Rhythms and routines to live my best life

I believe it was Oprah who first coined the phrase- "Live your best life".  This is something I've been thinking about lately, seeing as my health has been a smallish factor the past couple of years.  Many of you know that I've been working towards a natural healing from endometriosis, which seems to go hand-in-hand with little bouts of anxiety/depression as well.  The simple truth is when I don't feel well repeatedly, my mental energy isn't well either.   In turn, I can't serve anyone joyfully when I don't feel good.  And with my family, my heart for foster care, and other things like photography, I have a lot to steward! My people need the best me.

Over the past few months I've started going to the chiropractor and changed many of my eating habits, resulting in a much better feeling me!  I've fallen off the strict eating bandwagon more than a few times and I always notice the change, for the worse, in my body.  As I'm typing this now I'm purposing again to eat smart, drink loads of water, and exercise daily.  And I feel those best choices in my mind (it's clear!), my body, and soul. 

What I want to talk today about are the rhythms and routines that help us make our "best life". Each of us have worlds swirling with responsibilities, loves, passions, and callings.  For me, in order to fulfill what God has called me to do and to live as fully "Sara" as I can, I must make my health and self-care a priority.  Especially since making these a priority also help keep exhaustion, depression, and anxiety at bay. It is just so linked for me. So all that to say, in the midst of taking care of everyone else all day long, I also try to implement rhythms and routines that care of me. 

Can you relate? 

I hope so. 

Let's go through a typical day of mine and I'll mention a few things I do to stay well and often this means running my household as best as possible too.
I'll start by saying eating a healthy, kind of big breakfast is a must for me.  Think: a few hash browns, a fried egg with some avocado on top, and a cup of almost black coffee.  Add in a few stretches, a bible verse and prayer, and I'm ready for the day. I also pack a lunch for Brett each morning and write down or think about what we will eat for lunch and dinner and pull things from the freezer. If the girls need a lunch I pack that too.  On a lot of days, I write a blog post. 

Mid-morning I start both the dishwasher and laundry and tidy up the house/make the bed. I also start drinking my morning water. My goal is two water bottles (around 30 ounces each I think?) before lunch. This keeps my energy up and my snack cravings down.  

I like to eat a light lunch like a small portion of leftovers, a salad, smoothie bowl, or fruit and a handful of nuts. I struggle with lunch because either nothing sounds good or if I eat junk, I get lazy and tired feeling all afternoon.  

Sometime during the afternoon I try to get a bit of exercise, whether it be completing a few miles on the treadmill, or doing squats, crunches, or a plank for as long as possible. This time of year I'm also out in the yard pruning and gardening, which doubles as exercise too! 

Early evening I put on jazz.  THIS IS HUGE FOR ME. I've started putting a jazz playlist on Spotify to listen to once it's time for evening chores.  I look forward to it and it signals that it's time to start winding down. I put the dishes away, make dinner (and try to have extras for the next day), clean up the kitchen, and fold laundry.  

After dinner is time to finish up the laundry and then rest.  It is totally family time.  I know that will change as the girls get older, but for now we spend time together as a family first, and then I spend time with Brett once the girls are in bed.  
A few night time routines I like are: drinking a kombucha or tea, rubbing essential oils on, sitting in the dark and editing photos, playing music, reading (my FAVE), taking a bath, or having a date on the back deck with Brett. Maybe once a week I'll go into the craft room at night and paint. I also like to go to bed on time, a luxury I am enjoying while we don't have any newborns! 

Another HUGE part of my health during the day is how much I'm on my phone/the computer.  Lately I've been turning the computer off after I write my morning blog post and then I hide my phone in a cabinet or drawer.  This does mean I'm not real good with texting people back, but I've found my truest friends don't mind if it's hours later when I get back to them. 
I also like to do something creative every. single. day.!! I take photos every day and other days add in painting, reading a magazine for inspiration, sketching, etc. I exercise my creative muscle daily, even if it's just 5 minutes out of my day.
What originally got me thinking about all this too was discovering I am a "highly-sensitive person". No really, it's a thing! I'll blog more about it later, but you can read an article on it here: 12 signs you're a highly-sensitive person
I noticed when I was serving/around people all.the.time. I would start to feel like I was going to panic.  So, I've purposed to add in just a bit of quiet/dark/relaxing time each day.  I think I may be an extroverted introvert if that makes sense?! Figuring out my personality has also helped me live my best life. But more on that later. 

Where are you in all these thoughts? What rhythms and routines help you live your best life? How do you relax/unwind? 

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