I have come to appreciate routines and rhythms. They have a place in anchoring our lives. I didn’t always feel this way. As a twenty-something I enjoyed novelty and varied schedules. As I’ve aged the wisdom of setting your body to nature’s clock has become my preference.
One crucial routine for me is walking or hiking for an hour a day. Getting outside in full view of the sun turns out to be crucial to my health and well being. It helps my sleep and keeps my energy steady. It’s a routine I didn’t keep when living in Manhattan as there was little nature to enjoy and even less sunlight. While I walked everywhere that was a transit decision more than an anchoring rhythm.
But the past two weeks have been completely shot routine wise for me as the polar vortex brought temperatures well below zero and then a series of snowstorms piled up the powder. Usually in Colorado the sun will melt off light snowfall within hours and the temperatures will climb into a pleasant place where you can be outside without layering up. Instead we’ve been Arctic cold with snow that is sticking around past it’s fluffy white powder phase.
The biggest impact has been on my sleep. Typically I am in bed by 9pm and try to stay off my phone. I’ll read and drift off to sleep. Without the sunlight resetting my circadian rhythms I’m letting the blue light of my phone tempt me into staying up “just a little bit later” till I find it’s past midnight. It’s not even doomscrolling. It’s just not winding down when my body normally does. Rather than falling asleep naturally I’m struggling to come down. So I talk myself into just reading one more article and then I’m sure I’ll be tired. Then another. And another. And well you get the picture.
This is beyond the help of hot tea and magnesium. Only sunlight and movement in the morning is going to reset me back. Thankfully it seems the Arctic air has passed. I’m tempted to take a double Ambien and force myself to sleep so I can restart the process in the morning with a good night sleep and a wander in the foothills. So on that note I’ll leave you to a good night as well.