Tag Archives: rhythms

Night Rhythms

As I said in my previous post, I’m a morning person, which is why my night time rhythms are so important. What I do the night before is what sets me up for a good morning. But I can’t stay up too late preparing for the next day, so the rhythms have to be concise and productive.

  • My rhythm actually starts with the kid’s bedtime routine. My husband and I each have our parts to play from bath time to the final bed time song. During the parts of the routine that my husband does, I am usually cleaning up the kitchen or the living room, or playing my piano, or getting in a chapter from one of the books I’m reading.

  • I get into pajamas, brush teeth, and get ready for the next day. This is when I lay out clothes, put my yoga mat into the closet and set up the nightstand for bedtime, including filling up all my water bottles for the next day (I find it easier to just fill up multiple water bottles to keep track of my water intake). I do one more look through social media and calendar, make any notes on a post-it for the next day which I stick on top of my phone, plug it in and place the devotional book on top.

Putting the devotional over the phone
  • Then, I grab my reading/media journal and make any notes for anything I read or watched that day. I usually do this while I’m watching or reading as well, but I look over what I wrote and make any clarifications. Then, I read at least one chapter in current read. Put on any lotion or calming sprays and go to bed. I use a sleep mask with headphones inside of it that I can play white noise or other calming sounds. I’m an extremely light sleeper and an early riser. My husband won’t be in bed for another hour or two (he is a night owl), so this usually helps me not hear him when he gets to bed.

Just like in the mornings, different events signify other events. I have a basket on my nightstand that houses only the things I need for morning or night. This includes books I’m reading for Bible Study, small group, the sprays or lotions I use, but if it can’t fit then it doesn’t belong in my routine. The only difference are the things I want to be in reach first thing in the morning (like my devotional) or last thing at night (like the current read or the eye mask). Simplifying it all really helps me not get overwhelmed with decisions and really focus on the things that are important to me.

What are some things that are a must for your night time routines or rhythms?

Morning Rhythms

In order to set my day right, I have to get up at 5am. But, my friends, I am an actual morning person. At night, I’m foggy and silly and moody, but in the morning, I can actually pop out of bed pretty quickly. My husband is a night owl, so I like that I can have this first hour to myself. I know that might already turn some of you away from the screen, but bear with me.

  • My watch vibrates, waking me up. I turn to my nightstand where my devotional is laying out on top of my phone. I used to do Bible studies on an app, but I found that I would drift to other social media apps and lose precious morning me time. I still might need to use the flashlight option on my phone to read (and not wake up the husband), but I can do this without opening my phone all the way. This month, I’m reading 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Meyers.

  • After my devo, I grab my phone and head to the bathroom to get ready. Usually, I have laid out my clothes in the closet the night before so I’m not rummaging through drawers. I used to shower and wash my hair every day, but that has changed for me. I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week now, and sometimes I skip the shower if I know I will be needing a warm bath or shower later that day due to exercise or activity.

  • Once I’ve dressed, I do a quick 10-15 minute session of yoga, sometimes less if I’m low on time. This helps my body and mind get ready. I have a playlist on YouTube with sessions 10 minutes or less so I’m not trying to find the video in the morning. My go-tos are Yoga with Adriene and Sarah Beth Yoga. I know that I’ve enjoyed everything on that playlist, so there is less time being used trying to make a decision. I also put my yoga mat in the closet the night before so it is ready to use.

  • After a shower and yoga, I go back into the bedroom, putting my yoga mat back in its normal corner and put my phone back on my nightstand. There, I pick up my prayer journal and head into the office where I do my journaling until my watch goes off at 6, which is when my husband gets up to start his day. Usually, I’m finishing up my last thoughts when the watch goes off, but as soon as I’m done, I return to the bedroom with my notebook to place it back in its place.

  • Then, once my husband is up, I turn on the light and read until my kid gets up. Of course, there have been times when this has already happen, so my reading might be more of the children’s book variety, but I can usually get a chapter or so of my own book while I convince the kid to play with the dogs. Once my husband is dressed, we all head down for breakfast.

  • The rest of the morning consists of getting the kid ready, making the beds, starting laundry, and feeding the dogs. All of this is done to the latest favorite playlist blasting through the entire house via Google Home. But each task flows into the next. Part of making my bed is getting a laundry basket on the bed to fill. I bring that basket down and start the washer, turn around, and the dog food is there, waiting for me to scoop it and fill the dog bowls in the kitchen. I pass by the dining room table where I take the breakfast dishes to the sink.

It helps my kid learn the flow of our house as well. As soon as the music comes on, it’s time to get dressed. Less fighting about getting out of pajamas because we are too busy dancing!

I also realize that this is a “living in a pandemic” rhythm. We haven’t had to be anywhere specific for a while now, and I’m sure when life inevitably changes so will we, but for now I’m truly enjoying the flow of our mornings!

What kind of things are a must for you to do each morning?

