This month I’m hosting a series on Instagram called January R+R: 31 Days of Cultivating Life Rhythms and Routines. Each day, I’m posting a quick life rhythm or routine that helps me focus on the things that really matter. I invite you to join me, and feel free to focus on any of them that really speak to you. This is a weekly digest of the post for the week. You can find Week 1 here.
Day 8: Family Time
My youngest child turns 18 in 22 days. It’s her senior year of high school, so focusing on how we spend our family time is going to feel important to me as we navigate these final months of school. She has tentative plans to be away from home next year, which most likely means that empty nesting is lurking just around the corner. My goal is more games, less TV, more conversations, less alone time, to soak up these last few months with her at home.
Day 9: Laundry Routine
I loathe laundry. Seriously, I despise it. And I know it’s the center of many a great debate: Do a load a day, or get it all “done” on the weekend? Personally, I’ve always been a “get it all done in a day or two” kind of person. I like feeling like I’ve got some breathing space during the week. Reality is that laundry is never “done.” That said, I’m trying out the load a day method here at the beginning of the year, and so far I’m liking it. It means I have to be a little more prepared and get up a couple of minutes earlier, but if it frees up mental space and time on the weekends, then maybe it’s worth it. I’ll keep you posted! Whatever your routine is, I think the important thing is to not forget about what’s in the washing machine!! (We’ve all been there, amiright?)
Focus prompt: I don’t know who needs to hear this, but go switch that load right now!
Day 10: Cozy Spaces
I love this home rhythm. We do love to cozy up with a cup of tea or a good book and in the bleak winter months after Christmas, it feels especially important. I have areas in our home that I’m still working on, and other areas that feel pretty cozy most of the time. One thing I’ve learned for my family is to keep a supply of quilts and blankets close to the couch, because we all love to wrap up with them in the winter! I’ve been working my way through Welcome Home by Myquillyn Smith @thenester as the seasons change, and I love her approach of using our 5 senses to help inform our decor choices. Candles, cozy blankets, mugs of hot tea, and evermore on repeat make my living room a space I never want to leave. Also, please notice that the doggo gets the preferred seat in this house. 😂What’s your favorite cozy space in your house?
Focus prompt: Clutter makes spaces feel less cozy. What is one “hot spot” that I can focus on this week to keep clutter-free?
Day 11: Evening Routine
Our after dinner routines are pretty laid back. We usually spend our evenings like most typical Americans, watching some sort of show, or reading books. It’s nice to have quiet evenings to wind down the day. Before I go to bed, I usually make sure I mentally go over the things I need for the morning, and if there’s anything out of the ordinary, I put it with my work things. I decide the night before what I’m wearing to work the next day, and then read for about 20 minutes in bed before heading off to dreamland. This year, I’m planning to make a focus on putting my phone down earlier before bed.
Focus prompt: As Kendra Adachi (aka @thelazygenius ) says, “Decide once.” Are there any of your evening routine decisions that can be decided once?
Day 12: Work Routines
As a teacher, my work day is pretty structured, with classes coming and going at specified times of the day. I have a few routines that help me feel settled as I begin my day, such as unpacking my work bags, and finishing my coffee. I also work hard to create routines for my classes as they enter and leave my classroom. Students thrive when they know the routine, and in this crazy world we are in right now, it feels more important than ever. My work routines also help shift my brain into recognizing that “It’s time to work now.”
Focus prompt: What routines do I already have as part of arriving at my work day/space? How can I be more intentional about my work routines?
Day 13: Get Social
Friendships are such a vital part of emotional well-being. One of my life rhythms is to try to walk with a friend about once a week. It gets more tricky when the weather is nasty and it gets dark at 4pm, but we still try to catch up during the weeks when we can’t walk together. However you connect with your people, keeping those relationships alive is so important!
Focus prompt: Who is on your friend list that you haven’t reached out to recently? Call or text them and see how they are doing!
Day 14: Home Care Routine
I used to have a great home care routine. It was called “The kids have chores.” Now that I’ve got one who has moved out, a super busy teenager, and a college student who still lives at home, we’ve had to revisit our “chores” method of keeping our house under control. And while my organizational oriented brain loves those daily lists, I’ve never been able to actually do them for more than a week or two. Instead, we’ve found a gentle rhythm of tidying when necessary, and doing the deep cleaning in bits at a time, and during Spring and Fall cleaning. My house might not be sparkling all the time, but it feels cozy and welcoming, and I’m ok with that.
Focus prompt: Am I a “sparkling clean” type of person, or is that less important to me? If it’s important, there are many home cleaning routines out there to help you. If it’s less important, acknowledge that, own it, and move on. Remember, your routines are there to serve you, not the other way around.
Thanks for joining me for week 2 of January R+R! If you enjoy these posts and know someone who would also like them, please share this post with them. I also have a monthly newsletter where I share more about my own life rhythms and routines and exclusive content like recipes and creative sharing and reflection to help you and encourage you on your journey toward leaving a legacy that matters. Click here to subscribe.