How is it already the end of January? I feel as though the first month of 2021 just whizzed by! I took a bit of a social media hiatus these past few weeks to focus on myself, develop personal growth goals for the new year, and get ready for my last semester of graduate school. With all of that being said, unfortunately we seem to find ourselves pent up again in quarantine and I decided that instead of spending every single day in loungewear without makeup on or my hair done, 2021 was going to be different. I really do not want to spend another few months pretending I am on some sort of staycation. Frankly, I do not think this mindset has benefitted my overall physical or mental health.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about Taking the Time to Regroup and this is a sort of follow-up to that post. During the social media hiatus I took these past few weeks, I tried nurturing some healthy habits to help me stay on track and be more productive in my every-day life. That’s what I am going to be talking about in this post. No, I did not cut out all carbs and alcohol. No, I am not going to lie and pretend that I carve out 3 hours every single day for moments of meditation and reflection. Rather, these few simple habits I have been trying to develop have helped me feel more productive, successful, and healthy.
1. Making the Bed Every Day
I have always made my bed every single day… until quarantine. Even in high school I made it a point to make my bed before leaving for school and kept up with that habit in college and brought it into adulthood. For some reason I feel that making the bed in the morning signifies the start of a new day in a bold way. Once the bed is made I feel less inclined to get back into it, and I genuinely love walking into a neat and tidy room during the day. Further, there is no better feeling than crawling into a made bed at the end of the day! Overall, a made bed makes the rest of the day flow better.
There were many days throughout quarantine that I sort of abandoned this practice of mine and I have been trying to get back on track with it. It is not always made by exactly 7:00 AM every morning, but my goal is for the bed to be made by 10:00 AM. Between my toddler’s morning schedule, my husband’s meeting schedule, etc., it is hard to always pinpoint exactly when this task will get done. However, when it finally does I do feel like I have accomplished the first task of the day.
2. Getting Dressed Every Day
As I usually mention in my lifestyle posts, I judge no one for their routines or how they live their daily lives. For me, I know that getting dressed makes me a more productive person throughout the day. I am a firm believer that looking good helps you feel good. With all of that being said, I have a personal three-step guide to getting ready to stay home:
- Real pants
- If I wear “real” pants I feel dressed and ready. “Real” pants does not necessarily mean slacks or something business casual. Rather, even leggings can be “real” pants if they are matched with a long sweater or something. Even athleisure wear can be an acceptable outfit choice if it is a cohesive look.
- Fixing my hair and makeup
- I am not suggesting that I get up everyday and fix my makeup like a Kardashian. I do not feel compelled every day to wear fake lashes and contour. However, I do find that if I wash my face, complete my skin are routine, and even apply some concealer and tinted lip moisturizer, I feel better. The same goes for my hair. I don’t blow out my hair every morning, but I do brush it out, fix the ends, and style it to some degree.
- One accessory
- This is a step I live by! I genuinely feel that if I have at least one accessory on my whole look is pulled together. This accessory can be as simple as a pair of earrings, a bracelet or necklace, or even a hat.
For some reason, when I follow these three dressing “rules” I feel more ready to tackle the day.
3. Reviewing the To-Do List
Staying at home has made me realize that work never truly ends. I do work in the traditional sense from home, and I also take care of a toddler all day, make meals, clean, do school work, etc. I am never truly “free.” Before or after I get dressed I take a few minutes to review my schedule for the day. I check when I have Zoom or WebEx meetings, schedule blog posts to be written, plan when I will make dinner, bath times, and even when I will sit down and relax. Living by a to-do list does not always work for everyone and probably makes me seem wildly a-type, but it works for me to stay on top of my daily goals.
This is probably going to sound crazy, but I also vaguely keep track of my husband’s work meetings. He also keeps track of my work schedule. Because we both work from home, knowing when each other is busy helps manage who is in charge of taking care of our son, doing housework, etc.
4. Eating Healthy and Nutrient-Dense Foods
Again, I am not going to sit here and write that I abandoned all junk foods and have resorted to only eating kale and skinless grilled chicken. I still eat my daily fix of Goldfish, haha! However, I have starting incorporating healthier foods into my daily diet. I try to eat servings of veggies with every meal, lean proteins, healthy fats etc.
My body runs and feels better when I eat these foods. I feel less groggy, less bloated, and I think my skin looks better. Eating healthy also helps me run better and I love having a good run.
5. Incorporating Movement in Each Day
This one is not always easy given how hectic my schedule can be or how the weather is, but I do make it a priority to do some form of cardio every day. My favorite is running. I have always enjoyed running and love that “runner’s high” feeling. However, sometimes I just go on long walks with our toddler and listen to a good podcast. Both make me feel better on any given day, both physically and mentally.
If I cannot go outside due to the weather, I sometimes try to do a yoga session on Amazon Prime or through a local yoga studio that offers virtual classes. I have not been to a gym or yoga studio in months due to the pandemic but I do love yoga and try to get in a few classes every week!
…and that’s it!
I think the last thing on this list would be practicing kindness with myself every day. Sometimes these goals are not met and you know what? That’s okay. There is always tomorrow to be or do better and I can always look towards that.