In her recent blog post on daily routines, Leigh Anne Buyon, a yoga teacher and wellness consultant, writes, “The more you practice a healthy routine the less likely you are to abandon it when you are fatigued.”
Bling! The light went on in my head when I read that. I’d never thought much about how my lack of daily routines could be impacting my health.
Leigh Anne says each decision we make throughout the day depletes the fixed amount of energy we have for choosing. If we use up our will power, we’ll end up with decision fatigue and the rest of our decisions that day will likely be less than ideal choices. I’d never heard the phrase decision fatigue before but I’ve been experiencing it a lot lately.
My teenage children are diligently pushing the limits of the house rules to find the loopholes, like they used to when they were younger. On an evening when I’m already in bed, a child will come to my room and ask “Can I (fill in the blank) tomorrow?” My brain will strain as I transition my attention from what I’m reading to remembering what the family rule is on that one. Did I let the other kids do it? Will my husband agree with my decision? Finally, I’ll answer, “Let’s talk about this tomorrow.” Now, I can add, “Sorry. I’ve come down with a case of decision fatigue. I’m not making any important decisions right now.” This will be met with eye-rolling for sure.
So, you see, I’m familiar with the decision fatigue of parenting. But the decision fatigue of self-care … not so much.
Leigh Anne writes that the “People with the best self control are those who have a built-in structure and healthy habits in their daily routines.“ A morning ritual self-care practice (dinacarya in Sanskrit) is one of the foundations of an Ayurvedic practice, according to Buyon.
What healthy daily routines do you already have? Can you add more small step to the routine? Are there some not-so-healthy routines you could stand to lose?
Check out Leigh Anne’s suggestions for other small changes that yield profound results. And remember to make really important decisions early in your day!