I have a love/hate relationship with the word routine. On one hand I am completely Type-A and rely on lists, checklists, and schedules to maintain organization in my life. On the other hand, my free-spirited side goes absolutely insane under that much organizational constraint. My body literally feels like it’s trying to break out of a strait jacket! I’m not super into astrology, but I am a libra and my sign is represented by the scales. Makes sense, right? Always trying to balance the to-dos with the want-tos. Trying to balance the requirements of life with the need for fun and spontaneity. It is enough to drive a person mad!
Too much of a good thing?
Organization is a must not only in our personal lives, but in society as well. Systems, procedures, and checklists help us maintain a clear path ahead. Unanticipated events allow for pure experiences that come from being a part of new, unexpected occasions. Too much rigidity robs you of the joy of spontaneity, and too much freewheeling can lead to unsettledness and anxiousness. So how do we find balance between the two?
Spontaneous plans? Is that a even a thing?
Plan the spontaneity! I know, it sounds like an oxymoron to “plan” to be spontaneous, but sometimes that’s just the way it has to be done. We have to make room and create time for the breaks. Have you ever heard of “yes days”? Planning spontaneity is kind of like that. Why not plan for one day a month (or more if you can fit it in) to not have anything on your schedule. No appointments, no places you must be, no other to-dos or requirements. Just a day for yourself that when you wake up in the morning, there are no plans. Can you even imagine what that would feel like? If just the thought of having time to yourself makes you feel giddy, then my dear, it needs to happen!
Make the spontaneity happen..
Can’t get a whole day to yourself? Then plan a morning or afternoon. Coordinate with your partner or other family members to help you block out this time. It can be done, but you have to make it happen. Prioritize yourself and realize that you need this time in order to be your best self. If you have read (or are reading as part of the Dragonfly Paradigm Lunchtime Book Club) What Happened To You? by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey, then you know that in chapter 2 they talk about regulation and balance. (You can watch the previous discussions on the chapters by clicking here).
Working to bring yourself back to a settled emotional state through regulation is just as important to your overall health as eating a balanced diet. If you don’t take the time to nurture your emotional health, nothing else is going to work either. The best way to do that? Figure out the things that bring you joy! What soothes you when you feel agitated or down? Love going for walks in nature, then do that during your planned spontaneous day! Do you dream about enjoying a cup of coffee all by yourself at your favorite coffee shop? Then do it!
Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner..
Putting your needs on the front burner is not a self-indulgent activity, no matter what society may tell you. It is necessary and required to live the full life you desire. So, when are you going to plan your spontaneous day? What can you imagine yourself doing on a morning, afternoon, entire day all to yourself? The possibilities are endless, if you just say “YES!” to yourself.
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