A few weeks ago, I was nearing a breaking point with stressors that kept snowballing. I was frustrated with my failing weight-loss journey, overwhelmed with my to-do list at work, felt like I wasn’t getting along with anyone, down on myself for not being further along with home-improvement projects, and annoyed by the piles of clutter around the house. Not exactly earth-shattering or unique challenges, but I felt so paralyzed by it all that I didn’t know where to begin. It seemed that every step forward was in vain because nothing was righting itself and staying that way.
One morning after a particularly discouraging number on the scale, I went downstairs to make breakfast and passed our dining room table which is a glorified dumping-ground for items during the week. I sighed and thought, “That’s it. I’ll take a few minutes to pick this up and then I’ll make a healthy breakfast.” Those were two small things that I could do that would be a step in the right direction and address both problems.
The idea of doing at least one thing every single day to take care of myself and my home kept coming up, and I finally started being more intentional about it. It has made me so much happier overall to look back at the end of the day knowing that there was at least one thing that I did to improve my wellbeing and my environment. They don’t have to be major accomplishments either. Sometimes something as simple as making a healthy meal and cleaning up afterward checks both boxes. Other days are more ambitious with cycling for nine miles (my longest non-stop stretch yet!) and cleaning the bathroom. Heck, even turning in early and getting a full eight hours of sleep is a win. This helps me acknowledge the good things I do rather than fixate on the things I haven’t gotten around to yet.
I wouldn’t say it has become a mantra — yet — but I do find myself thinking, “Do at least one thing to better myself and one to better my home today.”
For the former, diet and exercise are the easiest ways to address that, but I don’t think it needs to stop there. Emotional health and working on passion projects fall under that purview, too. Here are some of the things I’ve done for myself:
- Go for a walk
- Bike longer than the last time
- Plan healthy meals for the week, and make sure to eat a low-calories breakfast and lunch on days we have evening plans
- Read a book
- Dedicate time to a hobby (the blog!)
- Do a face mask
- Allow time to go to bed early
- Give myself permission to say “no” to invites if I need a night to myself to keep my sanity
On the home front, most of things I’ve been doing have been to keep up on the cleaning chore list. Here are some examples:
- Pick up clutter
- Clean the kitchen right away after cooking
- Scrub the bathroom
- Make progress on a larger home project
- Dust surfaces
- Make the bed
- Put laundry away and hang rejected outfits back up
In any case, this has been working for me and I thought I’d pass it along if you’re also looking for a digestible way to break down some of your larger goals or just keep up on your task list. I’d also love to know some of the ways you deal with stress and how your carve out time for yourself and your home each day!