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Leaning Into My Routines

I went for a walk this morning with my long-time friend, Amy, today, something I haven’t done in months! I leashed up Lulu, donned a mask, and met her in the park for an hour walk. I hadn’t seen Amy in the flesh since March, and we used to see each other a few times a month before that, so this was a real treat. It was so great to see her! She said to me, “You look great! You’ve been taking care of yourself.”

And yes, I have. When the pandemic hit, I felt like everything was spiraling out of control. I’m sure many of you felt the same, right? I saw plenty of people online trying to cope with food or booze or whatever they could get their hands on. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I had already started intermittent fasting and low-carb living by March, so I decided to keep it up. I figured, if I couldn’t control ANYTHING in the world, even the most basic things, I could at least control what I put in my mouth. (No judgment for anyone else. I’m only talking about me.)

So I leaned in to my new routines. I learned how to read all labels, to track all my foods. I took exercising seriously and started walking or working out every day. And it worked out for me for the first month or two. It was my distraction from the world outside. I could eat within boundaries and walk and listen to podcasts and audiobooks, and I didn’t have to concentrate on the news.

Closing all my rings on my Apple Watch.

In the summer, I leaned in harder. I worked other things into my routines, even the smallest of things. I set reminders in my to-do app to take my vitamins, to read my favorite blogs, to Instagram, to drink tea, to FLOSS MY TEETH. Lol. I set reminders for everything I could think of that would keep me healthy and sane. Some of those reminder came and went, but many I still have around today. I set up routines and to-do lists to get through my website redesigns, my pen name setup, even writing. By the end of the summer, I had a routine for almost everything.

My new Peloton bike… my new religion.

Now in the fall, I leaned in to the exercise even more now that I’ve lost almost 35 pounds. We have a Peloton bike now, so I worked that into my routine too. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings, I do spin classes on the Peloton, first thing in the morning after tea. Tuesday, Thursdays, and Sundays, I walk Lulu right after morning tea then I do resistance bands. On Friday mornings, I give myself the option of walking alone outside, yoga, or barre on my iPad. Where I used to exercise 4-5 times a week, I’m now exercising 7 days, and I FEEL GREAT. This morning after my walk with Amy, I used my resistance bands, and I felt awesome. It’s amazing to me that I can feel this good during a pandemic. Lol.

All of these routines may seem soul crushing to others, but they have given me the freedom I need to accomplish things. I know what I’m doing each day to a degree, and I can slot things in to get them done when needed (though I really need to work on shifting my clothes over from spring/summer to fall/winter… I swear I’m going to do that today).

Do you have routines that you love? Are you looking to establish some new routines? Let me know in the comments!
S. J. Pajonas