“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.”
I hope that if you’ve been following along with the meditation challenge this month or establishing your own self-care routine that it is going well for you. It does not have to be perfect, but any step is a step in the right direction.
To be honest, since school has restarted this month and family life has been more prominent, some of my self-care has fallen by the wayside. It is not ideal, but it is okay. Every day is a new day and just because I didn’t do it yesterday, doesn’t mean I can’t do it today. Give yourself some grace from forgetting, or running out of time. I have. Habits take time to establish and it is tricky fitting them into what it is probably an already hectic schedule. All we can do is the best we can do. Just breathe, re-plan and try again. Come back to what makes you happy, always.
Personally, my meditation challenge for this month evolved into a meditation and yoga challenge. I decided that yoga is like an active form of meditation for me, so depending on how I am feeling and how much time I have, I choose one or the other. I have made taking a break and focusing on my breath a priority in both scenarios and that is what really matters.
Once you start a routine, you will find it easier and easier to fit in to your day. I really look forward to these moments everyday because they are just for me and the world is quiet; just for a moment.
I think I have mentioned this before, but I am really trying to hone in my daily routine. Or at least, how I would like it to look. My days are often never the same. I work part-time, am in school full-time and my hours at work are constantly changing. So, I do the best I can, with a rough outline and some important priorities. I intend for me days to look like this, and most days, I get it right.
- 5:30 AM – Wake up. Have a snack, usually a banana or a piece of toast. Make some hot water with lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey and ginger. Read for 15 minutes. Stretch & Morning yoga for 10 minutes.
- 6:00 AM – If I have to work, I make breakfast, pack a lunch and get myself dressed. If I don’t work, I write for about an hour and take care of anything on my to-do list that is unrelated to school. For example, pay bills, check emails, schedule events, etc.
- 6:30 AM – Drive to work.
- 7:30 AM – The husband usually wakes up for work. I start coffee and any cleaning I have for that day. Either preparing a meal, putting away the dishes, starting laundry, etc. I have a daily cleaning schedule so that we never have to spend an entire afternoon cleaning on our days off. It has been really helpful this month! While I do this, he usually makes breakfast.
- 8:00 AM – Breakfast is finished, husband is off to work and I head to my home office to do some school work until lunch time.
- 12:00 PM – Lunch break with the hubs. I take about an hour here to complete any other task I need to complete unrelated to school and eat.
- 1:00 PM – Back to school work
- 4:00 PM – The rest of the evening is pretty up in the air. I spend some time working out most days and doing schoolwork, depending on what commitments we have for the evening. Ideally, I try to end my day for sure by dinner time, usually around 630 or 7 pm. I then have time to read, watch a show, shower, write, spend time with my husband, or whatever else I would like and be in bed again around 9 pm.
Of course, I may have appointments during the day and I work my schedule around that, but this is my typical template. It has been working quite nicely so far! I want to keep up this momentum in the month of February, adding another self-care activity that I have been trying over and over to be consistent with: a gratitude journal.
When I talk about a gratitude journal, I mean something very simple. Literally, a list of all the things that I am grateful for on that day. It may be 5 or 6 items that went well, inspired me, or that I can step back and be thankful for. They are often simple things and should be not overthought, but this practice reminds us every day of the good things in our lives, even when it seems like we are surrounded by negativity. It just might change your perspective on life, too! Give it a shot and have a goal to write with me, every day for February and see how you feel.
Happy mediating and writing!