an exercise method you love–or loathe the least–and then, when you’re done, soak up every ounce of those feelings of accomplishment.
Make your laundry room the happiest corner of your house.
And then–and this is key–stop rushing around and staring at your screen long enough to actually enjoy, and feel gratitude for, the nuances of your life.
Allow yourself the freedom to shift your routine as new curiosities and inclinations arise in you. When your deeper values are clarified, the small, daily choices you make to uphold them are easily tweaked. Usually, reviving a routine can be as Simple as re-ordering the clothes in your closet or putting a different fruit in your breakfast bowl.
Your day has to unfold, and as a human, you’re duty bound to attend to such things as hunger, hygiene, and (I would add) housekeeping. Might as well be selective about those rhythms. The choice to view the unfolding of the day and the attending to needs as an annoyance or as an art is just that–a choice.
Will there be days when, even after you’ve designed your life, you’re dashing around the house like a mad person, swearing at the Nespresso and stubbing your toe on the coffee table? Mama said there’d be.
But when all else fails and you’re at a loss for how to get excited about your routine, there’s always the old faithful acknowledgment: How lucky I am to live another day! Thank you.