I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas! I know I did. Annnd, today is my birthday so I’m in a glorious mood of course. I will forever love birthdays. I don’t care how old I get, I’m still going to make everyone get me presents and spoil me once a year. 29 years on this planet so far… what a journey. Still many more years to go I hope.
But… (as much as I’d love literally everything to be about me) today’s article is not about my birthday… today we’re talking about finding comfort in our day to day responsibilities.
There’s something comforting about having a routine.
You don’t have to think about it. You can simply go through the motions of it. You’ve done it so many times before. It’s familiar. It’s a structure you can hide in when the world becomes too much.
For me, I have a daily routine of caring for my 11 animals. It brings me joy on a bad day, and comfort when everything else feels too overwhelming.
Routines simplify your life and help you get stuff done consistently. They make you feel safe and comfortable. The world can be such a chaotic and uncertain place, and a routine is predictable and certain.
Sometimes a routine is all you have to hold on to.
When I was in the midst of my recent depression, my daily routine was my only comfort on some days. It was the only thing I could rely on. I couldn’t even rely on my own mind. But I could rely on the fact that my animals needed to be fed and taken care of, and I could rely on the fact that I would never neglect them. It made me feel needed. And feeling needed was pretty important considering I was struggling with suicidal thoughts at the time.
Our bodies respond well to routine, too. Jacob Andreae on his fitness and lifestyle blog puts it nicely:
When you can expect that exercise will be at 6am, breakfast will be at 7am and work will finish at 5pm, you can repeat that daily routine so that you create habits. Habits allow your hormones and neurotransmitters to behave in a certain way. For example, your nerve cells expect to receive a certain amount of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins every day as a result of exercise. This makes you feel good. When your nerve cells don’t get that, they have to undergo a series of physical changes to adapt; and this takes time and energy. The body wants to conserve energy for any physical challenge you might want or require it to do.
Not having a routine can cause you to suffer from stress, poor sleep, poor eating, and poor physical condition altogether. Not to mention an ineffective use of time can’t be great for adulting in general.
Routines are healthy for you and they’re very important. If you found this blog because you’re an adult with ADHD, then you may be someone who struggles with keeping up with a routine. I know I’ve struggled with it before too. But as adults with ADHD, we just need to find the right motivator. The right motivator for me is the fact that my animals rely on my daily routine to eat and live cleanly and happily. If I don’t keep up with it, they suffer. And I can’t let that happen. So I never let myself give up on my routine.
Do you struggle to keep up with a routine? If so, what motivators can you find that can help you stick to your routine? If you already have a routine, what is it and has it helped you find comfort when they world was too much? I’d love to hear about it in the comments 🙂
Until Next Time,
Keep Calm and Grow On