Word of the Month: Rhythm

For most of my life, I lived by self-imposed schedules, hoping that perfect balance between hours and minutes, chasing after the vision of having it all and being content. But like any rat race, it left me feeling burnout and frustration more than anything else. Over the years, I am learning to be more flexible, letting go of the desired perfection, and embracing rhythms instead of schedules.

Rhythms are the ebb and flow from one activity to another.

Rhythms are more organic. They are the ebb and flow from one activity to another. They build habits and set cues that help remember what comes next instead of allowing the clock to dictate my life all the time. Granted, there are still some things that end up on a schedule, but certain parts of my day allow me to bend just a bit and tune into what I need in the moment.

In the coming weeks, I will talk about some of these rhythms. Some have been established for a while, deeply grooved into my day, while others are newer and still have a few kinks to work out. But all of them have helped me stay present in the moment.

Do you live by schedules or rhythms? What are some things or habits that you absolutely must include in your day?

Seasonal Rhythms

Most of my life, I’ve tried to set up time-based schedules to live by. It’s how our world really works, by the hours and minutes of a clock. But it never seemed to work well for my own life. I would fill up every hour with some activity. I would even include rest time or down time. Or I tried using blocks of time for activities, but it never worked.

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

On top of that, I’m not great with change. It’s unpredictable and time-based schedules crumble in the face of change. I needed to be more flexible, but it didn’t feel like it was in my DNA to be more flexible. Change wears me down, even the good kind. So I wanted to find a way to live into that ebb and flow of life.

Then I heard about living in rhythms. What I have learned so far about rhythms is that they are as natural as breathing. Even in the face of change, it’s just the next right step forward, or sometimes even backward. But it requires slowing down, paying attention, creating space to reflect. But, I’m so busy running after my son and my dogs and all my responsibilities, that I thought it would be impossible.

So, I decided to try incorporating some seasonal rhythms. At the beginning of each official day of the season, I stop and change a few things in my home to celebrate and commemorate the natural change of the season. In each one, in addition to changing the decor I already have, I added a scent, and the hobby focus in my life for each season. Here’s the result.

  • Spring
    • Scent: Lavender
    • Hobby: Gardening (this is the point when I make all the plans of what to plant and how to maintain it all, but I do continue to water and maintain through Fall)
  • Summer
    • Scent: Citrus & Coconut
    • Hobby: Piano or Guitar (something inside because Texas heat is real)
  • Fall
    • Scent: Apple
    • Hobby: Knitting (my newest hobby that I’m learning and loving)
  • Winter
    • Scent: Mint (think peppermint at Christmas and mint chocolate around Valentine’s Day)
    • Hobby – Baking

I picked scent because that particular sense tends to ground me to the present. I smell citrus, I think summer. I smell lavender, I think spring. I chose a different hobby each season because, honestly, I was trying to do them all at once. Dividing them up and dedicating intentional time to each one, even for only a few months, has helped me grow and learn more than I did when I was trying to do it all.

I would love to learn how to incorporate this rhythm mentality into other aspects of my life, but I’m not there yet. That’s okay. I guess, that’s part of the whole process. Slowing down and letting things happen more naturally and less forced. I already see a difference those other parts of my life, even without doing anything intentional. I can definitely see how rhythms can be really helpful, and I’m looking forward to trying more things, especially in the face of busyness and change.

Do you have any seasonal rhythms or traditions that you look forward to? Do you struggle with change like me? Do you have anything that helps you deal with ongoing changes in your life?

Thriving This September

Summer is over. Well, technically, it’s not over for a couple more weeks, but pretty much every school is back in session. The vacation part associated with summer is over.

I looked back at my Thriving in Summer blog post as I was typing this one. Even then, I could see the burn out, but I don’t think I really saw the totality of how overwhelmed I was getting with life. Taking a step back was one of the best things I could have done for myself.

I recapped my summer activities in another post, so I won’t repeat myself. The other thing I mentioned in my last thriving post was that I wanted to take time to contemplate where I wanted to go with my blog. Honestly, I didn’t really think about the blog too much this summer. I didn’t forget, but there was just so much else going on that I didn’t have time for it in my brain.

As I sat back down to the blog this last week or two to start writing again, I got a chance to organize, or reorganize my blog, and it gave me a sense of some direction I wanted to go.

That brings me to my Thriving in September goal/challenge/direction.

So, for the month of September, my goal is to write twice a week. I’m thinking that Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the days I write. But I’m still getting back into new normal rhythms for the Fall. Someday, I may find that I can write on more days than just two, but for now, I’m going to take it slow.

In the past, I’ve had certain days dedicated to certain topics, but, again, for right now, I’m just going to write one post after another. At least until I figure out what I want to do on a broader scale

So, September is about coming back slow. Living in the moment. Focusing and sharing the things that are important to me. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and a great start to your September!

Do you have any goals that you are trying to reach this month? Or are you just trying to get back into your rhythms as well?