Getting back into a routine

It’s back to school time! Where I am in Florida, school is already in session. And along with it come changes – new traffic patterns, different routines.

In fact, what I’ve been hearing a lot from friends is: “I can’t wait to get back to my regular routine!”.

Which makes me wonder: what happens during the summer such that we feel we fall out of routine?

What if we were to allow ourselves to recognize that we have different routines during different times of year, and that’s ok? How might that change things?

There is something comforting about routine. Feeling “out of routine” is uncomfortable. But what if we weren’t out of routine at all, we were just shifting into different routines with the shifting seasons?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

But let’s get a little more practical. I thought this time of transition would be a good opportunity to talk about routines that you might want to establish for yourself. So that’s what the next couple posts will address.

We’ll start today by focusing on your nighttime routine.

Why is a nighttime routine important?

A good nighttime routine can really enhance your quality of sleep. Sleep is so important for your overall health. Sleep is when your body performs its detoxing and repair functions. Without those, you wake up feeling lethargic, with a foggy brain. And what kind of day will that set you up for?

When I work with my private clients, if they aren’t sleeping well, we make addressing that a priority – because you can’t make good decisions on a consistent basis if you are exhausted and depleted all the time.

What might a nighttime routine look like?

I encourage my clients to create a Power Down Hour – 60 minutes (or so) before you intend to sleep where you disconnect from all electronics and transition into getting ready to sleep. This routine may consist of any of the following activities:

Bathing / grooming – taking a bath or shower, brushing your teeth, whatever you like to do before you prepare to turn in.

Journaling – I encourage people to journal right before they turn in. What can you journal about? How about all the things on your mind that you tend to think about all night instead of sleeping. Well, if you write them down right before you turn in, it’s like you are moving them out of your head and saving them in a file that you can open up again tomorrow. You free your mind from having to work on them, so you can sleep better.
    I also encourage people to write about 3 things that went well for them that day and/or 3 things they are grateful for. This practice helps you shine light on the positive. We tend to focus too much on what we didn’t get done, rather than acknowledging and appreciating our accomplishments.

Reading – if it relaxes you. I know for some people, reading stimulates and excites them so that they end up staying awake all night. Not me – reading helps me fall asleep.

These are the activities that make up my Power Down Hour.

Do you have a nighttime routine? Could you share it? Post it on my Facebook page with hashtag #nighttimeroutine.

If you are not sleeping well, I’d be happy to talk to you about some simple strategies you could try (in addition to the Power Down Hour) that would help. Just reach out to me!

With gratitude,