Five Reasons Why it’s Okay, (if Not Absolutely Necessary) to Stray from Your Routine

A Day in the Life of a Slacker

You get your sleep, you wake up, you exercise, you go to work, you eat right, you do your yoga, read your self-explorative books, drink your trending detox teas after every meal, take your vitamins, stretch your body, do your daily meditation,  you get your bi-weekly wax, apply your expensive anti-aging creams, did I forget anything?. You get the point. Routines run our lives. We do so much to preserve ourselves, to be thin, to be healthy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, these routines accommodate us in living a long and healthy life. However, there is a point where the every-day, programmed practices become a deterrent in growth and flexibility.

It is paramount to allow yourself some freedom from your everyday 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, skip your wax, ignore your inner skeptic that is overly critical of a bend or twist in your repetitive practice. There is nothing wrong with fostering a healthy lifestyle, however, there are times when it is okay to give yourself a break. We don’t always have to be “on”, it’s okay to stray and relax or indulge a little.

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Here are five reasons why it’s okay, if not absolutely necessary to 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 deem necessary to place on ourselves in achieving 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. Maybe after a break, you can 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 from a professional.
  3. A break will save your sanity. Your perfunctory routine may have you feeling robotic. 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 likely feel the deprivation in some form or another and will go off the deep end in indulgence. Allowing yourself a little time here and there for breaks in that routine will prevent a long lasting break or in this case will spare your sanity.
  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. Order a pizza, go out for drinks with friends, skip the gym, instead of cracking open your book on being the perfect yogi, buy some senseless trash magazines. 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 healthy or noteworthy. 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 put it perfectly when he said “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 if anything can give new meaning to your routine.

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I hope you take this recommendation to stray into consideration, and allow yourself some breaks every once in a while. 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.

*Danielle shared this article as a contribution onYogiApproved.com

 

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