Good morning! It’s Saturday February 24th and I thought I would write about what a typical weekday looks like for me. One of my favorite types of YouTube videos to watch are routine videos; morning, night, pamper, self-care, birthday, full moon rituals etc. I find it very interesting to see how other people all around the world choose to start their day, and sometimes find new ideas to incorporate in my own routines. I also just listened to a podcast episode from a private yoga teacher in the MD and DC area, Francesca Cervero, whom I met during my own yoga teacher training one day when she came in to talk about private yoga and her own training in “The Science of the Private Lesson.” I found the podcast episode to be so fun to listen to as well as helpful and motivating. I really appreciated her vulnerability as she went through the ins and outs of her day for a full week, the good and the bad, as a private yoga teacher, business owner and human being. Listen here for the full episode
So, here’s my current routine for a regular week day.
I wake up at varying times, basically whenever my body decides I need to wake up, (except for Fridays because I have to be at a yoga studio at 9 for my work study). The time ranges from 5:30 am to 8:30 am. The first thing I do is turn off my sleeping music (check out my Spotify for all my playlists) and take my phone off airplane mode. Sometimes I check my phone for emails or texts and sometimes I just get up.
After drinking some water from my mammoth sized mason jar (retired from kombucha brewing), I head over to my living room space and get ready to chant. I practice Nichiren Buddhism and belong to the SGI-USA group. I chant twice a day and the mornings are dedicated for me to win over my day. I set the mood with incense and low lighting and open my Gohonzon and begin to read from the Lotus Sutra. I set my intentions and goals for myself and read silent prayers before chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for about 15 minutes.
I find this practice to really ground me for the day and keeps my mood and spirits high, especially when I go over my current goals for why I am chanting. Because it has worked for me in the past to help transform my life, I am able to keep my faith strong. As mentioned above, chanting first thing in the morning helps me to win over my day so all goes well.
After my Buddhist practice I am starving so I go upstairs to make breakfast. I have two options for myself for breakfast on most days. I either make oatmeal (which has recently changed to quinoa because I have a 15 lb. bag I need to use up) with ghee, berries, seeds and spices in my rice cooker. Sometimes I make it with bananas and I use cacao and dates instead of the berries. Afterwards I pile on a scoop of crunchy peanut butter and coconut flakes and if it’s the berry dish then I also add mango to it.
The other breakfast I make is eggs with veggies and avocado toast, but I must be in the mood for it.
For drinks, I try not to consume caffeine from coffee everyday as I was previously a little too addicted to it, and I am already a morning person, so I don’t need caffeine (I was just obsessed with the flavors). Usually I make an herbal coffee latte. I get Dandy Blend from my local co-op and I add a bunch of adaptogens and supplemental herbs to it, ghee and coconut oil, hot water, non-dairy milk and some spices. I blend it up and it is amazing. The other option is a matcha tea latte with supplemental herbs, some vanilla protein powder for taste, hot water and non-dairy milk and a tiny bit of honey and some fats. This is probably my favorite but I don’t want the caffeine everyday, so I usually opt for the herbal coffee. Sometimes ill make a bullet proof/keto coffee or a turmeric latte. Let me know below if you would like a post on my favorite morning beverages.
Once breakfast is done, I take it downstairs where I have failed miserably on eating intuitively and just vedge out in front of some YouTube videos.
Afterwards I must either make lunch, or if I am lucky I have already done so on a previous day, in which I just need to pack it up for work.
Depending on the time left over I sometimes do some productive activities like journaling, laundry, cleaning or errands. I have found that I love routines, but I personally need mine to be very flexible and aside from my prayer and eating, nothing else is concrete.
Around 11 I must get ready for work, so I do that and then grab my stuff and my dog and put my belongings in the car and go off to walk my dog for 15-45 minutes. Walking is one of my favorite self-care activities that I try to do every day as long as my work schedule and the silly, roller coaster Maryland weather permits it. I began walking daily in the winter of 2016-2017 when I was going through a lot of changes and was hit with a big depression and other host of mental health obstacles. Because I was out of work for a month due to everything that was happening, walking was one of the activities that really helped me to heal. Let me know in the comments if you want me to talk about overcoming my depression. I’ve also really began to appreciate everything about being outdoors and I notice I do not feel the same when I skip out on it.
