Living in Montréal this month has introduced a lot of new activities to our days and weeks. The Metro and the markets. The backyard pool and neighborhood splash parks. All the places we want to go and see. And all the people - everywhere.
I love the pulse of this vibrant city and all the things we can explore and experience here. However, no matter where I find myself (whether the woods or the city) certain routines bring a familiar comfort and rhythm to my life.
Adding simple touches of beauty to our home, whether that's hanging laundry on the line or having a wildflower bouquet on the table, is one thing I love to do no matter where I am.
Reading is also a grounding practice. Something I need to do. Reading any time of the day is wonderful but my favorite time is in the afternoon. A break from my busy day right after lunch feels delicious and indulgent.
I also like to nap right after lunch if I'm tired but sometimes all I need is fifteen minutes of quiet reading and I feel rejuvenated. Though, if I'm in a good book, that fifteen minutes may stretch into an hour. Makes me feel good just thinking about getting lost in a book for an hour.
These are just two things (three with napping) I love to do regardless of where I am. I have a bunch more. My morning cup of coffee, a daily writing time, reading with the kids, one day a week hiking, reading my Bible, regular bed and rising times, and cooking healthy meals. I don't always love the cooking part but I love the healthy part because we feel normal and physically good when we eat well.
With summer here, or nearly here, most of us have travel and vacation plans. Routines shift and sometimes fly right out the window (that's ok too). This can be fun for a time but many of us need grounding practices to keep us on an even keel.
Before your summer (or life) starts to spin out of control, it's a good idea to identify what you need in your daily and weekly routine to feel normal and healthy.
Then do it.
This is what I've discovered - no one else can do this for me. No one can identify what I need to feel normal in the midst of change. That's my job.
Having identified my grounding practices (which change with different life seasons) it's also my job to communicate these to my family or simply do them if I don't need their participation to make it happen.
Likewise, I listen to my family's needs and we work to take care of each other. As the mom, I'm always tuning into where my kids are, trying to help them identify what they need and structuring our days to make that happen. Same goes for my husband.
PS. If you're trying to work grounding practices into an actual schedule, you might enjoy Defining Priorities to Make a Family Schedule. This is a post I wrote a few years ago when our days were a bit more predictable than they are now but the principles still apply.