Rhythms and Routines


When extolling the virtues of creating rhythm in your home, you might feel that you are being promised many things: peace, tranquility, predictability, happiness. But can having a rhythm make you healthier? Yes, I think it can.

Yesterday, I wrote about scheduling spiritual practices. I do the same with healthy habits and exercise.

Since I was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy when the twins were born, I have been on several medications that make weight loss very difficult. Instead of relying on exercises that raise the heart rate (something that’s difficult to do while taking ace inhibitors and beta blockers!) I instead have had to find exercises that isolate and tone specific muscles and muscle groups. Unfortunately, these exercises only work if I actually do them, and I don’t do them if I don’t schedule for them.

OK, I know I said we’d do evening routines next, and we still will, eventually. But as I’ve been working out my days, I wanted to share a little of how I go about making my daily plan.

There are certain events that happen every single day in generally the same way at generally the same time. Meals and snacks are one example– usually we eat breakfast around 7:30, snack at 10, lunch at noon, snack again at 3, and dinner at 5:30. Waking up and going to sleep in another example. I like to think of these as “targets.” Other activities I can be a little fuzzy about if and when they happen, but targets are something I aim for.

A few more words on morning routines and then we’ll move onto evening routines… although really, perhaps I should have done evenings first, because I’ve found that a great morning rhythm usually starts the night before!

And not a few words… a few pictures actually.

I find that making little signs to remind us what is expected help the day to roll along more smoothly. Here is a sign that lists our after-breakfast chores and hangs in the kitchen.

And here is a sign that hangs in the boys’ room to walk them through their morning routine.

Pictures help pre-readers stay on task as well.

Oh good grief. Has it really been a month? I suppose it has.

I thought things were kind of under control from the move and I was ready to begin blogging again and then– BAM!– 6 cases of Fifth Disease (only one of which presented typically), three stitches, a minor car accident, a house closing, an installation of a new pastor, and a mini-vacation later, and we’re back.

I think.

I hope.

So… we’ll carry on with morning routines and then move onto bedtime routines. To be honest, the two work hand-in-hand to bookend your day and keep everything from toppling down, so I probably should have presented them together, but we’ll just keep going as we were.

Well, it took a few days, but here they are. The lyrics are on my post from a few days ago, here.

So, here we have “Good Morning, Dear Earth”.

Good Morning, Dear Earth

And next, “I Wake in the Morning Early”.

I Wake in the Morning Early

And finally, as an added bonus, “Way Up in the Sky”.

Way Up in the Sky

Way up in the sky, the big birdies fly
While down in the nest the little birds rest.
With a wing on the left and a wing on the right
The dear little birdies sleep all through the night.
The bright sun comes up, the dew falls away.
“Good morning! Good morning!” the little birds say.