5 Reasons Why You Should Step Away from Your Routine

Danielle McKee
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Routines run our lives. You get your sleep, you wake up, you exercise, you go to work, you eat right, you do your yoga, take your vitamins, do your daily meditation, you get your bi-weekly wax, apply your expensive anti-aging creams… did I forget anything? We do so much to preserve ourselves, to be thin, to be healthy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this; these routines help us live a long and healthy life. However, all of life is a balance, and at times, your pre-planned practices become a deterrent to your personal growth and flexibility.

It is paramount to allow yourself some freedom from your daily routine. Take a day or maybe even a week off from the gym, skip your 6am yoga one morning, take a day off from your restrictive diet. Challenge yourself to ignore your inner skeptic that is overly critical of any twist in your repetitive practice. There is nothing wrong (and everything right) with fostering a healthy lifestyle, but there are times when it is okay to give yourself a break. Everything in moderation. We don’t always have to be “on.” It’s okay to stray and relax or indulge a little.
 
Here are five reasons why you should stray from your routine:
 

1. Disconnecting can be therapeutic, if you allow it to be.

Sometimes we need to separate from the pressures and stresses that we place on ourselves to achieve our goals. Cut yourself some slack – no one is perfect – so stop demanding perfection from yourself! Allow yourself the space to relax and just be. Use the disconnect to clear your mind of ideals that are not in line with who you are. The best part is the time it will give you to re-evaluate the importance of each step of your routine and re-prioritize with your values in mind.
 

2. Your body needs a break.

There is nothing wrong with giving your body some recovery time. Instead of hitting the gym or going to hot yoga, just do some gentle stretching and let your body relax, be still and enjoy the inactivity. Take a bath or splurge on a massage. Don’t feel guilty. Instead, feel good about being good to yourself!
 

 

3. A break will save your sanity.

Your routine may have you feeling robotic, uninspired, or just plain stale. This is when you know it’s time to stray. For many people, if you stay stuck in the same, forced routine with no breaks, you will eventually feel the deprivation and risk going off the deep end in indulgence. Allowing yourself a little time here and there for breaks in that routine will spare your sanity and keep you on track and feeling motivated overall.
 

4. Sporadic indulgence breeds a feeling of personal freedom.

Routines are boring, diets suck and exercise can sometimes be a pain in the ass. Allow yourself to have some fun too! Order a pizza, go out for drinks with friends, skip the gym, whatever gives you a sense of spontaneity. Do something outside of your boring routine, spice it up, be bad. Life is too short to not have fun every once in a while and enjoy something you love that may not be in line with your normal routine. The feeling of freedom and autonomy will pervade and your inner critic will forgive you, eventually.
 

5. A strict routine with no flexibility can hinder spontaneity and creativity.

Flying by the seat of your pants is an exhilarant you don’t want to neglect. Doing something on a whim can be such a grand therapy for the bored, routine-driven person. And let’s not neglect creativity – if you are not working time and space into your routine for your passion and creativity, your day-to-day is void of a life-driving force. Dr. Wayne Dyer says it best: “If you choose to be aware of the inherent creativity that resonates deep within you…you’ll assist the birthing of new ideas, new accomplishments, new projects and new ways of understanding your life.” The freedom to exercise your creativity is not something to be ignored and ultimately, it can give new meaning to your routine.
 
Life it too short for boring, repetitive routines. Shake it up where you can, live a little, and get in touch with the perfectly imperfect parts of yourself that we all try so vigorously to hide. Again, everything in moderation. Of course your routine is good for you overall, but without the balancing aspect of moderation, you’ll feel completely out of balance. Breathe some newness into your routine, and help yourself breathe life back into living your life!

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Danielle McKee

Danielle is a Northern California girl from the Sacramento area. She works at a Legislative Advocacy firm, enjoys yoga, meditation, writing, drinking wine and cooking for the ones she loves. Her yoga ventures have taught her to live more mindfully on and off her mat.

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