This post contains some links for products that were gifted to me by sponsors, but all opinions are my own.
It’s the end of February, so we’ve passed the socially acceptable timeframe for saying “Happy New Year” beyond January 1. By now, most of us are either in the thick of rocking our New Year’s resolutions or abandoning them. I discovered a while ago that if I didn’t make any NY resolutions, then I could skip the whole guilt-inducing steps of breaking them.
But somehow I seem to have broken even that non-resolution. Without really meaning to I started a series of habits at the beginning of the year. I didn’t call them resolutions or “commitments” (which is a synonym people use to trick themselves into keeping a resolution without calling it one). I just…tried something different–okay, so maybe it was a whole lot of somethings. And then I kept doing them over and over again when I saw they worked.
None of these steps were super life-changing individually. But taken altogether, they’ve really helped me feel like I’m living my best life in small, manageable steps. Wanna know what they are? (Doesn’t matter if you say no because I’m sharing them anyway, that’s the whole point lol). You’re going to roll your eyes at some of these, seriously. They’re ridiculously easy.
1. Open the curtains.
I love that my house gets a lot of natural light during the day. We bought room-darkening curtains just so we wouldn’t be awakened at sunrise every weekend with the rays hitting our face when we want to sleep in. The curtains work really well. But during the week I sometimes forget to pull the curtains open to let the sun in.
So I started making it a part of my daily routine to go throughout the house to open the curtains and blinds. Something about the swish, the light pouring into the space when I move the fabric aside. My mood brightens when I walk into a lit room.
2. Wash your face.
I’ve discussed before how I used to be a low-maintenance chick and how I’ve since renounced that lifestyle. In its place I picked up a K-Beauty skin regimen. OH. MY. SNAILS. I’ve been consistently following a basic-basic K-Beauty routine since the first of the year. For non-K-Beauty folks (and my old self), this may seem like a lot of steps. Even committing to washing my face twice daily is way more than what I was doing previously. (I’m embarrassed to say how little exactly that was, but depression makes you not care to wash your face, sooo yeah).
Anyway, this is what I’ve been using:
- oil cleanser
- gel cleanser
As for results? I love my mug these days.
Even if I couldn’t see my skin improving, I just feel better with a cleaner face. If you want to know what K-Beauty products have been working for me, let me know. I might do a separate post on those.
3. Light a candle.
Even though I’ve always been a sucker for scent, I hadn’t leaned into my candle addiction in years. No more! My husband got me a set of four for my birthday. A few weeks later, I discovered Bath and Body Works’ “Candle Day” sale and I bought like four more. Two are on their way to my house AS I TYPE. I have a problem, but in the words of Shannon Sharpe, “It ain’t no problem!” I light at least one candle a day (and sometimes two at a time). My happy place is inhaling deeply to smell lavender or cranberry or vanilla or peppermint.
4. Put things away immediately.
I wrote about how much I liked KonMari’ing my space, but I left a tiny-but-huge detail out. Marie Kondo’s method doesn’t help if you mess it all up by the next week. So I’ve been disciplining myself to put things away right when I take them off, like hanging my coat up or putting my boots in the closet. My husband I have both gotten into the act (we make the kids do it, too.) Keeping surfaces and floors clear helps cut down on the clutter in the house. A clean living space does wonders for everyone’s disposition.
5. Take regular (unannounced) social media breaks.
When I decided to incorporate more book reading into my schedule, it was a no-brainer to find the time by taking it from my unfettered social media scrolling. I don’t always succeed but my Screen Time app tells on me and makes me feel appropriately sheepish. It just feels…different when you have a record showing you exactly how much time you spent on Twitter. Hours, ya’ll. I try to stay off my phone from 7:30-9:00AM and from 3:30-5:00PM.
6. Pick up your book and read it.
If I feel bored or I have free time, I make a conscious effort to read a book instead of scrolling my phone. I managed to read five books in January. Right now I’m reading The Good Immigrant and it’s a fantastic collection of essays.
7. Make up the bed.
I used to hate making up the bed for years. I didn’t see the point in it. But now, along with the sunlight streaming into the room, a made-up bed just feels…right to me. So I attempt to make up the bed daily (or my husband does it), and I don’t feel as aggy.
8. Have a cup of tea.
I’ve always loved tea, but I am really enjoying incorporating it into my weekly routine for relaxation. I love masala chai, matcha ginger, green tea, cinnamon apple, and blueberry. I like to keep a variety on hand so I can drink what suits my taste in a given moment.
9. Plan your week or weekend in ink.
I’m heavy into the “planner community” these days. My jam is penciling all the steps I need to take to keep my house and my freelancing straight into my Happy Planner. That thing is a glorified scrapbook with stickers and a calendar, but I love it. Writing things out physically helps me to remember.
10. Keep in touch.
Staying at home with small children can be a challenge. I make sure that I reach out to my friends and family in some kind of way, offline but not in person, to stay connected. My friend Malorie and I like to send each other voice notes. It helps to hear another adult’s voice talking to me during the day. And on days when I’m running around too much to talk, I like to send a cute Paperless Post message to let folks know I’ve been thinking about them. It’s easy as (and fun) as playing on my phone.
Now, do I nail all of these steps, every day? NOPE. Last week, I forgot to call my besties on their birthday and I feel horrible about it, even though I’d been reminding myself all day and all week to remember. I didn’t make the bed yesterday. My face didn’t get washed til the afternoon. All the above are contingent on the babies sleeping when they’re supposed to lol. But the point is that I give it my best shot. I do what I can. And when I succeed in doing my steps, I truly feel as if I am living my best life… at least for today.
What do you do routinely or occasionally to live your best life from day-to-day?