A few months ago, I found myself feeling a little burnt out, even during weeks that I would normally not cause me to feel burnout. Maybe they didn’t have quite as much movement, or…

…maybe I’ve been grieving indoor cozy friend chats beyond bubbles.

I recently read an article that reminded me of how we are collectively grieving our old social norms; you can check it out on the CBC website, here

Over the last couple of months, I adopted some practices to help me cope, stay present, and support my nervous system, rather than participate in what some call “absencing”, where one disconnects and numbs. 

Absencing can create space for unhealthy patterns and lead potentially to depression. If you’d like to learn more about Absencing and Presencing in this context, this is a helpful resource from Otto Scharmer.

Just as I began to work on implementing some of these things into my routine, I experienced a toothache. It was painful, but that pain really led to a lot of these little shifts in my daily life, so this unpleasant ache acted as a gift in the form of a warning sign that I needed to pay attention to my health. I had already been aware of – and a little worried about – the fast pace I had been moving, trying to balance an overflowing schedule.

Some of my ongoing restorative and presencing rituals and practices look like:

  • Morning routine: teeth care (oil pull for 10-20min); while I’m doing this, I make coffee and herb tea, fill a 1 liter drinking container with water. Afterward, I brush my teeth, do a lymphatic dry brush, then walk outside or do exercise with Anne, shower, and eat breakfast.
  • Light a candle and listennourishingy 20 min or more of music per day. I have a number of frequently enjoyed playlists on Spotify.
  • Sharing moments of my day that move me or touch me with friends – these can be moments of connection, of grief, of joy, or of sadness. I’ve been trying this instead of “how are you?” then the judgement of my feelings that ensues. I shared a little about this practice in a blog post called “15 Questions to Ask Instead of ‘How Are You?'”.
  • Walk to do my errands in town, and call friends while on walks. I give myself space during errands so that I have time to connect and chat with people I run into, allowing for the flexibility to be present and observe my surroundings, and the freedom to take a moment to pause and sit somewhere if I’m moved to do so.
  • Mending and cozying – on a weekend not long ago, I cut out sheepskin pieces as insoles for my boots. I went to Gaspreau Valley Fibers with my partner, and the person who worked there helped me figure out the process. My feet have been sooo cozy ever since. We have also been taking time to sit by the fire and darn/mend sweaters, and declutter our space as a household.
  • Outdoor fires, walks and picnic lunches with friends and colleagues.
  • Planning takes more time, so I’ve also put in some standing social connection times with my bubble group and blocked my work week in a different way. For social stuff: On Mondays and Thursdays, I schedule work coffee and connection walks; I exercise and do wellness stuff with my sister on Tuesdays; on Fridays, I play ping pong with dad and bubble friends; on Saturdays I visit the farmer’s market; Sundays bring brunch with family or friends when we’ve been safe and able to do so, followed by free and open space for the rest of the day.

 Of course, I didn’t start all these things at once, as that could easily lead to overwhelm, only adding to feelings of burnout. Instead, I have been gradually adding them into my routine.

In these times and because I’m self employed it’s been helpful to have a more structured routine that is nourishing, presencing, and offers enough space to do more spontaneous things, too. 

What does your routine look like? How are you taking care of yourself?