Bookends: My Morning and Evening Routines
Before I get in to today’s post, I have a quick PSA about the Tulsa NEDA walk. I’ve registered to walk to help raise awareness for eating disorders. The walk is February 25th at 2 p.m. If you would like to join or support my team with a donation, go here and click either “register” or “donate” in the top right corner. My team name is “Hopeful” and the password is “Doodle”. I hope to see you February 25!
When I got Hope, my mom encouraged me to establish a regular schedule or “routine” for her day.
“Babies do best when they know what to expect,” she wisely stated from her 41 years of parenting experience. “I’ve never had a dog,” she continued, “but I expect they’re no different”.
I’ve learned to follow my mother’s advice, so I quickly put Hope on a regular routine, and she definitely adjusted better to her new home, had fewer accidents, and seemed happier with her surroundings when she knew what to expect.
The concept of a “morning routine” has become a bit of a buzzword in the wellness space these days. I regularly listen to the Chasing Joy podcast, and one of my favorite questions every week is “What is your morning routine?”. A recent reading in my Simple Abundance devotional compared the cyclical nature of a daily routine to the cycle of the ocean waves, the sun rising and setting, and the lunar cycle. Another podcast I was listening to in the last week emphasized that having both morning and evening routines creates a set of “bookends” for the day. As we all know, the events of each day are unpredictable and outside of our control. Therefore, establishing “bookends” for this craziness cultivates a sense of comfort and control.
In the worst of my eating disorder, my day and any sort of routine I had revolved around exercise and food choices. I felt scattered, anxious, and I was not healthy. When I left the environment I was in to pursue recovery, I did not intentionally cultivate a bookend of routines. But two months into it, I am able to reflect and see that I do have a regular morning and evening routine. I will corroborate the endorsement presented in these podcasts and devotionals for the routines. Since implementing them, I am more grounded. While my routines will have to be modified when I move back to OKC, I intend to keep them. By sharing them in this space, perhaps I will inspire you to create your own “bookend” routines!
Wake-up: I awaken anywhere between 7 and 7:30 a.m. each morning. I’m currently not setting an alarm, which will change when I start work again. I try to do a few quick stretches, think of something I am grateful for, and tell myself “do something your future self will be thankful for today”. I take my daily medicine (pharmacist plug-medication adherence is better when taking your medicine is part of a regular routine!) and bundle up to take Hope outside (today it was 12 degrees—brrrrr!)
Take Hope outside: Depending on how much energy little bit has and how cold it is, we do a little bit of playing after she does her business. When I go back inside, I add food and water to her bowls.
Weights: In this season, I am regularly checking to see if I need to add to my meal plan for the day. (If I have stayed the same or lost, I add)
Cook Breakfast: I always make sure I have a source of full-fat dairy, carbohydrates, protein, and additional fat. To make it easy, I almost always have fried eggs, whole milk yogurt, and either waffles, oatmeal, or toast with butter or almonds.
Jesus Today: I read two entries in Jesus Today-I revisit yesterday’s entry and read a new one. It’s a great source of hope to start my day!
Eat breakfast: I’m usually salivating at this point because I’ve been smelling and looking at my delicious breakfast while meditating on the Jesus Today entries. Down the hatch!
Pray with mom: About two weeks ago, my mom and I started praying together every morning. My sweet mama is a devout Catholic and reads The Magnificat daily, so we center our time around this. There is a short reading, then a responsorial Psalm. After the Psalm, my mom and I include our personal intentions. I write new intentions on Sunday each week and make additions throughout the week if necessary. We close with an “Our Father”.
Dressed and Makeup: I think this is pretty self-explanatory. After this, I usually will do yoga or continue with the work for the day.
My nighttime routine begins once the dinner dishes are put away. I take Hope out and then bring her upstairs to hang out with my mama and me on the couch.
Journaling: Hope snuggles on the couch, my mom watches Stephen Cobert, and I journal. I typically do a quick recap of whatever happened that day and how I’m feeling. It’s been really cool to look back at older journal entries and see my progress. I also write down 5 gratitudes from that day (a January suggestion in A Simple Abundance that’s a serious life changer) and read the Simple Abundance entry for the day.
Fixer Upper: My mom and I usually watch an episode of Fixer Upper from the DVR. If OU is playing, we watch basketball. If it’s Tuesday, we watch This Is Us.
Take Hope out: Hope does her business one more time for the day
Shower and night time snack: Night time snack is almost always ice cream + M and M’s or full fat yogurt+ banana chips + oatmeal or granola.
Read in bed: After I eat my snack and watch a little more TV I finish the day with a book in bed. Right now, it’s Daring Greatly.
Lights out: Right now, I’m going to bed around 10:30.
I would strongly recommend the bookend routine to anyone. Let me know if you try it!