I think it’s very important to take time off. You need to recharge and relax. It’s just as important as getting things done. We are not machines, but even if we were… machines break down from overuse, too. However, as easy as it is to sit down and give yourself a time out, it’s equally as hard to get back on track. Especially if you let that break drag on a little longer than you intended. Or the energy to complete regular day to day activities just isn’t there yet.
Sometimes what we need, and what we intend, don’t always line up.
If you’re here, maybe you’re having trouble picking up where you left off. That’s perfectly fine and wonderful. First, I want to commend you for taking the break you needed. Good job! Second, let’s get you back into the swing of things.
Start with just one of the things you’ve been neglecting
Generally when I am off my “good” routine, I’m way, way off. I’m not exercising my mind nor body, nor eating in a balanced manner, nor following through with my skincare routine, especially at night. One derailed good habit snowballs into another until suddenly I’ve eaten takeout every single night in a week and I can’t quite place why I’m both tired and not sleeping. Oh right. When it feels completely overwhelming to get back into your old beautiful routine, just pick one good habit to reintroduce into your life. Whatever one you want. I always pick eating better because I really like cooking. It does bring me joy to make a good meal and that endorphin rush helps seal in the habit of eating well at home.
Create a simple reward system
Make a small goal, set at time frame, and then pick a little reward. Maybe you know you should eat a good breakfast every day but that means waking up 15 minutes earlier and it’s been hard to commit. Make a promise to yourself that if you can wake up 15 minutes early every day you work this week, then on your next monday (whatever day Monday is for your schedule), you’ll stop for a coffee and bagel at your favorite shop on the way to work. Then make it two weeks. Then a month.
Sleep with your blinds/curtains open
Let the sun wake you up for a change. It might feel really great to be gradually woken up in that way instead of shaken out of bed by the screech of your smartphone. Plus it’ll totally switch up your normal morning routine.
Change your old routine altogether
Maybe you are in a rut with your routine because your routine sucked. What’s a better time to experiment with your schedule than when the old one stops working? Pick a different way to start your day each day of the week. Maybe one day you wake up and go straight for the kitchen for breakfast. The next you start it with some yoga before a shower and breakfast, and on another you start right in the shower. The day(s) is(are) yours! There’s no reason you have to do anything in any particular order as long as you get where you need to on time.
Stop being so hard on yourself
Most importantly, even if you slack off for the next ten years, there are worse things you can do. Give yourself a break. You’re probably doing better than you think you are and you deserve some credit. You’re still alive. You’re still here. And you matter regardless of how well you stick to your desired routine. Falling into a slump and skipping the gym or not vacuuming as much as you think you need to isn’t the end of the world. And to be honest, no one, besides you, is really paying that much attention to whether or not you’re following through on whatever schedule or promises you made to yourself. It’s ok to change the due date on a personal goal. It’s ok to make it easier to accomplish. You can always try again.