Healthy or Not?
With the end of summer comes the return to old familiar routines in many families. The comfort of school bells and calendars (for our children and quite honestly ourselves), the launching of our fall sports programs and the return of volunteer commitments which encroach on family and free time. Routines do indeed make us feel comfortable and in control. Identifying the personal benefits of sliding back into routines is often difficult to define. There are immeasurable reasons and motivations that drive us towards our elective involvements and activities. Francisco Saez, blogger and founder of facilethings.com (facile in Spanish means simple) offers a wonderful perspective on these pursuits. He states that maybe the best routines are ones that make us feel alive and more human:
- They simplify life.
- They require little effort.
- They increase confidence
- They help us relax.
- They improve a skill.
- They are compatible with our creativity.
In these busy days of appointments and daily demands for our time (work, family, social living), anything that makes life simpler is certainly a plus. The challenge is to adopt natural introspective reflection that encourages us to ask, “Is our routine still serving our best interests?” How many times have you heard friends, family members or associates passionately describe a routine in painstaking detail where you sit back and say–if I can feel the pain in the description how can this routine be healthy?
In the provision of counseling services all too often we find people STUCK IN OLD ROUTINES that have long past served their purpose. Like a fly in a spider’s web, persons can easily become trapped and unable to break free from an old way of doing things. Looking honestly at our best routines, how many have served us year after year? For most, even our best past routines have changed, been adjusted or quite simply been modified—this is an active process of growth.
As we enter a new season in which the need for routines return and we are compelled to re-engage our proven ways of doing things—TAKE PAUSE!!! Talk to others, read a book or explore some new technological gadget or app, you may find a new way of approaching responsibilities or old familiar tasks. Adding to Francisco’s simple reasons for embracing routines consider the dimension of personal empowerment. Step out from your comfort zone and explore. Our personal routines are a reflection of the power of CHOICE; make sure what you do reflects positively on the daily life you have chosen for yourself. If not, remember a new routine is just a quick decision away.