What's the best part of your daily routines?
February 20, 2006 1:26 PM   Subscribe

If you have a routine that you regularly do at night or in the morning, what have been the most beneficial things you've added to your routine that have improved the quality of your life? I'm having trouble establishing routines that are meaningful to me and I'd like some suggestions.
posted by the giant pill to Grab Bag (29 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Work up a healthy paranoia about things falling out of your pockets. Check your wallet and keys are still there whenever you think of it. Learn to feel as though you aren't fully dressed in the morning without having these items in your pockets. I learned this lesson the hard way by losing my wallet on the bus in tenth grade, and I haven't lost my wallet or keys since then, nor have I ever been locked out of my apartment, or without my ID in a pinch. The only downside is, my wallet bulge has worn through a lot of back pockets over the years.
posted by Succa at 2:41 PM on February 20, 2006

I eat oatmeal every morning. Helps keep me clean as a whistle, if you know what I mean.
posted by faceonmars at 2:56 PM on February 20, 2006

Floss. I feel totally disgusting if I don't floss. If I feel lazy about it, I remember back to the dental assistant a few years back showing me no mercy, flossing with razor-blade floss, and hissing, "You have gingivitis between your teeth." Ouch.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:56 PM on February 20, 2006 [2 favorites]

I slug 4 glasses of very cold water from the tap every morning. It feels good and I have a good long meaningful fluid expulsion when I get to work.

I love tea at midnight. I wish I liked decaffeinated.
posted by eighth_excerpt at 3:08 PM on February 20, 2006

part of my routine - getting up at the same time every morning (weekdays and weekends) and going to bed at more or less the same time at night.
posted by seawallrunner at 3:13 PM on February 20, 2006

Try to exercise. Preferably a couple of miles on a treadmill and 20 minutes on a few weight machines.

The weeks where I do this I feel 500% better, physically and emotionally, than the weeks where I do not.
posted by xmutex at 3:22 PM on February 20, 2006

I absolutely have to read for at least 20 minutes before I go to bed at night. Preferably a novel or an an engaging non-fiction book- no school books. This is pretty much the basic, but no one suggested it yet.
posted by ohio at 3:36 PM on February 20, 2006

Chinups, breakfast, floss.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:02 PM on February 20, 2006

30 minutes meditation as soon as possible after coming home from work. This has been really pivotal in making the hours afterward truly my own and not just an extension of my work-ly preoccupations. At first it was fun to try. Then for a while it was a chore. Now I crave it all day.
posted by hermitosis at 4:15 PM on February 20, 2006

Eat a serious breakfast. None of that fried shit, no bacon and eggs (until the weekend) but don't stop at cereal. Fruit, yoghurt, toast with anything. And skip the coffee.

Also, a quick shower right before bed always seems to really assist relaxation.
posted by BorgLove at 4:18 PM on February 20, 2006

Running two miles on the treadmill at the gym first thing in the morning (every other morning) and every afternoon, a class of very fresh carrot juice.
posted by Rash at 4:24 PM on February 20, 2006

And BorgLove reminds me -- so primal, I didn't add it to my routine, because it's always been -- a hot bath, before bed.
posted by Rash at 4:29 PM on February 20, 2006

Like ohio, I need a time with a non-work-related book at night. Without this, I have trouble decompressing and getting to sleep (I just lie in bed and think about work). I can't read in bed, because I'm married and the light would disturb my wife. And I don't like staying up while she sleeps. The solution? Audible.com and an iPod. Each night, I listen to a chapter of an audio book. I have an iPod charger by the bed, and I mostly listen to my iPod in bed, so the batteries never run down.

I also have a Netflix subscription. I get up at six each morning and spend an hour on the stationary bike while watching a DVD.

I don't know how I survived for almost 40 years without Audible and Netflix.

As a New Yorker (who lives in Brooklyn), the Subway is also part of my morning (and evening) ritual. That's when I read print books.
posted by grumblebee at 5:02 PM on February 20, 2006

As in grumblebee, I use mass transit (in Chicago, riding the El) and every morning, work on a crossword puzzle. Some of the times it's from the Red Eye (free paper offshoot of the Tribune) and sometimes from a magazine I bought awhile back. It clears my mind and gives me back a few minutes just for me.

