Routine In a Chaotic World

As the tectonic plates of my life have been shifting this year, I’ve found my routines to be the stable ground to fall back on to. There’s something about doing the same thing in chaotic times as you did in stable times. It provides reassurance and continuity of self.

I remember when I lived in Singapore many years ago, the most comforting thing I found upon first moving there was receiving the London Review of Books. It was a nod to my more familiar life back in the UK. It turned out that it was not enough, as I missed the UK too much and moved back soon after!

More recently, I’ve found my regimented morning routine that includes one press-up, a cold shower, and meditation to be oddly healing in the face of my mother’s death. Meanwhile, starting my business has been disorientating.  But noting down market price levels each day, as I used to when I worked for a bank, has provided structure and boosted my confidence.

I’m not alone in valuing routines and rituals. Sport stars are famous for them. Watch top tennis player Rafael Nadal before he serves. He runs through a routine of adjusting his T-short, holding his nose and brushing his hair behind his ears. The New Zealand rugby team have their scary Haka ceremonial dance at the beginning of each game. And all-time great basketball player, Michael Jordan, would always North Carolina practice shorts under his NBA uniform for good luck (he had led North Carolina to victory in his early career).

Whatever the rationale for these odd rituals and routines, I certainly have found mine to be a source of comfort and stability at a time of big changes. I’d recommend you learn what yours are. You never know how useful they’ll be for you.

Bilal

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