4 Ways to Nourish Your Daily Rhythms + Routines in Tough Times

pink, coral, teal, and tan floral theme with

I go through seasons with the way I make my coffee. How I prepare the brew seems to mirror the season I’m in. As of late, my cup of caffeine is ready in about two minutes flat, thanks to a little machine that requires not much more than a press of a button.

Our SUV was totaled in early October, and the wobbly season I was already in seemed to wobble more. I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself in a hole looking up after you’ve taken such care to oil your daily rhythms and routines, but that was my reality when this happened. I’d been taking time to establish a firm foundation for our second year of homeschooling. I was also in this place where I was doing all the things I had to do and the things I chose to do but was still feeling mildly hurried and unfulfilled.

We’ve been in the new SUV a few weeks now, and I can’t help but think of silver linings. After receiving the settlement, I was without a vehicle for just over a week and in that time, I was gifted such a sweet bounty of time. I was able to think of the ways I’d been feeling and if there were any ways I could prune my days for the better. I started with the way I make my morning coffee, and it blossomed into other things that shape our days to our benefit.

Sometimes, an unexpected event or surprise shakes our rhythms and routines.

It could be a cold that knocks our family flat for a month; we might find ourselves combing for a rental because the landlord’s decided to selling the house. Whatever the reason, I’m sure we can all remember a time we’ve been bumped around and like Courtney recently wrote, there’s always something we can do to maintain or well-being.

Here are my four ways to nourish your daily rhythms and routines even when life throws you a curveball:

I’ve cut our household chore calendar some slack.

The calendar worked particularly well when we were less hurried. The kids still do their daily portions, but my deep cleans don’t necessarily get done when the calendar says so. With a homeschool and activity schedule as full as ours, I can’t pay mind to everything the calendar says. But I have found a few things that make my “tidy at heart but not always in reality” heart sing. A mostly empty sink and tidy kitchen along with folded and put away laundry are my daily goals. So are folded throw blankets and toys out of the house’s main aisle.

tidy kitchen with white jars, coffee maker, and sink
Photo by Mikael Cho on Unsplash

I’ve circled back to the meal planner.

I religiously used my meal planner notebook after our daughter was born in 2018. If I didn’t have it written down, cooking didn’t happen. We’d order out an hour after dad got home because it took that long to decide where we wanted food from, but then we were pretty much disgruntled with soggy fries and missing items. The meal planner was dusty until the accident; now it’s a habit that’s serving us pretty well. Here is an article with some meal planning tips to help you make life a little easier.

I try to wake up earlier.

This isn’t something I’m consistent with, but I’m trying. I know there’s many experts who suggest rising an hour before your children, but they haven’t met my daughter. Our youngest is an early riser. A very early riser. She’ll appear at my bedside in the middle of a conversation, and there’s really no way I can wake before her if I don’t want to be needing a nap by noon.

For me, rising early means having the youngest by my side as I rise slowly through the motions of coming downstairs, eating breakfast, and maybe putting some laundry away instead of being jolted awake the moment the two other kids come out of their rooms. Having a bit of a head start better prepares me for the day with my people.

asian woman stretching in bed with sunlight through the window
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

I make time to read.

I have a few devotions from a series with short-ish passages by Thomas Nelson that are so refreshing when I find a moment to myself. I also try to make a habit of going up to bed with enough time to read a bit before nodding off to sleep. Reading is my mode of self-care.

What ways do you nourish your rhythms and routines?