When we are laid off, get fired, or leave a job voluntarily, often our life patterns suffer.
This might include:
- When we eat
- What we eat
- Where we eat
- Bathroom (I will not discuss this but..)
We are creatures of habit. Eating at the same time each day is healthy. Sleeping on a consistent schedule helps the body restore itself.
Even when we are working, things like travel can disrupt our patterns. When I worked for IBM in the 1990s, I traveled a lot and found that reestablishing my patterns after a trip was difficult.
Note: This post was originally published in February of 2017 and was updated in July of 2019.
What about when you return to work?
I work with most of my clients to reestablish patterns when they return to work. When you return to work after a bout of unemployment, is a great time to re-establish healthy patterns by choice.
Let me discuss some of these.
Reestablishing Sleep Patterns
How much do you need to sleep? When do you need to get up in the morning? This should tell you when you need to go to bed.
I am really enjoying the new Bedtime App that is part of the latest version of Apple’s IOS.
The app is set for me to get 8 hours of sleep. I go to bed at 10:30 PM and the alarm goes off at 6:30 AM Mondays through Friday.
A notification appears 30 minutes before I am supposed to go to bed.
I have found this is a great nudge for me to go to bed and get up the same time every day.
Reestablishing sleeping patterns is critical to a healthy lifestyle.
Reestablishing Eating Patterns
When and what are you going to eat for breakfast? Now that I have moved past the magic age of 60, I have to maintain a strict diet for breakfast. I drink a fruit smoothie with goat yogurt, a slice of pineapple, flax seed, whey protein and a generous amount of fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries. (Since we moved to Mexico in 2018, finding fresh fruits is incredibly easy and affordable.)
What are you going to eat for your mid-day meal? Are you going to bring it from home or purchase it at or near work? Think about this carefully.
I am very careful to get out of the office to eat lunch. Being a closet introvert I need to get away from people and restore my energy if I have been around people all morning.
When you return to work you can craft a plan to eat healthy by design. It is both what you eat and where you eat.
Reestablishing Exercise Patterns
This does not necessarily mean going to the gym. When I lived in Austin, I walk to my local coffee shop several times a week first thing in the morning. I listen to my favorite podcasts on this 3-mile round trip walk.
My wife and I lived about 2-3 miles from downtown Austin. On Friday evenings, we walk downtown and eat at our favorite Italian restaurant. We usually walk home but if we get tired we can always rent a Car2Go to finish the last mile or so of the trip. We get exercise, have a great meal and enjoy the scenery of downtown Austin.
I was a regular at the local YMCA which is very close to where I took this picture.
Now that we live in Mexico, I grab my coffee each morning and walk to the Malecon (pier) in Ajijic. (picture to the left).
The Malecon is 4 blocks from our casita and is on Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico.
My wife and I commonly make the walk again in the evening getting in at least 3 miles of walking every day.
When you return to work, it is a great time to reestablish your exercise patterns.
Reestablishing Other Patterns
We have so many other patterns in our life. These might include:
- Reading or listening time
- Schedule for dropping off children at school
- Playing with your children
- Allocating time for your hobbies
- Playing with your pets
- Find time for social outlets
- Allocating time to go to the bathroom… oops I said I would not talk about this.
When you have been unemployed for an extended period of time, and many of us have experienced this, making a plan for reestablishing patterns when you return to work is really healthy.
What patterns have I missed?
Comment below with patterns that you reestablished when you went back to work.
- When Clouds Part: Moments of Clarity [Podcast]
- Learning to Say “No” and Not Feeling Guilty
- Marc’s Wife, Lotus, and Her Observations on Moving to Ajijic. [Podcast]