A Matter of Routine

Haven’t written in a while! I hate to make excuses, but life’s been overly tumultuous lately (in a good way) and I feel out of sync with my routine.  In a matter of months I’ve moved from Memphis to Nashville, purchased a house and renovated it. There is also the traveling for work. Good thing is, I welcome change. Isn’t life all about embracing the unknown? The bad part is, I depend heavily on routine to feel healthy and whole. If I don’t exercise, don’t get enough sleep, eat junk food because of convenience and don’t devote time to the projects I enjoy, I start to get down on myself and my body image, not to mention my concentration and creativity become as short as Naomi Campbell’s temper.

Chelsea Charles

A happy, present day me despite a whirlwind schedule.

I cannot stress enough the importance of our daily routines as women!

Other reasons routine takes a detour (we can all relate): New baby, sickness, death in the family, divorce/separation, new job, new school, etc.

But even when you don’t have time to execute your personal routine in a perfect world, you can still take steps to make you feel like you are getting things done, taking care of yourself and being the amazing caregiver you know you are. Here are some I’m really trying to live by:

1) Make Lists with EASY tasks
Sometimes it just feels good to mark things off your list! When you are being pulled in a million directions, seriously, put things on your  “to do” that you do anyway. Sometimes my list has things like “Make bed, Do Laundry, Fold laundry. Put away laundry all as separate line items! Yes, this is laced in with things like “Set up Electronic Tax Records, figure out revised margin runs, and review contracts,” but it’s all about checking things off, baby. Just do as much as you can and realize that this amount is good enough. Focus on what you have accomplished as opposed to what is still lingering.

2) Eat whole foods that make you feel good (aka “bloat busters”)
Fresh fruits and vegetables that contain lots of antioxidants and have a high water volume actually act as a diuretic and prevent bloat. Some examples are asparagus, citrus fruits, cucumbers, blueberries, acorn squash. Also make sure you get some protein and healthy fat with every meal, such as salmon (Costco’s Kirkland frozen salmon fillets taste incredible), flax oil dressing and raw almonds.


These salmon fillets taste delish!

3) Avoid “Bloat Besties”
Like negative friends that only bring you down, bloat-creating foods make us feel fat and wear down the body. Stay away from excess sodium, dairy (if you are lactose intolerant), sugar and high-impact carbohydrates (white carbs). You know the usual culprits here.

4) Break up your Workout
HIIT (high intensity interval training) trumps the calorie burn of steady-state exercising any day. Break your workout into three or four, 10 minute segments. You won’t sweat too badly so you can keep your cute yoga separates on throughout the day. This is a great way to use the Count Me Healthy Original Bracelet. For each 10-minute cardio segment, move a bead. Aim to have the 12 beads moved over by the end of the week. It’s motivating and pretty. Also, if you don’t feel like working out, just go for a short walk. This may not burn fat, but it helps you maintain a routine and keeps you in a better mood.

5) Maintenance Musts
We all know it takes a lot of precious money and TIME to beautify. This is one of the first things to get kicked to the curb when our routines are messed up. Solution: choose one or two things and make them a priority. You don’t have to get the blow out, manicure, pedicure, massage, filler injections, laser, extensions and spray tan on a regular basis. Good Lord! Get done that which is most important to you. Personally, I don’t mind doing my mani/pedis myself, but I try to set money and time aside for a blow out once a week and getting my “lady land” waxed when it is time is nonnegotiable!

Arriane Charles, stylist

I had to include this really sweet pic of my sister, Arianne, because she is better at blow drying hair than anyone I’ve ever been to). She’s a stylist at Bianchi’s in Michigan.

6) Pick up some flowers
It is amazing how good a $3.99 bunch of Gladiolas from Kroger or a $22.00 orchid from Whole Foods (which lasts weeks) can brighten your home and spirit. Ever look through interior design magazines and notice they ALWAYS have flowers to bring the space together for the home spread.  Flowers bring peace (hence the term “flower child”).

I love to buy Gladiolas for my family room in Nashville

I love to buy Gladiolas for my family room in Nashville.

7) Focus on the Present
If your routine gets thrown off, don’t sit there going, “well, it will all get better when….” NO, LIFE IS NOW! The present is the only time that matters. So be thankful for where you are at this present moment and focus on being grateful for the change which brought about the change in routine (yes, there is a positive even in really negative situations). Positive present often brings positive future. Seize the day!


  1. Cindy Smigels says

    Chelsea I really enjoyed reading this blog, and need to get on here and read more often because it really does help me. Thanks Honey you’re the best I love you.

  2. Laura Johnson says

    Chels…you said it best here…routine is what we know from birth….it’s what makes us…this was so good…really enjoyed this. You’re awesome.

  3. Michelle Charles says

    Chelsea, I am making new lists right now. You are so right–being able to cross off accomplishments makes you feel so good. Love the personal favorites –your sister’s picture and your family room. Laura is right, you are awesome.

  4. Danny n Roz says

    It was good to meet you Chelsea.I will try and tell who i can about your website! Danny

  5. Laura McKelvey says

    Chelsea, Thanks! Love your “break up the workout” plan. Even us non-workoutaholics can do 10 min segments!
    Keep up the great work. ~ Laura

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