When seasons change, our routine changes. Just as the trees let go of their leaves in order to turn inward and conserve energy, we may let go of activities that we no longer have the – mental or physical – energy for, in order to rest and restore in winter months…
The autumn season feels more and more like winter. Does it feel like this for you, too?
Some of our readers may be finding it much harder to wake up or get out of bed in the morning. Routines that may have involved early rising, movement or exercise might be far less interesting or activating, and you may be pulled towards comfort; dressing yourself in warm clothing and eating food that is comforting as much as nourishing.
People suffering eating disorders can find it challenging in this time of year when our previous, well-established routines are challenged. Routine is something that can help us to feel safe and secure in our daily lives, as a degree of predictability allows us to feel in control.
“An urge to rest, restore and find comfort – especially during winter – is a normal response, not a “lack of willpower” (repeat this as many times as you need).”
When seasons change and our routine no longer fits the weather or daylight hours, the predictability in our lives can feel threatened – and this can be really hard to tolerate.
If this is your experience, remember that we are cyclical beings who are always in a state of flux (no matter how entrenched our routines may be).
“A routine is not about being as productive as possible in your day – it’s about ensuring you can keep your recovery on track in a really intuitive and compassionate way.”
An urge to rest, restore and find comfort – especially during winter – is a normal response, not a “lack of willpower” (repeat this as many times as you need).
If we may suggest a different perspective…these months are merely an opportunity for creation. An opportunity to create a new routine that suits who you are right now and where you are in your recovery journey. Here are some tips for establishing a new routine…
1. Be honest with yourself about how much sleep you need
Perhaps during this season you’ll need more under the duvet, and that’s ok
2. Take a moment to consider how much time you need in the mornings before work/studies/family life happens
…and what you might want to be doing in that time. Do you like to journal, meditate or do a bit of stretching? Build in time for that.
3. Think about what feeds your soul and what saps your energy
Does reading the news merely breed doom and gloom? Perhaps that’s not the best way to start your day. Perhaps you want to listen to an energising podcast or list your recovery intentions for the day instead.
4. Take moments during the day to connect and ground yourself
You could set a reminder on your phone to pause, notice your breathing and posture, and reflect on the sensations you’re feeling in your body and the emotions you’re registering.
5. Consider daily responsibilities
Most people will have work or school filling their days, so it’s crucial to consider how these responsibilities might affect your emotions, so you don’t over-schedule yourself on days you work or attend classes.
6. Make time for fun!
A routine is not about being as productive as possible in your day – it’s about ensuring you can keep your recovery on track in a really intuitive and compassionate way. Leave time for simply “being” – downtime is actually really important so that we avoid burn out.