New Habits Are Hard

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

The things that I do during the week are completely obliterated when the weekend arrives. Part of this is the lack of work commitments, sure, but also #KIDS

#AMIRITE

Without daycare and / or school and / or afterschool programs, P and I have to be actual full time parents.

#CanIGetAWhatWhat

But this isn’t about being expats living in a foreign country without nearby family and normally working full time and complaining about twins turning into little actual people and a five year old turning into a teenager when he gets entirely too much screen time.

This is about establishing new habits.

Daily habits.

Even on the days when the schedule is shifted. When you’re sick or flying or taking care of someone else.

There are some things that you prioritize no matter what.

In this case, are we saying daily writing is more important than taking care of someone else? Maybe.

Photo by Peter Secan on Unsplash

There are a few things I consider more important than taking care of someone else – brushing my teeth, showering, sleeping, health, yin yoga, walking outside, exercise, eating, meditation, plenty of english breakfast tea with a ton of milk, and at least one small round of Swedish, Japanese and Dutch every single day.

Because if I don’t take care of myself, how can I take care of anyone else?

But writing?

Well.

It used to be one of the requirements.

Because I used to ruminate almost constantly due to PTSD. And writing, stream of conscious style writing – letting my brain flush out the words onto paper or into a blog – calmed the rumination.

Then I could breathe and sleep and exercise and heal.

Years ago I reached the point where PTSD wasn’t controlling my life – even when I was triggered, I was able to cope quickly and healthily – and I still maintained that daily stream of conscious exercise.

Then I had a baby.

Nothing has been the same since.

#DUH

Aside - I was in high school and undergrad in the nineties and said 'Duh' like, for realsies, all the time. It took YEARS to get that out of my regular speaking profile and then Bad Guy comes along and now it's so totally back there. #DamnIt

Here and there I tried to maintain that daily writing thing and, more often than not, didn’t manage to fit it back into the daily rituals.

Didn’t manage to fit ANYTHING back into the daily rituals.

The important word is ‘back’.

I created new rituals – mostly around the kids and my partner – to get them up and out the door in the mornings, then picked up and tucked into beds at night – and work defined the rest.

But a few things have happened over the past year.

  1. I started working with a personal trainer again. Strength training twice per week. Getting to the gym for cardio the rest of the week.
  2. During morning rush hour, I found fifteen whole minutes to myself when the kids are downstairs eating with my partner, I dive into yin yoga and inhale Swedish, Japanese and Dutch.
  3. I started spiralling into alcohol and anger which was exactly the wake up call I needed. Priorities shifted.

I’ve been fairly consistent about the rituals for the past three months. And I don’t beat myself up if I have an off day.

The other day I wrote that I’m going to write – and POST – every day. And, yes, it’s okay if it doesn’t happen.

Duh.

And while I’m not doing it because of something as necessary, important, and impactful as rumination journalling due to PTSD, I *think* this is also vital.

Like morning pages.

I just need to figure out how to fit this writing thing into the daily rituals. Especially on the weekend.

If it’s important enough.

Photo by My Life Journal on Unsplash

But enough about me. Tell me about you – what are your daily habits? How do you make time for them? How did you get started and how do you maintain them?

I’m especially keen to hear if you’ve incorporated writing into your daily routines and why it’s important for you.

Cause, duh.