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Routine. Sunday January 15, 2017

It sounded like a wonderful idea - time away from my shop with my partner while he was renovating I would have free time to relax and unwind.

The plan would mean I would have time to write, to read to walk.

So why did I feel uncomfortable about going and why did I, half way through my stay, feel restless.

I never thought I'd say this but I crave the order of my routine in my shop. I can't believe I actually wrote that because I've always been someone who sees herself as a free spirit almost hippy like, not someone who is tied down to timetables and has a boring routine.

Each day I have to get up at a certain time open the shop and then at the end of the day I close the shop and I do that 7 days a week. I love it. I love knowing what I'm going to do every day.

I know that some people now want to scream at me because they say they would love to have some time away where they don't have do the daily routine and have responsibilities.

When I was very manic and very depressed I had no routine. Everything was out of order and chaotic. Now I realize the importance of routine and order to maintain my health.

I used to see people that have routines as being boring but now I know the importance routine plays in giving structure to my life and helping me lead a balanced life.

I wonder what you feel about routine and the role it plays in your life.

Do you feel, like me, the routine does help your health and lack of routine is not good for you?

Or are you someone that thinks routine is very restrictive and detrimental to your health.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 7:55am

Hello other side of the world girl, how is the great Oz today? Once again, you could be me, I could be you. Hippy, freedom loving, night owl here...who has found health in a routine driven, early start, structure. I slip at weekends when routine changes, and hate still needing to rise early then on cold, dark mornings for sports commitments repeatedly saves me. I don't like it but I know I need it. Time I rounded up and headed to a cold, wet pitch side :-). Thank you for this today, once again comfort in your sharing, love ratg x.

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:56am

Thanks for your reply ratg.Fyi you are on other side of world! You said I don't like it but I need it.I find that is true of many things. Oz is warm and summery where I am but storms and very hot weather elsewhere. How are you doing? Leahx

Orangeblossom Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:17am

Hi Leah only recently have I come to appreciate the value of some routine to give my life some structure. I like to consider myself as 'for-range' but I do need to have structure for the benefit of the students who I support during term time.

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:59am

Orange blossom Thanks for your comment.It is interesring how we see ourselves as being free but also now that structure is important.

Jane Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:19am

Hi Leah. Thanks for this, it made me think. I do feel that much of my routine, work routine, helps me. I also wonder if it's keeping me stuck. It's so comforting it's makes it harder to make changes. I'm keeping to the comfort and routine for now. And perhaps is my personal life where routine is lacking and maybe needed x

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:03am

Hi Jane, Thanks for your reply. I haven't thought about my personal life lacking routine. Now I work 7 days so have little personal life and when I have personal life away from shop I get restless. Thanks for making me think.

Kathryn Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:40am

Thank you for your post - it made me think about my own situation and helped me to think differently. I have come to the conclusion that we must do what gives us joy in life, and makes us want to get out of bed in the morning.
In my own case, I think that because I was very disciplined as a child, I almost have an aversion to it in later life. But there are huge benefits from developing the skill of disciplining yourself. There is a lot to be said about the discipline involved in having a routine and sticking to it. It makes for some order in life, when everything could just crumble around you.
I have found that when I allowed myself time to think a bit more about where my life is going, and how I am going to make it better and happier, that too much time and thinking has been detrimental to my mental health. Action is the key, being committed and sticking to a routine, or idea, or new venture, whatever, and backed up with the discipline to see it through, and gain some order.
It is a dichotomy - action is good, but we have to ask ourselves, is this action a fear of what little else there is in someone's life? Is there something lacking, that we won't own up to or face? In my own case, my own actions are all about using my skills, being connected with people, being useful and having some good friends and keeping a roof over my head. Other than that, there is only isolation and loneliness.

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:11am

Kathryn, Thank you for your thoughtful post. SOmetimes is not always possible to do what gives one joy . I am lucky that I love my shop. You end your comment with sadness. :Do you feel isolation and loneliness when there is no structure?

Jul Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:01am

Hi Leah. When I'm away from my routine, thoughts flash through my mind about how lovely it will be to be back to it soon. But I think time passes more quickly if we stick to a routine day in day out so it's good to break free and do something out of the ordinary or outside our comfort zone every now and again. I suppose routines feel safe and make us feel grounded. I too used to like chaos and thought routine was boring. Maybe we have so much choice in life and are urged to go this place and that, try this, try that etc, it's overwhelming so we look to routines to stabilise our flitting minds. Jul xx

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:18am

jul, Thanks for you reply. It was thoughtful and made me think. I like your words ". .. we look to routines to stabilise our flitting minds.' Thee is so much choice and I think routine can help.Leahxx

Eva Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:02am

Hi Leah, I crave some routine, I need my mornings to myself to do my bits and pieces in quiet. After I am through I am quite flexible, although I do also have at the moment while recovering from fatigue a strict bed time /get up routine. And I discovered that I have a weekday lunch time routine that I am also quite attached to... I found over Xmas with xtra folk around that I actually wanted them all away so I could get back to my comfortable routines. Maybe I'm not as flexible as I thought...