Otherwise, I get up at the same time every morning and try to follow the same routine. Sit and wake up slowly for 1/2 hour, hop in the shower, feed me and the dog, take her for a walk and leave for work.
posted by cajo at 5:32 PM on February 20, 2006

A glass of water before bed, a glass of water when I get up.

I never leave the house without ID, keys, and phone. Or checking the weather (the latter is utterly vital).
posted by anjamu at 5:33 PM on February 20, 2006

I generally look forward to running/biking or going to the gym with some friends on alternating days. Last quarter, I didn't do this and feel like I have more energy this quarter. Helps keep me more focused.

With my wallet, keys, cell, and ID, I put them on my desk or leave them in my jeans. They all have their own pocket and I know what is where.
posted by Korou at 5:57 PM on February 20, 2006

A big glass of "lots of pulp" orange juice once I've gotten up. Then coffee when I start to work. I try to keep it so that I only associate coffee with work.

I think that regular exercise would make me feel better if I managed it, but I have not, yet.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:26 PM on February 20, 2006

I like my bedtime routine...hot shower; brush teeth; [working on inserting flossing in here more regularly]; drink a large, cold glass of water; put on snuggly pajamas; read in bed for 30 min to an hour. Then drift happily to sleep.

I'm still working on my morning routine.
posted by tastybrains at 6:43 PM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

My routine is to try and get the kitchen clean before I go to bed every night. I also try to remember to program the coffeemaker so that my coffee is ready when I get up.

When I do these things, I feel like I have a head-start on my day. When I don't, I feel like I'm always hurrying to catch up.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:52 PM on February 20, 2006

Yoga helps relax you before bedtime. Any amount helps, from a few minutes to say half an hour.
posted by storybored at 6:55 PM on February 20, 2006

oh, also the key to establishing a habit?

Do it 20 days in a row. Only then will it feel funny, *not* to do it!
posted by storybored at 6:56 PM on February 20, 2006

The wife and I have a shot of tequila after work every day. It's our way of saying goodbye to the workday and hello to our evening together. We pour, we face each other, clink glasses, and say "Cheers" or "Sherefe." It brings us together, even if we're quarreling. (We also make the bed together in the mornings, but that's not as fun.)
posted by booth at 8:43 PM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

I dramatically reduced the size of my gum pockets and won the praise of my hygienist by doing the following:

1. Flossing a couple of times a week
2. brushing with one of those six buck electrics
3. rinsing with a water pik, using 50/50 listerine/water solution a few times a week. It totally helped.
posted by mecran01 at 10:04 PM on February 20, 2006 [2 favorites]

I second the yoga suggestion. I do 30 minutes every morning as soon as I am awake enough to get out of bed. Buy yourself a good beginner DVD (Yoga Zone makes good ones). It will "center" you for the rest of the day, as well as provide you with long-term protection for your body via stretching and exercising your core muscles.

Also, if you have any children, write them a note with an encouraging message or a joke to put in their lunch or snack bag. You'd be surprised at how that will enhance your connection to your children over time.
posted by Flakypastry at 5:42 AM on February 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

I get up at 5:30-6 am every morning. Within half an hour I try to be at my desk writing, which gives me 1-2 hrs to myself before I go to work. By the time I get to work, I already feel like I've accomplished something - tends to make the rest of the day bearable.

Replace writing with exercise, reading, whatever - as long as it's productive. Trust me, it'll change your life.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 6:10 AM on February 21, 2006

I always make my bed, first thing (well, after feeding the cats, anyway). It makes the whole room look 4000 times tidier.
posted by JanetLand at 6:11 AM on February 21, 2006

Cigarettes upon rising and before racking.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:09 AM on February 21, 2006

I like to get home from work, change into comfy clothes, and go right back out the door for a walk with my dog. It really helps me transition from "work mode" to "home mode" (plus, spending some quality time with the pup is always good for my mental state), gets us both some exercise, and gives me a chance to do a little on-the-fly meditation.
posted by biscotti at 7:23 PM on February 21, 2006

Take a pen and paper somewhere with no computers or radio or iPod or television or phone or other electronic interruptions. You can do this even in a big, noisy, ugly, public place, maybe a shopping mall or whatever is nearby, as long as you are alone and comfortable and you take no electronics with you. Get yourself a cup of tea, then write or draw.
posted by pracowity at 1:14 AM on February 22, 2006

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