Whenever someone asks what my resolutions are I always say I don’t have any. The way I look at it, I’m a constant work in progress. Always trying to better myself in any way possible whether that means body & mind, relationships, you name it. To me, life is about becoming the best possible version of yourself. I could always be better because I’m not perfect and one of the hardest things to do is critique yourself honestly so that you can evaluate areas of needed improvement. Since this is something that is constantly going through my head, I didn’t do any resolutions this year but I have been working on developing some healthier habits.
Around the new year I was feeling bummed out. Which is very much out of character for me. I use my sense of humor at times when I’m not really supposed to and rarely let things really get to me when I could laugh it off instead. (As I tell my friend, if it won’t matter a year from now, let it go) But my roommate noticed this and became concerned, “What’s wrong?” I would look up at her over my glass of red wine and fancy cheeses.. “I’m not in Italy.” Sounds so silly. And we would laugh about it but I was half serious.
After an amazing year doing things I never thought I would do in a million years things back home seem… mundane.
You see, my life here has lost a little bit of its sparkle and excitement and it’s up to me to make it fun again. I was just in a strange place where nothing is really wrong but like I would explain to my friends, I had no idea it was possible for me to even be as happy as I was. I had never felt happier in my life and I think part of me is wondering if I’ll ever feel that happy again. There was a sadness following my travels because I just didn’t know if I’d ever be able to top it. It was that good. I had no idea I wasn’t satisfied with certain aspects of my life before I experienced what it could be like this past year. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me. And that’s what traveling does. It opens you up to things and changes your perceptions permanently. And I have so many amazing things in the works but nothing super concrete to look forward to just yet…
That being said, I have come back down to earth and wanted to share some things I’ve started to get me back on track to my normal happy self!
- Establish a routine. Getting back in the swing of things was a huge help for me. I didn’t have much of a schedule and wasn’t using my time very well and now I actually have more down time by maximizing my busy time. (If that makes sense. ) But my schedule was crazy all over the place and now I’m back on top of things and more organized = less stress. For instance I’ve been forcing myself to eat breakfast everyday and it really sets the tone of the day for me.
- All the puppies! Puppies are made of magic. I’m convinced. If anyone is having a rough time just go to the Humane Society and play with puppies. I have actually done this. haha. My friend laughs at me because most of the guys I’ve dated have a dog. It’s like a requirement. I used to be a dog walker many moons ago and can’t handle the responsibility of owning one right now but dogs make me happy. I am constantly stealing my brother’s dog to go for hikes or just to play with for hours. (Don’t tell Raja)
- Get more sleep – I am a night owl. Sooo bad. I will easily stay up until midnight or 1a.m. on the reg. fully knowing I have to work early. But I stay up watching Netflix because I got home super late from work and want to indulge. First off, I’ve been drinking less coffee and my new favorite thing is ginger & turmeric tea. Sometimes just sitting still is hard for me. I always have to be doing something. In the past couple of months I have been forcing myself to head to bed around 10 p.m. (11 at the latest) and when I go to my bedroom I don’t bring the electronics with me. I’ll read if I’m not sleepy yet but I feel more clear headed and have enjoyed waking up regularly before my alarm even goes off. I actually may become a morning person. There’s hope for me yet 🙂
- Spend more time outside. Now that I’m waking up earlier, I don’t feel as rushed in the mornings and can enjoy a cup of coffee on my patio if I choose to. The weather has been so much nicer lately and that’s enough to make me jump for joy! This weekend hiking was the best and I’m a firm believer that time spent in nature can be healing. Also as Elle Woods would say, “exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy”
- Pamper yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot of money doing this. You can still stick to a budget by using some conditioner under your sink to do a hair masque or do your own nails. I keep a bunch of beauty samples in a jar for me to try when I have down time and just want a little pick me up. Do what you can around the house to keep you looking good and feeling good. Try my favorite honey mask or body scrub you can make with items in your kitchen!
- Reconnect with friends. Now that I’m home I can finally catch up with people I’ve been missing! And it makes me feel so much happier to be home. Quiet nights in having deep conversations are my favorite things and I love quality time with my friend group. I’ve been really trying to reconnect with people I’ve been missing lately and it always makes me feel better to shoot them a quick message just to say you were thinking about them.
- Spend time with family. Isn’t it funny how growing up your parents embarrassed you? (or was that just me?) Now I can’t believe I ever thought my parents were anything but the coolest people on the planet. I see them on an adult level where they are these real people and are actually really fun. We live in the same city right now but that could change in the future so I’m really making an effort to spend more time with them now because you never know where life will lead and I want to appreciate them and take it all in now.
- Cooking can be therapy. There’s something about cooking that gives me a sense of accomplishment and it can give you joy to nourish others. These are all new feelings as just last year me cooking would be putting goldfish on a fancy platter. haha! But it’s really fun to try new things and it’s turned into something I really enjoy and get excited about. Granted, I don’t cook every night. I’m also very good at making reservations.
- Clean space, clean mind. Has anyone read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Ok, so it’s a little out there. She mentions folding up your socks so that they can “rest” because they’re very tired. But overall, the concept is to get rid of anything in your life that does not bring you joy. She’s talking about your closets but I applied the thought to everything in my life once I thought about it. I’m at the point where if something doesn’t make me happy it’s not worth the time and for some reason this thought process has really stuck with me. I did a deep overhaul and decluttered my condo (you’re welcome, Goodwill!) and it felt amazing to get rid of things I was holding onto for sentimental reasons or because it may come back in style. If you get rid of the old, you make room in your life for the new. Another little trick is let’s say I walk in the door and I take my coat off and set it on the couch. Then someone sits down and I move it to a chair. Then I eventually hang it up in the proper place. I read something that said it’s so much more productive that rather than touch that coat 3 different times, just touch it once and put it up. Such a simple thought but it’s helped me keep my space tidier than ever.
- Do something nice for others. You don’t have to do anything extravagant but just getting a friend flowers if they’re having a bad day or some of their favorite treats for no reason. It makes me so happy to see my friends happy so I’m always making mental notes of their favorite things so when I get the chance to surprise them with something I can. A tiny thoughtful gift can go a long way especially if they didn’t even expect you to remember the details of their favorite things! Making other people happy will make you happy. It’s contagious.
- This. What I’m doing. Just writing for fun. If you can return to whatever it is that you enjoy doing I urge you to do that. I have all these drafts and ideas for the blog and Can’t wait to show you what’s next : )