I can though find that if I build too much into a routine or make it too defined that it can start to constrict me, which then gets hard, luckily I've learned this now so as soon as I feel anxious about it I take a look from the outside and reshuffle and drop bits if necessary. I quite like setting up new routines and trying them out, is that sad?

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:25am

Eva, Thanks for your interesting comment. I think your understanding of yourself and the role routine plays is admirable not sad. I like the way you think things through and then make a plan.

DAVE Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:02am

Hi Leah...
YES YES YES....Dave has a follower, Mary.... I love order, it gives me more time for exciting things in life. ORDER prevents procrastinating, as we 'GET' these chores, cupboard clearing, and other issues that are never given the time to address...With the DECKS cleared, It gives us more time for improving relationships and dealing with all NON self-inflicted issues. I'm human, not a boring person, (at least that's my opinion). But I THRIVE on ORDER in everything I do.

Self-Confidence, Self-Respect and Self-Worth all come under the umbrella of an orderly home...A latter-day- Prophet once said that...QUOTE..."No other success can compensate for failure in the home". CLOSE QUOTE.

But Leah, working 7 days a week, without a break, even though you love your shop...We all need a break from routine and ORDER,
Whilst away you left yourself open to the feelings were uncomfortable and restless...Now if you could have left the shop to a trusted friend...and go ne away with your husband...That would give you both a renewed 'Courtship' which cannot be experienced in everyday chores/Routine. We celebrated 50 years married, and we stayed in a sea view balcony right over the edge of the sea, in Jersey Channel Islands..I'de ordered 50 Fresias on Internet before we left home and they arrived at dinner time at the hotel, I gave my wife a gold dress ring. We rekindled more intimacy...because nothing, no routine, no order...Just being together it was beautiful. Marriage has the be worked at, and there is a 'Time' for everything under the sun', when we have ALL issues under control...Sounds very boring, but it is the route to enjoyment.
God bless Leah.

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:27am

Dave THanks for your comment always fascinating. What a romantic you are.

Eva Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:04am

Oh, I have left notes for Valerie and Menna, great blogs ladies :)

Sally Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:57am

A friend once asked me how she should approach retirement as she was dreading it. I said that you have to give it some structure. Punctuate the days with activities or routines that you enjoy or want to do , so that you have purpose. I love my routines and as people have commented, it keeps you feeling safe to have them.
Thank you Leah. I'm imagining you in your shop far, far away...

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:26pm

Sally thanks for your reply. I like the idea of punctuating the days with activities you enjoy. Maybe we need a different word for routine as the word itself seems to worry people.

Mary Wednesday Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 10:02am

Ah yes, routine. Absolutely essential. But... I also love it when Tom shakes me out of my routine to do something spontaneous. My husband can't cope with that. He likes order, method and planning in everything he does and a break in the routine challenges him severely.

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:30pm

Mary Thanks for you comment. Spontaneous activities are welcome but I think I had too much chaos in my life that. now I say I can be spontaneous if I get some notice!

Vivien Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 11:16am

Leah, your post made me think. Without routine I AM LOST! Although I gave up work 3 years ago to look after my elderly Mum, I still found and still find myself doing tasks on the same day at the same time. If I don't I go crazy. My routine is somewhat disrupted at present because Mum is in hospital, has been for 3 months, so I have had to make a new routine. Every so often when the routine is disrupted or I don't do something I'm meant to do, I have a rant and then say, hey ho, tiddly pom. I breathe and try and re-organise. Looking at how fellow Moodscopers cope is a breath of fresh air - I pick up ideas and try and implement them. One routine I won't get out of though, is doing my daily check of Moodscope.
Take care Leah and everyone!
Viv xxxxx

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:35pm

Vivien I am sorry you mum has not been well.Your routine helps you cope and it also needs to be flexible. I am glad Moodscope helps you. THanks for taking time to reply and keep in touch and let us know how you are going. take care LEahxx

Anne Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 11:39am

Hi Leah

A timely and wise post, honest and open..
I like a routine and I struggle with it too. Today I have no routine and whilst I crave the freedom and space to do what I want, without a routine I lack motivation, interest and enthusiasm. Interestingly I feel low and at risk of 'self sabotaging' - I think there is a link.

Structure is important to me, feeling I have a purpose can help my self esteem and support me feeling that what I might contribute (friends, family and work) is worthwhile. AND yet I crave freedom to hide, dwell on how I feel (really feel) and hibernate.

Things for me to think through - it feels a bit raw, so that tells me it needs my attention. Thanks for sharing and prompting this in me Leah

Another Sally Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 1:56pm

Gosh, I can respond to that. I am retired and do not have a particular routine, apart from an early swim and walking the dog - I then end up sitting wondering what to do and where to begin. I seem unable to give myself permission to just read or do a jigsaw puzzle when I feel I 'ought' to be getting on with things. There is often little that is really pressing, so I flounder around not really getting anything much done. It can take ages to read through the comments on the Moodscope blog, but I do value my daily contact with you all. I think emails and social media can eat up a lot of our spare time, it is insidious. Take care everyone. Xx

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:40pm

Anne Thanks for your reply. structure is important to some people but there is also a fine line to create a balance so there is freedom as well.I am sure you will work out what works for you. 5Hanks Anne.x

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:48pm

Another Sally THanks for your comment. It must be hard when retired to work out a new of life a new structure and a new purpose. I am sure you will find something that suits you. take care.

