Recently I’ve been making an effort to be a better human – to have better habits, look after myself more, adult to the best of my abilities. I’ve been trying to practice self care, and stick to a proper routine (turns out, it’s VVVV easy to resort to your student habits when you’re out of work and technically don’t have to get out of bed).
I’ve been trying to do things like drinking enough water and reading and all those basic but often neglected methods of looking after yourself. And it’s been great. I feel much better for it, in a way I was hoping it’d all be more hassle than it’s worth so I could go back to having 2 glasses of water a day and running on 6 hours sleep because it’s less effort but NOPE, turns out our bodies kinda like some TLC.
Along this little journey of self-care discovery, there are four things in particular that have made my life considerably better. So let’s dive in…
Making myself accountable for things
I didn’t really know how to word this one, but basically since I started bullet journalling, and using a habit tracker, I’ve noticed I’ve actually started to do the things I say I will. Things like flossing regularly, getting enough steps every day, drinking enough water. All the things I want to make sure I do on a daily basis, I’m now accountable for.
It’s easy to forget about things, to say ‘oh, I’ll try and do a 15 minute clean every day and get 7000+ steps in’ and then suddenly life happens and it’s been a week and you have no idea whether you’ve actually done those things. But by writing everything down and taking about 3 minutes out of my evening to tick off the ones I’ve accomplished, I’ve become more motivated to actually do those things. Which I suppose is something that happens when your failure to do said things is in black and white. Or pink and white, in my case.
Cooking from scratch
If you’ve been following my blog recently, you’ll know I’m currently at the beginning of my Slimming World journey. A big part of that has been cooking from scratch and making good, nutritious homemade meals to ensure I stay on plan.
But outside of weight loss and Slimming World, cooking from scratch has improved my life tenfold. I mean, the extra washing up gets a bit tedious, but taking the time to myself to prepare meals has turned out to be quite therapeutic for me. I’m enjoying the process of cooking as ‘me time’. I’m enjoying food more. Every week I’m excited about which new recipes I’ll try. My bank balance is healthier. There’s been so many benefits from cooking from scratch, plus I know exactly what is in my food – I’m not eating tons of hidden salt and sugar in various pre-prepared sauces and takeaways.
The 5 minute rule
I’m becoming increasingly intrigued by the concept of minimalism, which is a sentence I never thought I’d say. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully embrace the concept, mainly because my boyfriend Danny is the world’s biggest hoarder and it’s more hassle than it’s worth to convince him to throw anything away! But one concept I have got on board with from the minimalism trend, is the 5 minute rule.
The 5 minute rule is really simple, basically if a task will take you less than 5 minutes – do it now. Not later, or tomorrow, now. It sounds so obvious and simple, but I’ve lived my entire life postponing even the most basic of tasks because I can’t be arsed. The amount of arguments my teenage self had with my mum because she wanted me to take my ironing upstairs and I didn’t want to is insane.
I’ve been trying to apply the 5 minute rule to every area of my life – from putting things back in their place, to cleaning a couple of dishes while the rest of the food finishes cooking, to making the bed every day, to taking the washing out of the machine as soon as it’s done. I’m not completely perfect at it, but on the days I really nail it I find my life is so much less chaotic. There’s less ‘oh god, I need to do X Y and Z and now it’s really daunting because they’re all mounting up’ stressing, and more laid-back-ness.
Writing a to-do list every day
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I LOVE a to-do list. Recently I’ve been writing a to do list every day, even at weekends. I think at first it was to give my days purpose and prevent myself from moping around and feeling useless. But as it went on, I found I was SO much more productive because I was accountable for the things that needed doing – plus I didn’t forget tasks because they were already written down.
Every night before bed I write a to-do list for the next day, and on a Sunday I’ll consider what I need to do over the week and break it into smaller tasks. I used to only write lists when I had a lot on, say uni deadlines or a big project at work, but actually I’ve found writing a list every day, no matter how small or simple, has really helped me to take control of my life and ensure I’m the best version of me.