My Bedtime Routine

Hi everyone. I’m feeling a little stressed out and, as it is past 9PM as I’m starting to write this post, I thought I’d share about my bedtime routine in order to get myself comfy and relaxed for bed.

Usually, the staff come by my room at around 9:45PM to help me get ready for bed, like get into my pajamas and brush my teeth. I usually leave my socks on, as I’ll often want to stay up a little longer. The evening shift here at my current care home ends at 10:30PM, so the staff usually say goodbye then too and turn off my light. In the care home I may move to on October 5, the evening shift ends at 10PM, so I may want to move my bedtime back a little.

I can go into bed by myself, but sometimes I want the staff to stand by while I go into bed. I will pull off my socks. Then, I’ll grab my iPhone if it’s sufficiently charged and select a Spotify playlist to play on my music pillow. The music pillow is connected to my iPhone via its lightning port (and a lightning-to-audio converter). I love the Harp Lullabies playlist, the Guitar Lullabies playlist or some albums by Robbins Island Music Group or Dan Gibson’s Solitudes. I most commonly set the sleep timer for an hour.

I sometimes will have an essential oil blend in my diffuser too. Some aren’t very suited to sleeping, but I know of a number of relaxing essential oil blends, four of which I shared before.

I have a weighted blanket, which I pull up over me almost till my chin. I also will grab ahold of one of my soft toys. Sometimes, I’ll lay the tail of the lemur over my chest, while at other times, I’ll hold the dolphin or unicorn.

Sometimes, I need to shift my sleeping position. I can sleep in every position except on my right side, but my preference will vary. Once I’ve found a comfortable position, I’ll likely doze off pretty quickly.

The night staff does come by at around 11:30PM to check on me. This is mostly to prevent me sitting up all night without anyone noticing. I can also press the call button if I can’t sleep, but of course other than try to comfort me, there is little the night staff can do. That being said, I sleep a lot better now that I have the weighted blanket, music pillow and essential oil diffuser than before I had all these.

loopyloulaura

Rituals and Routines Surrounding My Creative Work #AtoZChallenge

Hi everyone and welcome to day 18 and my letter R post in the #AtoZChallenge. Today, I’m going to talk about rituals and routines surrounding my creative process.

I don’t really have any particular rituals, in the sense that I do certain ritualistic things related to my creativity. Maybe it would help me if I did, because I sometimes struggle to get started with my creativity. Maybe having a creative ritual would help me get the “signal” that I’ll be crafting. Then again, that’d be similar to having a creative routine.

I do have certain specific routines where it comes to my polymer clay. First, I set up my work space. Usually, my staff help me roll out my no-stick mat and set up my pasta machine. They also retrieve my ceramic tile and the pencil case with my cutting tools in it from the locked kitchen cabinet. I have my clay in a large storage box, which I usually put onto my bed before starting to work. Most of the time, if I need just one color at a time, I get them out of the box one by one too and return them as soon as I no longer need them.

I usually have the staff pull my hair into a ponytail before I start to work too, because I don’t want to get hair into my polymer clay. When I’m wearing a fleece vest, I remove that too. I do usually wear black T-shirts, even though I’ve heard lint from that can get into your polymer clay too. I however don’t have any white shirts.

I always make sure to wash my hands before working with polymer clay and inbetween colors. A notable exception is when I’ll be using black for a figure’s eyes, because firstly I’ll just need a tiny bit of black then and secondly black will hardly be contaminated by other colors.

When I’m done working with polymer clay, I also have a routine that includes cleaning every tool I’ve used, including the ceramic tile, the pasta machine, any cookie cutters, my knives, etc. I clean most things using baby wipes, but this does mean I need to dry most of my tools (especially my pasta machine!) too. Most pros disassemble the pasta machine for cleaning, but I have no idea how to do that or how to put it back together.

I have no set time for polymer clay. For other creative activities, such as blogging, I do usually have set times, because I need to be alone when doing them. My most common time to write a blog post is after 8PM in the evening.

Sunday Ramble: Habits and Routines

Hello all on this beautiful Easter Sunday! Today, I’m joining the Sunday Ramble, for which the topic this week is habits and routines. Here are Amy’s questions.

1. Do you have a daily routine that you are used to, or do you just go with the flow of the new day?
I usually get up and go to bed around the same time. I also eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time most days. However, with respect to the activities I do inbetween, I usually go with the flow. After all, I just don’t always fancy doing the same things each day, don’t have the same level of energy, etc.

2. Do you do anything in your life habitually that you wish you could stop?
I guess I have quite a few bad habits. I’m learning not to overeat, but I still eat much faster than I’d like.

I also bite my nails. I tried to stop when I first started working with polymer clay, thinking that I could ingest polymer clay that got stuck under my nails by biting my nails. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop.

I also twirl my hair, which my autism diagnosing psychologist once told me was a “serious social handicap”. Well, I was just beginning to recover from a psychiatric crisis at the time, so I couldn’t care less.

3. If habit was the acronym H.A.B.I.T, what would it be short for?
Helpful Actions Bring Infinite Thankfulness.
That’s a way of turning HABIT into something good!

4. Are we born with our bad habits? Or do we acquire them from the environment surrounding us?
I think, like most of our traits, it’s a combination of both. We are born with a predisposition to, for example, nervousness, addiction, etc. However, the exact nature of our bad habits and whether they make it into actual compulsions/addictions/etc. or not, is largely determined by our environment.

5. Are you a night owl, early bird, or something else when it comes to sleeping routines?
I am naturally more of a night owl, but I also need a lot of sleep. I’ve gotten used to going to bed at around 10:30PM and getting up at 8:30AM. That probably makes me something in between.

My Daily Routine (Or Lack Thereof)

And still it’s incredibly hot here! It did start to rain last night, but it’s not cooled down much in my room. It’s already past 9PM here and I don’t feel like writing. Or doing anything else. But I bet I cannot sleep either. Therefore, I blog.

Today’s #FDDA prompt is “your daily routine”. My daily what, I ask?

Unlike many other autistics, I am not one for clear routines. In the mental hospital, I would just lie around and do whatever, just like I see many people do now during the COVID-19 lockdown. I didn’t have a set time I’d go to bed or get up. I didn’t have a daily personal hygiene routine, as I hated most personal care tasks and there was no-one to say I needed to do them. Well, there was the staff, of course, but it was their view that I was responsible enough to decide these things for myself.

Once I lived with my husband, I did go to a day center each weekday morning. This meant I did have to get up at the same time each day. I did have an okay morning routine back then, as my husband had instilled the importance of personal care into me.

Then I went into long-term care. Pre-COVID, I still had somewhat of a routine, as I was expected to go to the day center each weekday (except for every other Friday). I tried to maintain such a routine when the day center closed, but I cannot seem to really.

Still, I have some set activities I do each day. I go for a walk in the morning and one in the afternoon too. We also have coffee, lunch and dinner at the same time each day. Now that it’s hot though, I don’t go for walks and often skip coffee break too.

These last few weeks, the days have truly been merging into each other like time didn’t really matter. I do still try to blog most days, usually around the same time.

Sometimes, I wish I had more of a strict daily routine. That’s not really possible though and I’m not sure it’s really what would be best for me.

What about you? Do you thrive on routine?