I know that a lot of people think creating a routine is something only very boring, non-creative people would do, but I disagree! Creating and tweaking your own routine can free up energy for the rest of your life. The fact is that laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning and errands, etc. are a part of life, and they are not going away. It’s best to be proactive with these recurring parts of life. Creating and following these routines will help decrease stress and lower anxiety.
One very important routine is getting ready for the next day. After dinner, start thinking about the next day. Do you need to take something to work? Do your children need you to sign anything and put it back in their backpacks? If so, put what you will need the next day by the front door or at your “launch pad”. With this in place, you don’t have to run around trying to take care of that the next morning when you are already in a hurry.
What will you wear tomorrow? Go ahead and lay out your clothes, including underwear and shoes, so everything is ready, and you won’t have to think about it in the morning. Same goes for your children. Empty your dishwasher so you don’t have to worry with it in the morning. If you eat at the table, set the table for breakfast. Leave your kitchen clean and ready to go the next morning. Do anything that you can the night before to make the morning go smoother. You might consider taking your bath or shower the night before to make getting ready a bit easier in the morning.
Do you need a checklist to help you remember what to do? Make one and put it where it will be easy for you to see. You could even use post-it notes and put them on your bathroom mirror. Put tasks on one side of the mirror, and when you have completed them, move them to the other side of the mirror.
And last but not least, go to bed in time to get your 8 hours of sleep.
This is only a sample routine. Remember, YOU are in charge of your own routine. Don’t be afraid that your life will become too rigid if you put a routine in place. It will actually have the opposite effect. You won’t have to struggle with various aspects of life as much, freeing you to enjoy life more and to have more energy for the rest of your life.
When you need to change your routine, you can. When you follow a nighttime routine, you are much less likely to have a morning meltdown. This is especially true for children. Better mornings make for better days. It’s a simple thing, and you can start tonight!