In the chaos around us, it is so easy to feel like we are not in control of anything. There are still plenty of things you can control! In 2020, I decided to take the extra time at home as a gift and compiled a list of intentions with the goal to be more present in the moment:
Refine Your Cooking Skills. While my husband and I are both working from home, instead of getting into the routine of ordering carry out every night, we decided to cook at home all of our meals and indulge in carry out two or three meals per week. It seems strict to some; This was something we had been wanting to do, but our schedules always seemed too hectic. With the change of pace, and a slower lifestyle at home, it was the perfect time to start. It’s now 2021 and my knife handling skills have improved, my relationship with food is better than ever, I am the proud owner if a Dutch oven, and I can whip up a meal with just about anything. Cooking also brings me out of my head and into the moment. While working from home, its hard to decompress and switch into a different mindset when you log off for the day. Getting into the kitchen, preparing, and cooking a meal is a great transition into the mindset of being off the clock and ready to relax.
Upgrade Your Diet. When we decided to cook at home almost every night, it was only natural that we planned our grocery trips in detail – dealing with the chaos of the grocery store once per week was enough. Let me tell you, when you must wait in line to go down the ranch isle, you start to wonder if that particular ranch is worth it. This led us to evaluate what was worth purchasing and what we could buy that was healthier. If we were going to spend the time cooking every night, we decided to cook from scratch, cutting out as much sugar, and processed foods as we could. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to dip my home-made fries in my homemade ranch.
Adopt. If you are lucky enough to add a new family member during this time, I highly recommend adopting a pet. With the extra time at home, you will have the time to connect with your new pal and get them acclimated to their new home. I also think that getting into a socially distance training, online training, or one-on-one training class can help to strengthen their trust and bond with you. We adopted a one-year-old Doberman, and he has brought us so much happiness during these times of uncertainty.
Stick to Your Sleep Schedule. This is a must. We have always been very strict with our sleep routine. Even pre-pandemic, we were often the butt of jokes when we left trivia at 8pm on a weeknight to get ready for bed. Even the walk of shame out of the bar with our friends slinging jokes in our wake couldn’t keep us from our cozy 9pm bedtime. Why? Because we feel SO GOOD when we get a great night’s sleep! Our routine is normally to get ready and in bed by 9pm, take our melatonin and sleep CBD, and cozy up with a good book until our eyes get tired around 10pm, then lights out! I can still remember all the years I spent getting only 5-6 hours of sleep and I cringe. Once I started my routine, I noticed a change in my mood, mindset, weight, and energy within the first month.
Read More. During the stay-at-home order, our mini community library down the street was wrapped up in caution tape. This was when I realized how much things were going to change. My husband surprised me with a kindle a few days later and my reading hobby was set in stone. I would recommend the Libby or Hoopla app, where you link your library card and get kindle books on loan from your local community libraries. I also have Goodreads where I connect with friends and we can see what each other is reading and get recommendations based on those ratings. I also share weekly Instagram stories with book recommendations if you want to check out my highlights.
Learn Spanish. We all are dreaming of the time where we can travel safely again. We have instead been able take advantage of our surrounding area, explore our states, and find new things we love about where we live. But it is still hard to be present when our minds are on far off adventures. I chose to learn Spanish and downloaded DuoLingo to help me out. Barcelona, I’m coming for you!
Skincare AM/PM. This is a given for me, and of course I had to include this! Before 2020, my skincare routine was okay, but all the products I was using were from the drugstore. I wanted to get into a professional skincare brand but didn’t know where to start. Once I decided on the school I was going to attend as an esthetician, I chose one of the two brands that they carried. I am a firm believer in recommending products that I have tried personally and from a brand that offers education and support to estheticians. I can’t stress enough how much of difference it is to use professional skincare products. I noticed results in the first month and never looked back. If you would like to chat more about what brand you should choose, send me an email or message on social.
Reorganize the Closets. This is a chore, but when I finished the project I felt as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders. Honestly, weekends during a stay-at-home order can be B.O.R.I.N.G. One day after I spent 10 minutes looking for some icy hot only to find that it was dried up and expired, I decided it was time to read Marie Kondo, spark the joy, and trash the rest. I’ll never go back to a cluttered closet again!
Buy Nothing. Okay, so I know we can’t just BUY NOTHING. However, after reading an amazing book called “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders, I did change a few things. First, why would I buy new clothes when I wasn’t really supposed to be leaving my house? Second, why do I want to buy new clothes when purchasing gently used, or even clothes new with tags second hand using an app like ThredUp? I have never been a big fashionista, but I do love vintage clothes – so maybe this is going to be easier for me than for you. I also uninstalled all my shopping apps from my phone and if I decided that I wanted to purchase something, I waited 7 days to see if it was something I really wanted/needed. I can tell you it usually wasn’t worth it. This is where I decided not to purchase a kindle book if I could find it on my local library app first. There are exceptions like food, toiletries, etc. But the goal is to reevaluate your spending, and become a conscious consumer, it’s a win-win.
Meditate Routinely. When I decided to change my career, my mind was all over the place. I wanted out of my current career (like now!), but I also didn’t want to start my career as an esthetician in the middle of the pandemic. Not to mention the feelings that come with a career change so drastic. The Calm or Headspace app is great place to start.
Work Out 3 Days a Week. I am not one to work out, but I realize how important this is as we age. Luckily, my husband drags me out of bed every morning kicking and screaming. We decided to build a gym in our garage, and it has made this routine much easier. I also enjoy practicing yoga out there, free from any distractions. I personally love Yoga with Kassandra on YouTube; she has videos for everyone, and her Guided Morning Meditation series is AMAZING!
Take Sundays Off. Some days seem to blend right into the other. For a couple of weeks, I felt like I wasn’t getting as much done as I should because I always felt like I wanted more time to relax. So, I decided to take every Sunday off, which meant no mandatory tasks/chores allowed. Sunday is my free day to do with whatever I want, and it has improved my productivity the other 6 days of the week.
Self-care is taking the time to make your surroundings work in conjunction with your highest and greatest good as well as working on yourself to be ready and capable of excepting the good, along with the challenges that happen in life. When we are healthy inside, and maintain a healthy environment around us, we can do amazing things!