FINDING MAGIC AND PURPOSE IN DAILY ROUTINE
Hello. I hope you are well and getting by during these days and weeks.
The sunshine and blue skies surely help.
It’s likely that you’re feeling a little different today than you did yesterday, and perhaps entirely different to how you felt last week. Such is the nature of our minds, bodies, thoughts and feelings. Added with the sudden shift of many of life’s certainties and routines, we have a lot to process right now as we grapple for connection and purpose.
One day it might feel like you’re thriving, the next day barely surviving, unable to see the bottom from the top, nevermind be sure what day of the week it is. And each of us will be experiencing that shift in the daily rhythm of life slightly differently, such is the uniqueness and complexity of our own lives. From schooling, to our work and businesses, social lives, gatherings, travelling, planning and generally being in the groove of your own full and wonderful life.
Most of us have spent years building routines, structures and activities that enable us to lead fulfilled and purposeful lives. So with much of that seemingly stripped away, we can feel a bit out of control and in freefall, trying to make sense of it all. That’s because routine and structure make us feel safe, they give us stability, grounding and comfort.
And while the concept of a routine implies doing the same old thing over and over again, draining the spontaneity and joy from life, by bringing more routine into your life, you are likely to end up having more time, energy and freedom to be spontaneous. That’s because, when we organise ourselves enough to know what to (roughly) expect we feel reassured and steady, and are less prone to procrastination.
So while many of the current codes and rhythms of daily life have changed, there is a clear need perhaps to carve some structure and routine. But there is also a bigger, more beautiful opportunity; that is to become more mindful and attuned to the routines that already exist in your life.
If routine is doing something repeatedly, then we can say that brushing your teeth nightly and getting ready for bed is a routine. Doing the washing up whilst listening to the radio is a routine, reading in bed before you fall asleep is a routine. Walking the dog, watching the 10 o’clock news, drinking your morning coffee, making the bed, having a hot (or cold)! shower. These are all simple, but meaningful routines by virtue of being done daily. They’re all actions that happen again and again, a rhythm in your daily life.
By simply becoming more aware and mindful of the rhythms in our daily life, we can transform seemingly mundane routines into meaningful and almost sacred rituals. By performing them at (roughly) the same time each day, with more care and focus, they begin to hold and provide more meaning and purpose to the everyday. This in itself helps to make us feel more connected to ourselves and our lives, so that we start to savour and nurture simple practices.
It helps us to see that what we do every day really does matter. Especially at a time when we may be searching for connection and purpose. It not only begins to shape each day’s activity so we get into a groove, it can help us become more intentional, more present and more grateful for the simple things that already exist.
Take some time over the next few days to jot down some of your own routines and rhythms, and then see which ones you can begin to view as more of a loving, sacred ritual of self-care or of giving. Dedicate more time to it, try to do it at the same time each day (without it stressing you out). Honour it. Sometimes all we need to do is re-frame what already exists in our lives, rather than incorporate anything new. And quite often we already have everything we need to feel connected and to live with meaning, we just need to remind ourselves that the magic really is in the small things. Especially now.
This article was written by Emily Graves, mindfulness and yoga teacher. Share on Twitter