The importance of rhythm

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backhome 300x185 The importance of rhythmI woke up this morning feeling out of sorts.  I felt off, discombobulated, a little cranky.  Why?  Well, I realized that I have gotten significantly off of my usual rhythm.  I feel out of sorts because my life is out of sorts.  The reason I am off rhythm is easy to understand:  I moved last week (houses, not office).  Without a doubt, moving is inherently disruptive; you leave the familiar and relocate into an unfamiliar (even if totally awesome) new territory.  This major disruption has a trickle down effect causing lots of little things to get out of whack.  Silly little things but they all contribute to me being off my rhythm. For example, I am not totally unpacked yet, I am not sure where everything goes, I am out of some of my staples in the kitchen (like honey, who doesn’t have a jar of honey on hand?), I am taking new routes to work, and I have a new trash day.

All of these little things add up in terms of taxing a person.  Our brains function best on things we have done before, regularly, in the same order.  Having new things to think about, like that the trash now goes out on Tuesday, not Friday, takes thought, which requires effort, which makes an easy thing harder.  Routine takes less effort because it is automatic, and thus is less stressful and more supportive.

Take, for example, brushing your teeth.  Most people brush their teeth at about the same time each day, or about the same number of times each day, with the same toothbrush, and in the same order; like flossing first, then brushing, then washing your face.  The genius to this pattern is that you, most likely, just do it.  You (hopefully) don’t have to think about it much, it just happens, more days than not. By having a number of your daily routines and activities set to “auto-play” your brain is left with some space to think about other, presumably more important, things. It’s this daily rhythm that allows for that to happen.

So, I know what I need to do to get by rhythm back and get back to feeling good.  I need to re-establish routines in my new environment.  I can take the time to think through what needs to happen differently in my new home, and then take my new routines for a “test drive.”   I can leave myself reminders so I can think less about the little things (big note on the fridge: trash day Tuesday!), making the new patterns more automatic and less effort.

If you feel out of sync with some area of your life, what patterns can you work on this week to help get into a rhythm?

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