How To Balance Your Time And Create A Flexible Routine

I’ve always been the kind of person who tries to follow a routine. I like the idea of being consistent and always knowing exactly what I should be doing at any given moment because supposedly that’s the key to being productive. Trouble is, I struggle to stick to anything for more than a week. I tend to lose interest in most of the things I start (I blame this on being a Gemini), and I have to switch things up to avoid getting bored.

 

Despite all of the LifeHacker articles and blog posts I read about why routine is so important for productivity, I also can’t get away from people telling me that routine is the route of all evil. I was in a store the other day that had a huge, unavoidable sign that read:

“The less routine, the more life.”

Part of me feels like yelling, ‘What do you want from me?!’

Should we follow a routine or try to be more spontaneous?

My answer: you need both. You need to some structure to your days and weeks, but you also need to be okay with the unexpected and stepping outside of your comfort zone. That way, you can keep life exciting while still getting stuff done.

Easily said, but how the heck do you actually do that, especially if you’re at either end of the spectrum (the super-scheduler vs. the anti-scheduler)? As an in-betweener when it comes to routine and flexibility, I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks that can help you find balance in your day-to-day life.

Why Routine And Flexibility Are Important

 

First of all, there’s a difference between creating your own routine to keep you on track vs. getting stuck in a daily cycle that makes your entire life a routine, but the first can lead to the second if you never switch things up. There’s also a difference between being a spontaneous person vs. deciding to go with the flow. I’m not really a spontaneous person, but I try to let things happen without taking too much control of the situation.

Maybe you’re at one end of the spectrum:

  1. You schedule every little thing and feel stressed out when things don’t go as planned, OR
  2. You hate routine or can’t stick to one so you end up scrambling to get things done

If so, the important thing to realize is that you can find a balance between these two extremes, and it is possible to have a productive day while also going for last-minute drinks with friends or dealing with something totally unexpected.

The Pros + Cons of Routine

Following some sort of pattern or procedure ensures that you get stuff done. It doesn’t take much effort on your part to follow, and you probably do similar things each day without even realizing it. Routine can, however, be restrictive if you set yourself a strict schedule and try to fill every minute with to-do list items. It can also be unproductive if you repeatedly do negative things like snooze your alarm each morning.

The Pros + Cons of Flexibility

Shit happens, we all know that. If you have room for flexibility in your days, you’re going to cope with the unexpected much better than if your schedule is rigid and unchangeable. Also, other people are not on the same schedule as you, so having flexibility makes it easier to accommodate for meetings and get togethers. On the other hand, if you’re too flexible, you run the risk of lost productivity and possibly having people take advantage of your time.

How To Balance Your Time & Create A Flexible Routine

 

When everyone’s telling you how to schedule your day and why a work or blog or cleaning routine is so necessary, the most important thing to remember is that one person’s method is not going to work for everyone. It’s all about prioritizing your own life, getting the necessary stuff done, and not worrying about the rest. Here’s how to find that balance:

  1. Figure Out Your Non-Negotiables + Priorities

In order to get the important things done, you need to decide what’s actually important. These are the things need to get done, whether you like them or not (but hopefully you like them), on a daily or weekly basis.

– RECURRING TASKS

Think of the types of tasks you work on every day or every week. It helps to grab a piece of paper and write down every little thing you can think of that you do regularly and break them up into categories.

Example:

  1. Work – respond to emails, data entry, processing donations
  2. Home – clean apartment, grocery shopping, meal preparation

– YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS

Out of the tasks you wrote down in the last step, which ones are the most important? Which ones would cause all hell to break loose if you didn’t do them? These are your priorities, and you need to make time for these in your schedule.

– DELEGATE, ELIMINATE, COMBINE, OR MAKE SIMPLER

For any of those tasks that you didn’t deem totally and utterly necessary, think about how you can delegate them, combine them, eliminate them, or make them easier for yourself. You shouldn’t spend time worrying about things that aren’t priorities in your life, and they shouldn’t take up time in your daily routine if they don’t need to.

  1. Be Efficient With Your Time

When someone asks you how work’s going, I bet your answer is usually, ‘Busy.’ We’re always so busy! You may have a lot on you’re plate, but are you using your time efficiently or are you just procrastinating and making yourself feel busy? Getting smarter with your time can free up more space to be flexible and lower your stress levels.

– BATCH YOUR TASKS

In order to deal with the things you don’t really want to do, figure out how long each thing takes (I guarantee it won’t be that long if it’s a recurring task) and combine them with other mundane tasks to fill a larger block of time. For example, responding to email (20 minutes), data entry (20 minutes), and filing paperwork (15 minutes) can all be done within the frame of an hour. Here’s a great post about batching.