When I’m finished walking I leave for work. I work at 1pm as a closing assistant preschool teacher. I used to leave at noon but was recently blessed with being unable to afford the parking near my job and had to adapt to parking a few blocks away from work and in exchange received another opportunity to walk, this time on my own, for an extra 15 minutes. Depending on my mood, my driving commute is spent listening to a podcast or blasting music and singing all the way to work. However, my walk to work is solely for listening to a podcast which I have been absolutely loving. My phone loves it too considering I have about 200 podcast episodes downloaded that I need to clear out, and no space left on my device for anything else!
When I get to work it is nap time, so I am lucky to spend a couple hours with my kids snuggling and getting cozy and soothing them into dream land. If any of you have kids or work with kids, you may know it is not that easy everyday and the other half of the time I’m running around chasing someone or negotiating with a child to be quiet and stay on their cot in order to not wake up the other kids. Of course, there is the occasionally child having a melt-down; screaming at the top of their lungs, creating a horrifying sound that defies the commotion of car alarms, fire trucks and ambulance sirens. A piercing sound that you feel will break the windows and permanently damage everyone’s hearing within a 1-mile radius. This is where my Buddhist practice and my calming walks come in to play to keep me from shouting curse words or succumbing to the urge to perform wrestling moves on the children. Just kidding.
The kids wake up at 3 ish, and I have trained myself to eat my lunch at 3:30 when the kids are also eating their snack since I tend to fast after 6. The time after that is spent playing inside or hopefully outside until it’s time to come in and the kids get picked up.
Lately I’ve been going straight home to plop, but I want to get back into working out 2-3 times a week at the gym again, especially since I am paying for a membership! I finished my yoga teacher training after 8 months this past January and then I jumped right into a 30-day yoga challenge at a nearby studio so after that ended I’ve found myself not wanting to lift a finger, especially yoga for the time being. However, I know this is not sustainable and I’ve seen in the past how neglecting my physical body and exercising can have a big negative impact on my entire being. My goal is to get back in the gym this coming week for cycling, dancing and possible weight training. So I need to add motivation and strength to exercise into my intentions for chanting ASAP!
Once I’m home I use this time to really relax and get comfy and I like to have pamper time after work considering I've been coughed and sneezed on by tiny people all day. I also like to catch up on videos or shows before getting ready for bed. Some evenings I will create art and I love it!
I do my second chanting and prayer session of the day at night. Recently, I read from a fellow community member that they dedicate their evening Gongyo and Daimoku practice to friends and loved ones, or even people they don’t get along with. As a Buddhist, we do believe that everyone is responsible for their own life and happiness, but it is also important for us to enlighten and empower those around us as well, to make the entire world a happier and more peaceful place, and we do this through chanting and serving others. We believe that practicing this also elevates our own state in life and can bring in more happiness, love and abundance. So, I have also begun to dedicate my evening practice to others.
Once I’m finished chanting I head to my room because I like to spend the last 30 minutes to an hour reading Buddhist material before bed rather than on technology. Currently, I am reading “The Buddha in Your Mirror” and I find it to be an amazing book that I recommend everyone to get a hold of, Buddhist or not. This book will also explain a bit more of the specific type of Buddhism that I practice without being too in your face or oppressive of other people and religions.
Before retiring to bed, I either call my love or send him a sweet goodnight text. I then put my phone on airplane mode and turn on my sleeping music, this week it’s been an 8-hour long video I downloaded to my phone with music to calm dogs and their anxiety. I am beginning to transition my dog to move from this nice spacious house and big yard to an apartment and he is not happy about it (for now), so I am trying to ease him into it.
And that folks, is my current daily routine. Of course, as this website suggests, I have started my own wellness business and I have given myself a deadline of August to have everything up and running with clients, I will also be moving, so this routine will be changing drastically, and I have faith that it is for the better.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and please feel free to leave any comments or questions you have for me and even any tips or what your routine looks like! Let me know if anything in this post intrigued you and you would like for me to make a post jumping into it further!