Monday: My Daily Routine

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{this is the first exemplar essay for this week’s Personal Wellness Intensive!}

My days are devilish whirlwinds, with time unequally divided between school, my blog, my family, and myself. The things that tether me to the ground are the details of each day, the necessities that make up my daily routine – the food I eat, the exercise I participate in, and the sleep I get each night.

What and when I eat are important to me. I plan my meals out on the weekends so that there are no surprises and no hungry moments during the day. There have been moments where I’ve missed lunch because things became too crazy and I was unable to slow down even for a moment to feed myself. Those days are difficult: I am exhausted and spent long before the day is over. Because of those few experiences, I know that eating well-balanced meals are essential to making it through the day in one piece. To help with this, I bring my breakfast and lunch to school with me everyday; on days when I know I will be working late, I make sure to also pack a snack. Breakfast is usually oatmeal or yogurt with granola; lunch is leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Planning what and when I eat helps me to sustain my energy throughout the day.

Exercise, although sometimes pushed to the side, is essential to my stress-management. Days when I don’t exercise leave me feeling full of tension and anxiety. Exercising helps me escape from the constant neediness of the day and lets me focus only on myself for a little while. I began running this summer, with encouragement from my friend Alise, who is a math teacher and lacrosse coach. She developed a training plan for me so that I could start slow and build up to a goal. I ran my first 5k in October and am now working towards a 10k in May. Running in the afternoons helps me keep stress low and productivity high.

I know how important sleep is to being healthy and well-balanced, yet I never seem to be able to make enough time for it. During the summer I’m able to sleep 7-8 hours a night, which is my ideal range. More than 9 hours of sleep is counterproductive for me, as it is too much. Less than 7 hours leaves me feeling drained. Unfortunately, I average 5-6 hours of sleep a night during the school year, which I know isn’t enough for me. Yet, it’s the most I’m able to do. Because I feel so tired in the mornings and evenings, I count on things like coffee and exercise to keep my energy up and to help me stay productive and push through my limited sleep.

I know that my food, exercise, and sleep are important components to being a healthy and well-balanced person. I do what I can to maintain my own health by eating appropriate meals, by making exercise a priority, and by attempting to sleep when I can. These things help to tame the whirlwind of everyday life by anchoring me and helping me to remember to take care of myself as much as possible, becauseI know that my routine and the details of my day are key to living the healthy life I want.