I crave routine. Especially since college, I’ve found that I need some kind of structure to my day. Just like my organizing obsession, I feel like a daily routine solidifies my week and makes for a healthy flow of events. I’ve also realized that (in explanation of my intense craving for routine) I am a HSP, at least to some extent, and I have to find ways to deal with the craving in an efficient and helpful way. Because I consider myself a HSP (click the link above if you don’t know what that is), I’m sensitive to many different things from loud noises to crowds to certain fabrics touching my skin.
1 | I’m uncomfortable with uncertainty.
Because of, you know, life, I’ve had to learn how to be OK with this in certain situations – I’m not good at it yet by any means. But, in order to make this easier on myself, I’ve learned to plan for the week ahead of me, and be as certain as I can about my plans that week. Meal planning and week planning has been a huge help for me. I’ve always adored planners, but I’ve come to understand that they’re actually a necessity in my life. I write my plans and fill in my to-do list in my Simplified Planner at the beginning of each week. When I have my meals for the week all planned out, I write them in the “Dinner” section of the day, and write the ingredients I’ll need on my grocery list for the next Monday or Tuesday. Plus, I use a pencil and leave some white space just in case. This way, I know what to expect, and if anything unexpected does come up, I can easily pencil it in later.
2 | I get overwhelmed by the unexpected.
I’m hardly spontaneous in any definition of the word. This is my weakest point in the routine area. Because I crave routine so much, when those unexpected plans come, it takes a lot of effort on my part to find a way around my already-planned schedule without being upset. Now that I’m living with my husband, it’s harder to juggle plans because we plan for two people – unexpected plans will come up this way. So communication is so necessary to be able to prepare for the unexpected. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but there’s always a way to cope. Mostly I just take deep breaths, stay calm (I know I sound a little crazy), and figure out how I can shift things around. If I need to get up earlier to get chores done, that’s what I’ll do. If I need to cancel something that can easily be done the next day, I’ll do that as well. Even if I need to completely take something off the list because it’s just not as important, I do it, and I get used to it.
3 | I thrive in a thoroughly scheduled day.
If I do end up in a situation where I’m overwhelmed and uncomfortable, it’s inevitable that I’ll have to take a day or so and recuperate in the privacy of my home because I just get worn out. Mentally and physically – I get worn out. This is exactly why I do things like make my bed every day, meal plan at the beginning of the week, organize my home to the best of my ability, and plan to have the house cleaned up for the next week after I get back from a trip. I need structure. I’ll do anything I can to make it easier on myself (which actually makes me more pleasant to be around. 🙂 ) A routine is especially important to me in the morning because if I can’t start the day right, I can’t fully get the rest of my day going in the right direction – read more about that here. I’m working up to a schedule in which I do specific tasks at specific times of the day while still having that beautiful white space to move appointments around.
I used to fight this feeling, thinking I had to hang out with my friends 24/7, stay up all night, drop everything and go. But I don’t, because what works for other people might not work for me (and vice versa!). So I do what’s healthy for me instead of trying to keep up with everybody else.