Hello peoplezz! I am back from my trip; it took me a week to get rid of my vacation hangover and get my life back on track! Getting back into the routine takes a while but there are certain little things I do everyday that help me get along with the day, keep me sane and make me feel productive at the end of the day.
During my days of work (yep, I was once the queen in the digital marketing world until I moved to Amreeka), I shared one thing with almost ALL my coworkers – be it my CEO, my line-manager or other colleagues, we all waited for vacations, holidays and long weekends. And hence, I was over the moon, when I moved to this new land and took a break from my work life. It was Ahhmazzing! There was no constant pressure of setting an early alarm and looking for something appropriate to wear everyday. I used to enjoy my long beauty naps and the routine was more like sleep, eat, binge watch Netflix and repeat! Life was great until it hit me that I no longer feel productive and being lazy did not make me happy AT ALL! That’s when I decided that there are some little changes that I need to make to my routine and trust me, it worked!
So here are some little alterations that made me stay active, happy and productive all day.
P.S. I am writing these tips for mostly stay-at-home people or people who have flexible work hours but some points might also work for everyone in general.
Fight the urge to sleep 5 more minutes!
I used to wake up around 10 or 11 am everyday and it used to make me super lazy with mild headaches. And trust me that’s not how you would want to start your day! You are supposed to feel happy and active when you wake up but I felt the exact opposite of that. I then started waking up early; it was difficult in the beginning but I got a hold of that by realizing that if I wake up before Shahzeb leaves, I have the opportunity to have breakfast with him and that could be a beautiful start. It really worked for me and motivated me to wake up earlier than usual. (I start my day at 8 am now and it’s awesome)
If you have problems waking up early, look for a motivation – something that you would love to do but won’t be able to do if you wake up later in the day or towards afternoon.
Make that bed before doing anything else!
Uffff, there is nothing in the world more beautiful than a neatly made bed. In Pakistan, I never had to take care of my surroundings or make my bed because of the house help culture there (trust me, I am not proud of that but in my defense when I used to leave the house, the bed used to be occupied by my sister because of her afternoon shift) But here in Amreeka, you have to do LITERALLY everything on your own.
Bed occupies most of the space in your bedroom and hence, if that’s left unmade or messy, the entire room looks shabby. One thing that I have realized in the past year is that your surrounding has the most impact on your mood and mind. If your surrounding is messy and dirty, you will feel the same way!
Hence, always, always try to make your bed before even stepping into the toilet because otherwise the chore gets ignored for the rest of the day!
P.s. I have heard men saying (including my husband) ‘jab raat main dobara soona hi hai, tu theek kerne ki kya zarurat hai?’ NO! It doesn’t work that way! I mean, phir tu shower bhi nahi leina chahiye, kyun keh dobara ganda hona hi hai -_-
LOL I don’t mean that LITERALLY but change into some decent clothes from your pajamas!
In the early days when I moved here, I used to stay in my pajamas 24/7 and it actually made me feel how pajamas are supposed to make you feel – lazy and comfy! It’s true that the way you are dressed has a direct impact on how you think or feel because your brain has been conditioned that way and that’s when I realized that I missed changing into a decent pair of shalwaar kameez and putting on some lipstick for a change.
So if you are working from home or not working from home, step out of your comfort zone by getting rid of those lazy dheelay dhaalay kapre and get on with the world!
Morning shows with morning chai? A BIG NO-NO!
I remember starting my day with breakfast in front of me with random clatter of sitcoms (mostly FRIENDS) in the background. Hours used to pass by with phone in one hand and remote in the other and breakfast time used to turn into lunch time. I don’t think it’s THAT harmful or too big of a deal but I feel it takes most of your day time and that early morning energy which can be utilized in so much more gets wasted. Also for me, watching TV is a classic way of procrastinating your daily chores.
I prefer doing my breakfast in either silence where I can prepare a mental to-do-list for the day or have a silly (sometimes meaningful) conversation with S over breakfast. I don’t think starting your day with too much noise is the right way! (would love to know your thoughts as well and then we can write a research on this lolz)
Let that light come in!
As soon as I step in my lounge (which is directly connected to my kitchen), I always open my window and balcony blinds to let that sunlight come in.
Initially, I never used to open these blinds because of the reflection of light on the TV (the days when I used to watch TV with subah ki chai) and it was a pain to my eyes. However, now that I open my blinds, it’s my way of saying ‘Good Morning’ to the world and to myself (and to S ofcourse). I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel that I get a nice, happy and warm vibe or energy as soon as I let natural light get in my house. Have you ever felt the same way? Try and let me know!
Sweat that laziness!
Apart from feeling lethargic everyday, I started feeling extremely exhausted, tired and unhappy. I also gained soooo much weight after moving here; it was okay in the beginning and I didn’t pay much heed to that but after a while when I could’t walk for miles without getting tired and everybody started telling me how fat I look, I was completely shattered (I still feel sad about it sometimes).
The only and only thing that helped me was working out. I used to go to the gym in my vicinity for 45 mins 3-4 times a week. There was one time that I went for 90 mins everyday. I didn’t lose a pound but it made me feel active and fit. That’s when I also realized that it’s okay to be chubby or fat, but NOT OKAY to be unhealthy or unfit.
You don’t have to go to the gym, just start some exercises at home for 15 mins daily – not to lose weight but to push your boundaries and challenge yourself. Trust me you will feel absolutely awesome!
Rinse away that negativity!
Again, as I mentioned earlier, feeling good has a lot to do with how you look. For e.g. if I don’t wash my hair for more than 18 hours, they turn extremely greasy (because of my oily scalp) and then whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I absolutely loathe myself.
And that’s what I am talking about. It’s extremely important to smell good and dress good in order to feel good, because our mind is conditioned in a way that if you are showered, clean and nicely dressed, you look appropriate and if not, you don’t look as fresh and brand new (even though we might be looking absolute stunning without a shower, our brains have a weird way of tricking us into believing otherwise).
So my boys and girls, shower is one of my most essential parts of the day!
Write & capture random things on paper
For me, talking to my audience and writing my heart out to people works; for you, it could be a small journal to scribble your to-do-lists, your thoughts, things that make you happy, things you are grateful for, one things (out of the ordinary) that you achieved today or some random motivational quote.
Thinking about things in the head is great but I think jotting them down on a piece of paper makes them more concrete. In order to feel sane, it is extremely important to express yourself. This might not be true for many people but since I had to share what worked for me to regain my sanity and mental peace, I thought it will be a great add and idea to the list.
I am so happy to share these little alterations with you guys. I really hope I was able to help a soul.
P.S. I wrote about these little changes after inculcating them in my life almost 7 months ago and it worked. So just mind it, it isn’t something I practiced for a week but it has been a long observation and experiment that worked for me. I hope it works for you as well!
Looking forward to see you here again!