How to stick to a daily routine to conquer exhaustion
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My husband has been traveling for years now but when he first started traveling, I was a hot mess, some weeks I still am. The house was cluttered, meal times sucked and I prayed for bedtime because I was so exhausted. That’s when I started to learn how to plan and stick to a daily routine.
When my husband is gone on travel, he is usually gone for a full week. During his absence, I have learned that I need to stick to a daily routine to conquer exhaustion. By creating a daily routine, it helped me have more energy and allowed me to make less spontaneous decisions.
Hope in Routine
I couldn’t understand why I was so exhausted when my husband was traveling. It was because of every decision that I had to make while he was gone. Every nose I had to wipe and every appointment I had to keep track of. If the school called to say my kid was puking, I had to be there. Everything was on me. I was exhausted.
If you are in this place, I totally get that you are tired and lonely, and sometimes you may resent the fact your spouse is gone. You may actually be more in survival mode right now. You may have really little kids depending on you who wake you up in the middle of the night and then you are tired from lack of sleep too.
By having a daily routine, even if it’s a simple one, the point is you need to stick to the daily routine. It will help you with making decisions, it will help you feel more in control of your situation.
If you are a mom who works outside the home, I tip my hat to you. I wouldn’t be able to operate in my job well knowing I had all the family responsibilities on my shoulders, which means sticking to a daily routine is even more important for you!
What a Daily Routine does:
It helps with having a calmer home. The kids know there is a routine to follow and they are able to relax and learn in that environment.
Sticking to a daily routine allows you to relax. Knowing when things are going to happen and how much time you have for each activity helps you make decisions.
Let’s unpack making decisions a little more. I don’t know about you, but I have found when I’m walking around my kitchen at 4:30 in the afternoon wondering what I am going to make for dinner, is the worst time to be making that decision.
Without fail, this means the kids will have a fight, there will be screaming, and crying, because we are all hungry and I still haven’t made a decision. Usually, that means dinner will be something that is thrown together and doesn’t have all the makings for a healthy dinner.
On top of that, it also means that I am hungry and struggling to make a decision which makes me even more tired!
By having a routine and planning meals that will help with your decision process. I usually have a meal plan, but sometimes what I planned for Monday doesn’t appeal to me, but what I planned for Wednesday does. Switching it around, but knowing I have all the ingredients for the meal makes it easy to adjust the schedule.
Related: How to keep meal planning simple and save more money
How to Create and Stick to a Daily Routine
I believe your daily routine is kind of personal. So it may take a few days for you to figure out what is best for you. I did create a quick 1-page daily routine page so you can start to figure out your routine. You can get it by clicking the link below. It will be emailed to you.
When I was learning our routine, I had a planner with time slots that started at 5:00 am. I filled in those time slots so I had an idea of what I was supposed to be doing when.
For me, I have a love-hate relationship with meal planning. A meal plan will help you with decision making when dinner time comes. I don’t know about you but when 4 o’clock hits I am basically a walking zombie and I am counting the hours down till the kids go to bed.
I recommend you do the things that need to get done first. That way your mind is fresh, (sort of if your kids slept all night) and then you can get those things off your to-do list first.
Make a List
I have learned that I have to make a list either the night before or first thing in the morning so I don’t forget anything that needs to get done. Honestly, I make it on a Post-It Note, I use these 4×5 Post-It Notes. I list everything I need to do for my clients, for my blog, and for my family. This helps me have structure so I know how many hours I have for each task. Some tasks take 5 minutes, some tasks take hours.
I try and make my to-do list the night before so that I don’t have to think about it while I sleep. This is key to having a more restful sleep.
Once you have your list, then you work it into your schedule for the day.
Don’t Forget About You!
For the last 5 years, my husband has traveled I have learned that I NEED to take care of myself too. So whatever it is that fuels you, you need to figure out how to get that into your routine! Maybe what fuels you is creativity, or yoga or writing, whatever it is, you make sure you do that daily! No matter what that is the most important part of your day!
I have found that it is very hard to maintain an exercise plan and a strict eating program. So I do the best I can. I may not workout 6 times a week anymore, but my goal is 5. Some weeks it doesn’t happen at all. But I give myself some grace and I work to get it back into my routine the following week.
Finally, I am going to encourage you to go after God and ask Him for help during this time. He has all the answers and He wants to help you create a routine that you can work with. When you are creating your daily task list, ask God to help you accomplish it. Ask Him to help you see if there is another way to do it, and ask Him if this is His will for today, or yours. He has answers and He wants to share them with you.
Have a bedtime
This is something I had to learn to do. I had to decide to stop scrolling Facebook and Instagram and put the phone down and go. to. sleep. When my husband travels I figure it’s the best opportunity to stay up and do all the things I want to do. The problem is this just adds to my exhausted mind and body.
So if you are going to stay up, maybe do it one or two days instead of every day he is gone. I try and get lots of sleep the night before he gets home so I am more rested when he gets home.
Sticky to a Daily Routine
Making the decision to stick to a daily routine is going to help you in the long run. There are so many decisions we have to make every day and having a routine to follow will help you with them.
Don’t forget, this is a work in progress. It will change as your life changes. But whatever happens, it will help you! Just keep planning your days, meals and activities and you will begin to feel more energized and in control.
Remember, the routine will help you conquer exhaustion. It will help you feel more energized and you will have more comfort in knowing you have fewer decisions to make since it’s in your plan.
Don’t forget to grab the 1 page Daily Routine I made for you to help you create your routine and start today! Click below and get the password to my resource library! Be sure and send me an email letting me know how you created your daily routine!
Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.