Everyone’s talking about their routine for serenity. OK, maybe not everyone, but we are. What is serenity and why do you need it? Let’s define serenity because I love to define things.
Serenity is: the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.
Wo, sounds good. Sign me up, right? For people with anxiety, or in recovery, sounds like a freakin’ chupacabra sighting. For people who don’t know, both anxiety and recovery can feel paralyzing sometimes. Pair them together and you have a recipe for a fear-based life riddled with feeling restless, irritable and discontent. But, there is a solution. Discovering what activities you find soothing and creating a routine around them.
I’m someone who takes things all the way so here are the things I did to find to find serenity and then create a routine for serenity in my life.
My routine for serenity started when I relocated
I moved to Southern California from New York City. Why? Because NYC is very cool but very cold. I’d been there my whole life with a few stints in other places, and I’d outgrown the cool. I just wanted to be where it’s warm and sunny, and I could drive everywhere. But, I took it even further and moved across the street from the entrance to hiking trails. I didn’t even stop there. I got a bunch of dogs who have to go hiking all the time or they’ll drive me crazy. This means, I go hiking a couple times a week whether I want to or not, whether it’s raining or not, but more often than not, in the beautiful SoCal weather. For me, this particular mixture of exercise, time in sunshine and nature, and activity with the dogs has a direct effect on my serenity. They say all three of those activities reduce anxiety, and depression. This is a routine for all my brothers and sisters out there who struggle with that beast.
My next routine for serenity began with making recovery commitments
Twice a week I show up somewhere to do something for recovery. Why? So, I can be of service to people coming after me and because it makes me feel good. It also mandates that I’m going to see people like sponsors and sponsees—past, current and future—all good for the recovery. Also, because seeing people and connecting with them is important to easing out of your mind, which I believe is the big goal with serenity. Getting out of self. This is another action that creates routine and accountability. More than that, sometimes it’s really important for me personally to remember where I came from. 20 years ago I was headed down the wrong path and I’m one of the lucky ones who have been able to find recovery. That is 100% due to people who came before me and took the time to help me find my way back. So, that now I can help others find their way back. “That’s how we do,” someone once told me.
Any routine for serenity must include positive vibes only
I have a positive outlook on life. Why? Because I have to. Look, I have friends, and family, who suffer with depression and I get it. When you’re depressed it’s impossible. My issues are a bit different so I struggle more with something I call A & D, Anxiety and Dread. Practicing a positive mindset has helped me hugely when it comes to self-esteem, exercise, work, personal relationships and family. It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and I’m proud to say my mother and I get along really well. It’s not always simple in some families. Sometimes creating new relationships with family when there’s been addiction and alcoholism in the home, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, takes time. Sometimes it takes forgiveness—on everyone's part. My outlook on everything in my life today is positive and because of that I feel happier. Another byproduct of serenity and routine.
How’d I get the positive outlook on life?
Prayer and meditation are essential to your routine for serenity
I’m not a religious person so...Why? I’m a spiritual person who needs a Higher Power to believe in because there has to be something greater than me. I used to hear people swear by meditation, and I never got it until I made it a practice myself. The key word here being practice. I had to do it every day on and off for a year before I really saw a difference but then I did. I saw differences in all aspects of my life. Mostly, serenity, general calmness and being OK with whatever is happening in my life. Today, I attend a meditation classes as well as have a short practice in my home in the morning. If I fill my head with affirmations and gratitude, there is no room for negative tapes. They just get quieter and quieter.
Try implementing things that make you feel calm and happy in your life and make them a practice. These things don’t happen overnight and that’s why many people give up. But, give it time. Being calm, peaceful, and untroubled (most of the time) is entirely worth all the work it takes.