Some people wake up, jump out of bed, DON`T drink coffee, and they really are just ready to go. (What?! I know.)
Others, like me, move at a much slower pace. I don`t jump out of bed in the morning anymore, though before I had my children, I did.
While trying different medications, I could see that my body needed that slow-down time in the morning. I needed to allow my body that time to wake up.
If I rush waking up, and getting going, it feels as if my body is going to crash really quickly. Almost as if it is turning off. My body tenses up, and movements become hard to make, until they become achy and painful. Then my mind is foggy, and it`s hard to concentrate. Doing this for a little while, I realised this was just not working for me. I had to change the way I was existing during the morning.
A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found that people who favor an active daytime routine over a nighttime one have healthier sleeping cycles. These, consequently, are associated with better mental health and minimize the risk of developing emotional difficulties. Those with an interrupted sleep cycle, on the contrary, have a higher predisposition to manifest mental health difficulties. – Psychology Today
This quote is taken directly from Psychology Today.
It`s interesting how routine can affect our mental health. While some may thrive on spontaneous situations, and are more go-with-the-flow kind of people, others need structure and less need to anticipate.
Routine is comforting for me. I always know what is coming next, and even what I need to do next. I am able to exist without thinking too hard.
I find it so hard to cope through my anxiety when I go against my routines.
I am not a spontaneous person, nor do I enjoy surprises. My anxiety will get the best of me and it breaks down my body piece by piece. It feels rather unfair, because there are so many times in life when surprises seem appropriate, but I just can`t handle it.
When things come up that I hadn`t planned for, it really throws me off.
Enter: anxiety attacks, and round the clock anxiety. This can be caused by anything. Anything that I hadn`t planned for. I know it sounds silly, because there are so many things that we can`t plan for of course, but really this is how it is for me.
When I am put on the spot of spontaneous decision making, I tend to freeze.
Anxiety comes knocking, and it`s like I forget everything I had ever known, and my mind is simply blank. And, even if I TRY so hard to make a decision, it becomes even more frustrating because I simply can`t.
This can be triggered by even just the slightest things, such as, `Mom, whats for breakfast` or `Mom did you wash my Taekwondo stuff?`
I stand there, frozen, unable to move my body, or understand my mind. I forget everything. Well, I don`t think I forget, but, anxiety just takes it. I don`t function well with the unexpected. Or, I simply don`t really function at all.
I wish I could. It would make parenting a lot easier.
There is always the unexpected going on with my kids. Every time I think I`m on the ball and ready for them, it turns out I`m not.
So, I must follow a routine as best as I can. It helps to ensure the best outcome for each of my days.
My routine can shift slightly each day, but I find that it doesn`t. My routine is also not about time, but rather order of events.
What my routine looks like:
When I wake up, I take a few minutes to notice how I`m feeling, my mind and my body. Then I go wash my face and brush my teeth. I make my way downstairs for coffee, and I simply can`t have a conversation before coffee. I like quiet when I have that first coffee, so I try my best to wake up a bit before the kids so I can have that.
After my coffee, I usually pack lunches and get breakfast ready. By this point it is usually somewhere around 7am, and I head upstairs to get my kids up. Once they are up, I come back down to finish my coffee, and then I do my daughters hair, and make sure my sons shirt is buttoned right, all that kind of stuff.
After the leave on the school bus I try to do some kind of work out. Sometimes it`s simply Yoga, other times I practise my Taekwondo.
This is how my mornings go, pretty much, every day. Some may find it boring to have it the same every day, but I find it so comforting that I always know what`s coming next. I never need to anticipate things.
I sometimes sleep in, and scramble to get the kids out the door, which usually ends up being a bad mental health day for me. I try really hard to stick to this.