Routines in 2021: More Essential than Ever
Nov 15, 2021
Nov 15, 2021
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted the way we think about our day-to-day lives. We've had time to ask ourselves, “What matters to me?” and “How do I want to spend my time?” During this time, many Americans’ routine goals have become to simply make it through the day and to not receive any further devastating news about the world or their loved ones.
As the days have turned into weeks, and the months have become a year, slowly but surely our day-to-day lives have evolved, too. We've shown that we could successfully evolve our routines in tandem with the unknown. Ahead, we look at our routines as they relate to the world, life, and new beginnings. If you’ve gotten this far, this message—and article—is for you.
So you hear the word routine. What feeling comes up? Is it a good one?
Routines are something to turn to when life feels chaotic. Take your hair care routine, for example—maybe it is the one part of your day that calms your nerves. Maybe you’re creating a hair care routine each day by figuring out what does and does not serve your strands and lifestyle. Routine is a pleasant reminder that we exist and have needs. It’s also a reminder that growth happens over time, based on the culmination of past actions.
Routine breeds joy because you’re creating a sense of normalcy within yourself, removing expectation from the rest of the world. It’s one form of positive consistency in your life where you have complete control over power of choice.
For Black women specifically, it can be overwhelming to feel the need to make a good impression—that’s routine. This includes hair and nail appointments, navigating sleep schedules, and trying our best to present our best selves, no matter what trouble we’re facing. Our resilience always shines through, but what happens when we’ve been tucked away with our resilience for so long?
Start off slow. The first step is observing your day, or a specific part of your life that’s repetitive. Notice if that repetitive nature is rooted in something bigger, whether that’s the past, a thought process, or a feeling.
Next, start to make note of those actions or life choices. Are they something you can go a day without actively partaking in? Whether duty or self-care, these are moments that can breed consistency. Now you have a place to start.
If you need to restructure your routine, that means you had one in the first place. (Muscle memory also pertains to your brain!) If you’ve had a routine before, you can have one again. Restructuring our current lives—and thus, routine—means managing our health, taking care of our families, working from home, working in an office, beating traffic, seeing friends… all within the same 24-hour period we had before. It’s a lot, but it can be done.
Whether your routine is beginning again, or steadily picking up pace, remember that consistency is why routines work. Call up your sister or friend, lean on virtual support communities, or track your days with paper and pen. (Call us old school, but it’s extremely therapeutic!)
Most importantly, give yourself grace. You can start over again as many times as possible until you find your pace, because the best routine is the one that aligns with your true self.
“Hey you, over there, reading this article, being all efficient and stuff!” Looks like the start of a pretty great routine to us.