This Week in Therapy: Staying in Routine

This week in therapy we talked about staying in routine while in quarantine. I’m a creature of habit. I wake up at 5am. I journal, meditate for 5 minutes, look over my plan for the day, go for a run, get ready and get to work. That’s how I want most days to go. Of course, I’m HUMAN. Not every day turns out that way. If I’m sick, stressed or overwhelmed in any area of my life, that routine breaks down. A good example:

I gained close to 30 pounds between 2018/2019 when I was in a really bad place, therefore, understandable. I’ve been trying to shed that weight ever since. I’m only 28 and for some reason it is 20 times harder to lose weight now than when I was even just 24. It’s wild. Anyways, it’s been a roller coaster. I’ll shed some pounds and then gain all or some back shortly after. The other day I stepped on the scale, and I REALLY thought I would have lost a pound. I’d worked really hard that week and I had a good feeling. Wrong. I GAINED a pound. I was so bummed. I immediately fell off my routine right away. I didn’t do yoga. I didn’t read for 30 minutes. I didn’t complete my work out that day. Or the next day…or the next day. Bad news, disappointment, not meeting expectations…these are my triggers. These triggers…throw off my routine.

So I babble this all to my therapist, who is a saint. I feel like she never talks, because I’m just talking at her face for the whole 50 minutes. Whatever helps though! We discuss talking to yourself the second the situation comes up. What if, right after I get this news, I trigger myself to write down how I’m feeling. Example:

“I weighed myself this morning. It didn’t go to plan. I thought I would have lost something. Gaining a pound is really confusing and upsetting to me. I think I want to give up. But I know I don’t want that. There could be a million reasons the scale hasn’t budged in the way I want it to. Maybe I did up my calories a little too much. My runs weren’t that great this week and I knew that. I don’t want this to screw up my routine. I want to carry on. I’m going to acknowledge this situation and let it go. Move forward. Because I’m going to feel way worse if I let this bring me down. Onward!”

I didn’t do this ^^^

If I did, I think I honestly do not think I would have fallen off routine. If I had addressed how I was feeling right away, instead of burying them deep down and not dealing with it…I would have saved myself a lot of grief. So, that’s what I’m working on now – noticing the triggers and dealing with them right away.

I think that relying on a routine can sometimes leave me at a disadvantage. It can make it harder to go with the flow when your life comes to a screeching halt. At the same time though, I love having a routine. It makes me feel really accomplished and helps me meet my goals. Honestly, I think it’s different for every one. Some people lean more towards type A and some people, type B. I think I’m like…..a B+ A-……? LOLZ.

The most important thing at the end of the day…at this moment in time…is to be super duper over the top nice to yourself. I mean, we should always be nice to ourselves but lets be honest…life is complicated and messy. Right now though, in times of crisis and mystery…we need to take extra care of our mental health. Check in with yourself. Talk to people. Every day when I wake up, I’ve started the day asking myself “How do I feel today?” Am I feeling depressed? Energized? Confused? Sad? What do I need at this moment? That’s been helping me a lot. Now I need to add that check in in when I’m triggered! I’ll let you know how that goes….

This week in therapy was great. I’m so thankful that I’m still able to speak to her (even though it’s virtual.) I always leave feeling replenished. Feeling like I did something really nice for myself that day. I highly recommend it.

So, I hope your routines or lack of routines are going well. I hope you’re talking to people. I hope you’re feeling well and if you’re not, I hope you’re taking the time to acknowledge that.

Till next time…be nice to yourself.

Self care, self flare.



Published by Kelly Tietjen

Chicago gal offering my own take on self development, creativity, mental health and more.

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