Karen Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 12:15pm

What I've come to realize recently is its not just structure to my day that's important but the affect of CHANGE. We readily think that a bad change will affect our mood, but we often over look it with Good or happy changes. For instance the arrival of a new baby is a happy event but usually comes with sleep changes (which we know affects our moods) but the same pattern happens with weekends and holidays very often. I'm learning I have plan as much for my good change as my bad. So I'm off on holiday soon and I need to think about how I will balance spontaneity (like having a lay in or late night) with structure and routine. We can't always control change but if we plan for it we can mitigate it on our terms often and still have fun - change and my choices are now becoming more of a way of life for me - that I'm finding is empowering (even if its a downer on spontaneity at times).

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:52pm

Karen thanks foR reminding us about the importance of planning for change in our lives and being prepared for it. Of course there are always unexpected changes in our lives that we just have to scope with as best we can. Have a lovely holiday.

Lexi Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 1:58pm

Hi Leah! I need routine to stay balanced but I allow some variance in the routine. For example I do crave my early mornings before everyone else is up. I go downstairs on a cold dark morning, brew the first cup of the day and do a crossword with silence all around me. Sometime I only need 20 minutes to do this, other days I need longer. I own my own business so I do have flexibility there. Having a balance of daily things - work, working out, quiet time - is my recipe to staying happy. But even though I know what I need to do for the day I will adjust the order of them depending on my moods. So I guess that is a flexible routine? xo Lexi

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:54pm

Lexi THanks for letting us know about the your flexible routine and how you tailor it to suit your needs. work, working out and quiet time sounds like a good balance.

The Gardener Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 7:25pm

Leah, routine makes for a longer life and longer days! I jest not. Many people ask me how I do so much - first, get up in the morning, then, routine otherwise you faff around all day long thinking about doing the washing up. My life is now haywire - can only do things on respite days. But early morning sacrosanct. Alarm goes, (if Mr G has not woken me an hour before telling me how ill he is). Dress, make sure everything ready for nurses, then read e-mails, cuppa, downstairs heating, prepare fruit, go to breadshop (lovely early mornings in summer). Best routine ever, Corsica, self-catering flat with terrace looking over sea and mountains. Up early, to supermarket for food for day - delicious breakfast - to sea to slob out till sun too hot - up into mountains to slob out by mountain streams - picnic lunch (wine cooled in said stream) down for more sea and sun - to appartment, glad rags - apero in square with all the smart crowd (one bar in particular) back for dinner and rather too much wine. Inside the appartment was a bit hot - we lugged the sofa-bed on to terrace, most convenient when we fell over. Mr G carries in his wallet (or did) the menu I wrote for the lt WAS a routine - but each day seemed like two - hence saying it lengthens life. The only down-side of too fixed routine, and never getting away from the workplace, is you may not see it afresh. You, Leah, are obviously so happy in your shop that each morning in it is a joy. Good on ya. xx

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:00pm

the gardener As you know I love you replies. You start thinking about washing up and end up in Corsica. Your description of your routine there sounds wonderful. sending hugs xx

The Gardener Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 8:46pm

Leah, please forgive me for changing the subject. Just watched 'Antiques Road show' from Holocaust Museum, and the harrowing stories from the people there, and, the inspiration. We are free, have always been free, despite being born before the war. We never lost anyone close to us. But, we have two half-Jewish grandchildren. Every time I see a film like tonight I think of children like them who did not survive - and I wonder, how any 'human' being could have herded children like that into cattle trucks and sent them to certain death. On a different note, I was introduced to our new cat today - adorable - christened Mindy Two - our last cat in England was Mindy (Mork and Mindy, anybody remember?) Our priest preached Peace at Mass today - needed as much as ever today. I am trying for peace in my heart, and use my brain to circumvent the growing problems of the day.

Leah Sun, Jan 15th 2017 @ 9:05pm

The Gardener
''Mans inuhamity to man ' is shocking but even in the most horrible atrocities there are stories of bravery and hope.

Caron Tue, Jan 17th 2017 @ 9:13pm

Thank you for your post, Leah. I am slowly realising that I need to have a routine to keep me well, but struggle at times to put something in to place. I know this might sound daft, but all the bank holidays there were over Christmas and new year threw me, and unsettled me. If something I was expecting to happen and which I am used to happening at a particular time doesn't take place or I have to be somewhere earlier than usual, then it throws me because I feel my routine has been disrupted to a certain extent. I find being away difficult too because no sooner have I established a mini routine for myself then I am going home again!
Anyway no doubt this comment sounds like gobbledygook so I will finish there. I hope you are back at your shop now and back in your routine. Take care.

Leah Wed, Jan 18th 2017 @ 4:49am

Caron Thanks for taking time to reply to my blog. I like the idea of a mini routine. Yes I am bag in my shop but my routine is different as this my peak time for sales.So maybe I need a mini routine with in my daily routine. Take care

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