Establishing A Routine
I learned early on after I got sick that it was very easy to fall into the trap of not having an organized day. In all the programs I went to for pain, fibromyalgia, etc. they all stressed how important it was to still have a routine. This included regular bed and wake times, meals, exercise, etc. It is very easy to get out of sync when you don’t have a job to go to or are up half the night with pain.
Where we used to live it was so easy to turn the alarm off after taking my early morning meds and going back to sleep. All we had to do was let Violet and Monkey out to the small back yard for five minutes. Now, when the alarm goes off at 8:30 I get up, take my pills, let Monkey onto the balcony and take Violet out for her first walk. But the time I get back I am usually awake enough to stay up even if my intention was to go back to bed. However, this is a “duty” walk only, with her choice of going into the park or around it. I usually win, but not always. Thankfully today I came out victorious!
Hubby usually takes the lunch shift while I get his bag packed for work and food on the table. This is usually a combined walk and park time I believe. When I go it totally depends if anyone is there or not.
After he leaves around 2:00, I have some time to clean up and unwind before the song and dance routine starts. Violet will start whining and following me around with hope in every step that we will get going. The truth is, we don’t go until 4:00 which is when the “crowd” gathers. I like to get in a nap if I didn’t have a good night or some work on the computer. If she is super persistent I will often take my E-book or laptop with me and work under a shady tree waiting for others to arrive. But I try not to make it a habit or Vi will insist on an earlier start time every day!
We usually get back across the street by 5 pm, in time for medications for both of us and dinner for her and Monkey. I like to watch the news or continue working for awhile, then have my dinner around 6:00. At 7:00 they get their treats and we go to the park again. This is another duty run and I try to make it as short as possible.
At this point, my evening should be my own, though my persistent pet will often do her best to sneak in another outing. If we do, it is just to the small backyard area. I try to combine it with taking out the garbage or recycling.
This may seem like a lot of time taken up by a dog; however, the truth of the matter is that while I am focussing on her needs/wants, I am getting exercise I wasn’t before, I am socializing and I haven’t had a tan for more years than I can remember!
Now you may think that all of these park posts are just variations on the same theme and you would be right. But the bottom line is since moving to this new neighbourhood with its amenities and sense of community, my health has improved substantially. Violet’s has too for that matter.
Having a routine, whether it is centered on a dog park or a job, is healthy for everyone!