How to Re-Energize Back into a Routine

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Part of me doesn’t feel qualified to write this because I’ve lost touch with healthy routines so many times in the last few years. But actually, I feel like this makes me someone who can bring a lot of insight to the table when it comes to what is needed to truly create a sustainable routine. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what doesn’t work for me in an effort to find what finally will. Of course, this pertains to me as an individual, and everyone is different. I’m a spiritual person who honors their body and honors carving space for exercise, but I’m very far from a gym rat. If that resonates with you, read on to find out how I think we can re-energize back into healthy routines.

1. Choose workouts or activities that you genuinely love.

This bullet point is number one for a reason. It’s going to be my most hefty tip, so get ready:

In summer of 2019, I did PiYo by Beachbody for a few months, an intense hybrid of Pilates and yoga that wiped me out. I saw fast results, but the detriments of doing such intense workouts almost every day started to do me in. I felt irritable until I got the workout out of the way for the day, and that’s not how I want to function. I would also get injured often. Nothing serious, but a tweak in the back or a leg would leave me needing rest to recover. Also, when I exercise just to see results (lose weight, define muscles, etc.), I’m already doomed. That’s how I functioned when I did PiYo and why I wanted something intense like that. But I understand now that my chances for success are higher when my goals are instead focused on being more mindful and present in my daily life, building strength, gaining flexibility, and simply feeling good in my body.

So, PiYo didn’t work. Later on, after the pandemic started, I tried a variety of dance workouts on YouTube. Not only were they fun, but they were also of a shorter duration, which is something else that is key for sustainability for me. I know myself; most days I don’t have the space, mentally and physically, for an hour-long workout. PiYo did have some workouts on the shorter side, but I know that by keeping my workouts between 10-30 minutes, I can shift what I need depending on how I’m feeling that day. This works the best for me and makes me look forward to the time I carve out for myself rather than dread it. If I’m dreading something that is supposed to make me feel good, then I know something is off.

Well, what does work for me then? Recently, I started a routine with yoga, and that has been by far the best decision for me. Not only does yoga build strength and stretch the body to make me feel so good in my skin, but it also reminds me to stay in the present moment. I’ve been practicing yoga with YouTube videos by Yoga With Adriene, and she is truly incredible. Adriene is both funny and knowledgeable; she does lots of breathwork and creates a space for her viewers to really just bask in self-love. I definitely recommend checking out her channel. I genuinely look forward to my yoga time every night, whether I’m in the mood to push myself or just do a 10-minute goodnight yoga sequence.

2. Pick a time of day that will consistently work for you.

Listen, I know I could probably make myself a morning person, but I’m just not. My days fluctuate so much that a nighttime yoga routine works best for me. The plus side to this is that yoga also gets my body ready for a really good sleep. There’s not much else to it. Everyone’s lives are so different, so you know what would work best and most consistently for you. However, don’t be afraid to shift things around if the need arises. This is all about your wellbeing and making this time as beneficial as possible. And speaking of this:

3. Have radical compassion for yourself.

It can be difficult to find the balance between holding yourself accountable and creating space for your humanity. Try not to let our ingrained, capitalist, soul-sucking ways of life invade the space you’re creating for yourself to be a better human. If you need to take it easy, you know yourself better than anyone. Both take your space and take up space. Don’t push yourself so far that you lose sight of what all this effort is for, because it does take a lot of effort to keep up a healthy routine. It’s okay if you fail. Trust me, I’ve failed many times, but the key is to not place judgment on this, and to not be afraid to slowly find your way back.

Our capitalistic society makes it way too easy to place judgment on ourselves. It’s time to eradicate that and take our wellbeing back into our own hands. I know my journey with routines is going to continue to be nonlinear, but that’s okay. I know my worth is not determined by my productivity or how well I can stick to a routine. But I do know what makes me feel happier, more stable, and comfy in this beautiful body of mine, and I’m going to work towards maintaining the peace I feel when I consistently practice yoga.

I hope that this has inspired you to think about your routines: what are they, if you have them? Are they working for you? Is there something you need to shift, a habit or a mindset? This is all a reclaiming of self, so follow along on my journey if you are on a similar path.

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