my daily routine
This is an ideal day for me and the purpose is just to show how it is possible to incorporate relaxation into normal daily activities. I don’t think it’s good to focus on a set schedule of Bates techniques or anything, be creative. Also, keep in mind that I didn’t do this from the beginning. I gradually did more and more activities without glasses. It also takes time to learn the Bates method as habits, so I think it’s important to take care learning each of his methods and to incorporate them one at a time into the daily routine. This is a record of my experience, not advice.
am: I wake up and am always excited to open my eyes and see. It’s like pinching myself to remind myself that I’m alive. I look around and am just so happy that I can see well. Everyday it seems a bit sharper.
Of the first things I do, I almost always get a large glass of water and open all the windows. Then I read the Snellen chart slowly from whatever distance I feel like, somewhere between 5 and 20 feet. It is important not to ‘test’ the eyes. This time with the chart is for practicing central fixation, shifting, memory, and imagination. His book and magazines describe thousands of ways to practice.
I may practice swinging and swaying a bit. Alternatively, I’ll do my yoga warm-up first. I try to do the yoga warm -up (link to right) everyday. A couple of times a week I’ll go running instead. Or I mix up run – walking. Sports activities without glasses are great because the movement, attention and breathing required are all supportive of Bates method practices. My favourites are running, walking, cycling and rowing.
Breakfast: I became lactose intolerant recently. milk/cereal was hard to give up at first but now I don’t look back. in fact, I think it would make me feel sick to eat it, cereal is so processed and full of sugar. I eat natural yoghurt with muesli and fresh fruit if I have it. No added sugar in the muesli or yoghurt. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! I just add a little spoon of honey to sweeten it and I love it. Even my fiance eats it now which says a lot. 😉 That said, I don’t turn down waffles drowned in syrup.
I get ready for work and ride my bike to the lab. I usually have my best vision just before breakfast, and then again while riding my bike without glasses.
It’s great, I see my best when on my bike. I can read all traffic signs now without glasses.
I get to work and usually dread having to do work because that means putting on my glasses. Recently I was able to change this negative association by putting up photos, plants, and other positive things that I can look at during the day. I find that taking a short break now and then to swing my gaze and look at something familiar helps my vision. These positive objects now remind me of better vision habits like the swing, central fixation, etc. I did this by practicing some of the Bates methods on these objects during very short breaks during work. I often write about how I do this in my blog posts.
When I used to wear glasses for computer work, I would first always sit at my computer without glasses and swing some of the letters and give myself time to improve my sight of the screen. Each time it got a bit sharper. After a while I could then even work for a bit wihtout glasses. Then I was able to work longer and longer without glasses, now I almost never wear glasses at my desk.
I drink lots of water during the day, I try to remember to relax every 10 minutes, breathe deeply, blink, look out the window, do some of the stretches Meir Schneider suggests (link to right). Every hour I go to the bathroom and palm for 5 minutes. Sometimes I get creative and try visualizations that Huxley suggests (like the nose pencil) or I make up my own. Twice a day (back when I wore them) I would remove contacts or glasses and take a 15 minute walk WOG. I don’t wear contacts anymore and rarely wear glasses for extended periods. If the sun is shining all the better! If a bench is free I’ll sit and move my head gently in the sun with my eyes closed, alternating with palming. I don’t do that often though (lack of sun!) and find that walking outdoors and doing other sports outdoors are a natural substitute to sunning. At lunch I usually go WOG home to do autogenics, eat, relax. Sometimes I read from Bates’s magazines at lunch.
After work I try to do autogenics before dinner. I don’t do the autogenics with the aim to complete it. I just do it, mostly in phase one or two as described by the author of the site I reference to the right. Don’t get too hung up on ‘finishing’ things when it comes to Bates method and eyesight improvement. It’s about relaxing, not about finishing a method or training. I find that I get deeper and deeper relaxation in my autogenics sessions just by doing it every day. If I miss a day or a week, it’s not like it’s a bad thing to start at the beginning again, or to start in the middle, the point is to just relax and do it. I find the breathing exercize there invaluable.
Dinner, chores, the usual. Did I mention that I bike home without glasses and don’t wear glasses all evening and not at all over the weekend? Before bed I practice with the chart again and might do more palming or swinging. Or reading Bates. or phoning my family… so much to do, so little time 🙂