Keeping Healthy Habits and Routines
I used to balk at the idea of routines. They are boring and repetitive by design. I wanted to be that person who makes decisions on the fly and lets the wind dictate which way I move. This is not me the majority of the time; at least not during the work week. I've come to learn, hone and respect my routines because they, ultimately, help me. If you have undefined hours or don't need to work, routines can seem stifling. For me, they keep the week chugging along so when I don't need to stick to a schedule I can relax.
Breaking from my routine on the weekend keeps the free spirited side of my brain from annoying the type A side. Striking a balance between the two works for me. Even during weekdays, I have time to relax and think about nothing which would have shocked my younger self. This doesn't play nice with the previous vision in my head of someone working hard after hours and trying to achieve great things. That's one of the benefits of knowing yourself. You know how much you handle on a daily basis and when to take a break. Keeping healthy habits and routines while discarding ones that no longer serve helps keep me sane and healthy.
Compulsive online clothing shopping was something I figured most people dealt with and therefore wasn't a big deal. After a massive shopping binge last December which bled into January I decided to experiment with cutting out clothes shopping to mentally and monetarily recover. I went on a self prescribed clothing hiatus for a month and almost made it to three without much mental anguish. I found the trick to not buying clothes is breaking your shopping patterns and dissecting them or, at the very least, taking a moment to think about how and why I felt the need to purchase. This also helped me combat the pervasive fashion FOMO lurking in my brain.
For me, it starts with an innocuous glance online where I am intrigued to click and learn more. Then I study the item like an extinct species wondering how it will integrate into my closet and if it will play nice with all my other pieces. I usually leave the tab or window open and go back to whatever task I was doing before. If after I am ready to walk away from my computer or phone and this item is still nagging at me I will save the url, take a screenshot or write down the brand name. This curated list which I maintain and trim houses items that may get to the next step of purchasing without taking up space in my brain. Some get cut because the brand is terrible, the price is too high or if something is too trendy for me. I only participate in trends I enjoy and have skipped many including tiny sunglasses. My sunnies must cover my eyeball and at least an inch extra on each side.
I've gone through my usual shopping cycle which is clicking on something intriguing, studying the item for important details like price and the brand and then walking away, virtually, by not buying. If something passes the 24 to 48 hour test of novelty and versatility, I save the website to revisit later. I think, knock on wood, I have broken the shopping cycle which led me to purchase frantically without much thought. So now that I've altered my thought patterns and behavior around shopping it seems much less like deprivation and more like freedom.
I've revamped my evening routine to accommodate all the things I want to accomplish while still carving out time for relaxation or doing nothing. I've found, or rediscovered, some routines to help me. Exercise is important for many reasons but mostly to feel my best so I've made a conscious effort to workout at least three to four times a week excluding weekends. I prefer to workout in the evening since I can shower right after. I like to mix it up with moves I've learned from workout YouTube videos or just dancing around like a lunatic.
After showering I start a routine to wind down which I try to go through everyday. It starts with turning off the main light in my room and turning on my bedside lamp before heading into the shower. This is about relaxing and getting ready to sleep even though that's more than an hour away. After applying my beauty routine and brushing my teeth I go through a stretching routine which focuses on my legs and back since these muscles are the most likely to need some extra TLC. This is even more important when I've exercised earlier because I need to stretch those muscles. While stretching, I try to meditate or think about nothing with some light music in the background to cut out the ambient noise. Even though it seems the easiest step to skip, I've found stretching before settling into bed makes me feel so much better and ready to sleep than without it.