Better Routine Habits Help You Survive!
Why are better routine habits important as you survive a major disaster? Because our routine habits are destroyed when we go through a major life event. Nothing is where it is supposed to be. Nothing operates as it does in our daily lives. It can be very disorienting. As I describe in my book Rainbows Over Ruins, Peter and I found shelter with friends from church. I slept on a sofa the first night. After that, we had a spare room that would be our home for 6 weeks while we found a place to rent. Everyone in the house had to adjust to strangers in their midst.
The animals found their daily routine habits were disrupted too. We had to find new ways to care for our animals. Friends stepped in again to house the bird and the cat. We found a kennel for one of the dogs. Our vet took another. And I began daily visitations throughout town.
Instead of the daily routine habit of getting ready to head for work, there were other issues that needed my attention. I was on the phone continuously looking for solutions to problems. We worked endlessly, rescuing whatever we could, finding storage space, learning what we needed to do and searching for sources of aid.
Point of the story? After a catastrophe, routine habits are destroyed. One of our first instincts is to re-establish them as quickly as possible. Routine provides us structure and a sense of normalcy. It also helps stave off depression. Simple tasks buffer stress and lessen the impact of a disaster.
ROUTINE HABIT CHECKLIST
Another friend from church, a psychologist, gave me a checklist of things to do every day. It was a healthy daily routine:
* Get 7-9 hours of sleep daily.
* Eat good meals and treat yourself as an honored guest.
* Get exercise and stay active.
* Breathe deeply and relax.
* Watch or do something funny every day.
* Learn something new.
* Talk to a friend you can confide in.
* Help other people. It also helps you feel better.
* Start to say thank you for everything.
* Include inner activities as part of your daily routine too. Surround yourself in beauty, pray or meditate. These open the door to inner work that will sustain you.
Disrupting your previous routines also gives you an opportunity. As you rebuild them, don’t just fall back into old habits that no longer serve you. It is very hard to move forward when you are battling preexisting problems. This is a good time to create better habits.
Our routines which are consistent, daily actions become habits. They kick in what Napoleon Hill called the power of “cosmic habitforce” to increase our belief level that we can heal and rebuild our lives. Cosmic habitforce depends on outer work in order to access the inner work that triggers the actions that get results.
What is this inner work that gives us the ability to rebuild our lives and uncover new possibilities? We learn to stop dwelling on the negatives, the excuses and the pain that we tell ourselves (and others). We start telling the story that moves us in a positive direction instead. This change provides the impetus to carry us forward.
If you want to survive well, start building better routine habits right away or as soon as possible. I know you can do it.
I believe in you,