|Posted on 12 May, 2015 at 8:00|
As a follow-up to my blog about the necessity of routines, here are a few examples of routines you might put into practice. These are only examples; you should modify them to suit your needs, and create other routines that are helpful to you.
Try picking one day (or two or three, if needed) per week for doing laundry: the same day every week. This can help minimize worries of running out of clean clothes. Sort clothes into light, dark, etc., as you put them in the hamper, or maintain different containers for each category. This cuts down on sorting on laundry day. After the clothes have been washed and dried, go ahead and fold or hang them and put them away. Consider this part of doing the laundry and just do it.
Get up at the same time every day, and allow yourself at least an hour (or two) to get ready. Plan what you will wear the night before, and lay it out so that you don't have to think about it in the morning. Eat breakfast. Make sure you have food on hand that you will actually eat at breakfast, and plan the meal (even if it's just cereal and milk) so that you don't wind up staring wistfully into the refrigerator or pantry, wasting precious time. Have a place near the door (kitchen counter, washing machine, hall table) where you put things you need to take with you to work or school. Always put your keys in the same place (preferably not in the bottom of your purse), so you will be able to find them easily. Make a rule for yourself that you don't watch television until you are fully dressed and ready to walk out the door. Knowing what the plan is can help reduce anxiety that you will forget to do something or take something with you when you leave.
About an hour before bedtime, turn off all devices that emit blue light (cell phone, television, computer). Take a warm bath if that is relaxing to you. Wash your face, brush your teeth, and put on your pajamas. Take some time to choose your outfit for the next day and lay it out for tomorrow. Spend time doing something relaxing, such as reading or listening to soft music. If you have difficulty turning off your brain, make a list of worries, tasks for the next day, or anything else that is on your mind. Turn out the light and sleep.
Make this a priority. Set a regular time to move your body, and write it into your calendar. It could be first thing in the morning, after work, or on your lunch break, but get it done. Even though it is hard to get started, you will not regret doing it after it is over.
Put items on the grocery list as soon as they are used up, or when they are running low. This keeps you from forgetting what you need to get next time you go to the store. You might even organize your list by areas of the store: produce, frozen, canned goods, dairy, etc. It can also be helpful to pick a certain day of the week to go grocery shopping. That way you don't have to worry about running out of food or worry about when you will be able to get to the store because you know you will be going on [chosen day of the week for grocery shopping].
As you plan your grocery shopping, start planning in advance your meals for the week. Ask your family, or yourself, what you want to eat in the coming week. Evaluate which meal is appropriate for which day based on who will be home, and when, and what other activities need to be worked around. For example, on a night when the kids have soccer practice, or you have to work late, you don't want to have planned a complicated meal that will take a couple hours to prepare. That might be the night to pop a frozen pizza in the oven, make scrambled eggs and toast, or heat up planned-overs (leftovers you planned to have again). On a night where everyone will be home, you might want to involve the whole family in cooking dinner or make something a little more complicated or that takes a little longer. Knowing in the morning what you are having for dinner that night takes the pressure off, and also reminds you if you need to thaw something in order to be ready to cook when you get home or throw something in the crock pot right now.