3 Steps to Rediscover Your Rhythm

I like to think of myself as a pretty good dancer. Which is fortunate, because no-one else does.

But when I have a couple of champagnes, or when I listen to Dance Apocalyptic while cooking dinner, none of that matters because I am convinced I look amazing.

What I actually look like is this:

But that’s OK. I feel like I have rhythm. The moves feel good. I feel comfortable. Yes, I look like a frog in a blender, but I feel great.

And that’s what rhythm is all about. Feeling comfortable. Knowing the tempo, knowing the moves, knowing (or not knowing, but feeling OK about that) what comes next.

Feeling good in my day is one of the main reasons I aspire to having rhythms (not routines) to my mornings, my days, my weeks. You can read more about my reasons for that here, but suffice to say rhythm is a much friendlier way to approach your days, and  as far as I’m concerned, rhythm is where it’s at.

But what happens when you mis-step? When your flow is interrupted? When the tempo changes unexpectedly? When someone gets all up in your dancefloor space and throws you off your game? What happens when you fall out of rhythm?

How do you get that back? Or how do you find a new one when you’re reeling? When you’re struggling? When you’re stuck doing the Running Man and getting nowhere? (Sorry. I’ll stop the dancing analogy now.)

That’s where I’ve been for the past couple of weeks. I’ve lost touch with my rhythms, some of my circumstances have changed, we’ve been fighting virus after virus here at home and things felt really freaking hard all of a sudden.

It left me feeling anxious and overwhelmed and depressed. Everything that used to just happen as part of my rhythms suddenly stopped happening. Things that were easy got really difficult. I thought there was something wrong with me.

Turns out I just lost my rhythm.

So how do we get it back?

1. Check in with your discipline.

First I needed to figure out if my rhythm had to change or if I needed to sack up and re-engage my discipline. Turns out it was the latter.

I had gotten a little lazy in the approach to my days, and things had fallen by the wayside.

I had stopped writing my 3-item to-do list. I had stopped working through my Dailies and my Weeklies. I had been doing what I felt like doing, rather than what I had already established needed doing.

I got back to the things I know work for me, stopped being lazy and suddenly my rhythms felt a little closer to being right.

So check in and see that you’re still doing those things you know are necessary. Sure, you might not want to. But if you’ve worked through the process of establishing rhythms already, you know those tasks need doing for a reason.

So do them.

2. See what else has made its way in to your days.

Commitments, responsibilities, projects, shoulds, yeses and new interests all squeeze their way into our daily lives over time.

I’ve got two new projects underway that weren’t on the radar when I established my rhythms earlier in the year and I hadn’t made any room for them. But there I was, expecting those same rhythms to continue to help me get it all done.

I needed to shift things around, re-prioritise, decide on what remained important and what was no longer a high priority. Continuing to do that helps me see where I need to make more space and makes it easier to spot those time-sucks and energy vampires that sneak in to my days.

So re-evaluate the current flow of your days. What’s changed? What habits have slipped? What seemingly small shifts have happened? These could be the key to finding that rhythm again.

3. Finally, be kind to yourself.

Some seasons of life – be them a day, a week or a month – are tougher than others. Life has a way of squeezing meetings and phone calls and sick kids and deadlines in to the same week. Understand that there is going to be ebb and flow to your life, and accept that there will be seasons of busy-ness. This is not a failing on your part.

I can see that these few weeks would have been busy regardless of my rhythm, simply because a whole heap of stuff happened at the same time. While it’s helped a lot to take the first two steps and check in with myself, it’s also helped to show myself some kindness.

It takes the pressure off a little and stops me from making it seem worse than it really is.

So by all means, check in, re-evaluate, re-prioritise and re-invigorate your rhythms, but understand that this rhythm-less phase will pass soon enough. And in the meantime, be kind to yourself.

Losing your rhythm is not necessarily a bad thing. It can force us to re-evaluate and re-establish our priorities, and help us see what stuff should be removed or downgraded from our days. It doesn’t feel good at the time, but work through it and you’ll be ripping up the dancefloor again in no time.

12 Responses to 3 Steps to Rediscover Your Rhythm

  1. “Commitments, responsibilities, projects, shoulds, yeses and new interests all squeeze their way into our daily lives over time” — so true! Even wonderful new things (for us a daily hour walking outside in nature) must squeeze other things out.
    With the change of the Earth’s seasons (Spring!), so a change of personal routines is in our home as well.
    Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking words.
    PS Is Dance Apocolyptic a band? Music tends to distract me when cooking, but I enjoy it sometimes when cleaning!

  2. Thanks Brooke! I needed this post right now. It does feel like I lose my rhythm at times, and like you said, it’s pretty uncomfortable. With three kids, it seems to happen a little more frequently than I’d like. :-) It definitely helps to be kind to myself, and realize it WILL pass.

    • Amen to that Laura! I think it comes in part from having to take into consideration the needs of small people while also trying to maintain our own rhythm. Sometimes, something’s gotta give. x

  3. The right post at the right time Brooke, thank you! You could have been describing my life right there, and I just wanted to let you know that your article made me feel a lot saner – it gave me some much needed perspective on things. As Laura above commented, it does helps to realize it will pass, this rhythm-less phase. Will be boogying again in no time! :-)

  4. Great timing Brooke, I too have seemed to have lost my rhythm lately. Times have been hard, family has been sick, additional things have crept in, my to-do list is lacking, and self-care non-existent. Time to dance!

  5. Christmas and the first trimester of pregnancy had got my rhythms out of whack in the first couple of months this year. My energy seems to have returned helped by the lighter evenings and warmer days that we’re now getting in the northern hemisphere. I’m now in a better position to flex my discipline muscle and get the house in order ready for our new arrival in August.

  6. Thanks Brooke!!!
    It’s funny how you read things at the perfect moment sometimes! I’ve been struggling lately with stresses and anxiety and it’s always nice to know you’re not alone in these feelings of being a bit out of control!
    Thanks for the advice and knowing we all have our moments:)

  7. […] my routines I have been trying to reestablish them. One of the articles which is helping me is this article at Slow Your Home on rediscovering my rhythm. Going through the steps here, I started wondering, what exactly is the difference between a rhythm […]