– TIME BLOCKING

In the past, I’ve tried to schedule my tasks at a specific time on a calendar but I always found myself falling behind and getting thrown off if something got in the way. A better idea is to block out your time into chunks, say an hour or two hours, and schedule in your batched items from the step above. This way it’s not so restrictive that an interruption can throw off the rest of your day.

Example:

  • 9:30-10:30 – Writing blog posts
  • 10:30-11 – Take a break or finish up posts
  • 11-12 – Respond to emails, data entry, filing

– BEAT THE CLOCK

The Pomodoro Technique is a sure-fire way to force yourself to start working and stop procrastinating. Basically you set a timer for 25 minutes, get as much done as you can on a project, take a break for 5 minutes, and repeat. After four pomodoros, you take a 15-30 minute break. Even if you don’t want to follow the technique, the act of setting yourself a timer and seeing how much you can get done is a really easy way to get started on something you’ve been putting off.

Top Tip: Whenever you stop working on something, write down what stage you’re at and what needs to be done next. Not only does this prevent lost time trying to figure out where you left off, you’ll also know exactly what you can start doing the next time you get a free moment.

  1. Make Time for Free Time

The reality is that you’re going to have to make time for free time and allow yourself to be more flexible. You also need to use your free time wisely and make sure you’re not just watching two hours of Netflix as soon as you come home from work. Here’s how:

– BREAK THE CYCLE

If you’re stuck in a rut, it’s most likely because you’ve been doing the same thing for too long. Whichever area of your life it may be, find a way to switch things up and try something new. Welcome flexibility into your life. Part of the reason I set three goals for myself each month is because I want to give myself the chance to explore a new skill or activity, and it’s like a mini-challenge to break out of my regular routine.

– SAY NO

Please remember that you’re not obligated to do everything people ask of you. You have to value your own time or people will start to take advantage of it. If someone invites you to a party but you’d rather stay in for the night, do that. If you’re asked to attend a meeting that you don’t need to go to, explain that you have other priorities. Say yes to the things that excite you, and take risks when it feels like the right thing to do.

– SCHEDULE FREE TIME

If the idea of not having control over your time gives you heart palpitations, schedule a block of free time into your calendar. Give it a specific time, but don’t plan out any particular activity – see what you feel like when the time comes. It’s so important to get out of your regular habits and try something exciting or maybe even nerve-wracking (but in a good way!)

The Bottom Line

It’s okay not to have a routine, just like it’s okay if you feel more comfortable scheduling the little things. You do you. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t go as planned, and don’t force yourself to go about your day in a way that feels unnatural. Just strive for a little more balance to make life easier for yourself.

Want to make balance even easier?

If you’ve been trying to find balance between the daily grind and the self-care that you crave, I’ve created something just for you. The Mind, Body, Soul Balance Guide is a 50-page digital workbook designed to help you align your mind, body, and soul so that you can get back into balance whenever life feels overwhelming.

If you’re ready to become the most balanced version of yourself, grab your copy now to get instant access to all of the self-care guidance you could ever need!

What Do You Do When Self Care Isn’t Enough

For a long time, I thought that regular self-care practices were the key to avoiding burnout. That was until last year when I found myself spread too thin and severely burned out.

Meditating, exercising, journaling…those things are supposed to keep you stress-free, right? You might think they’re the answer to all of your problems like I did.

Well, what happens if self-care fails you? Last year, I learned something that made me realize my definition of self-care was all wrong.

Even though I was practicing self-care on a regular basis, I burned myself to the ground because I wasn’t being honest with myself. What I thought was self-care wasn’t working for me, so here’s how I discovered what I needed to do.

How I Burned Out

 

For the past two years, I’ve been running The Blissful Mind, working part-time as an independent contractor, and coaching a high school dance team. I thought I was able to balance it all, but it eventually became too much. 

To put my schedule into context, I was working about 25 hours a week at my contract job. I was also at dance practices 2-3 days a week for about 3 hours each. There were occasional Saturday practices and long evenings for sporting event performances. The big kicker was that I had an hour and a half commute each way. Any leftover moment was dedicated to my blog and business.

Trying to juggle three separate jobs was exhausting. I didn’t have time in my schedule for anything but work, and my brain rarely had a chance to relax.

When you’re burned out, you start to feel disconnected from who you are.

Around the summer of 2019, I began to feel like I wasn’t myself anymore, as if I didn’t know who I was outside of my work responsibilities.

I didn’t realize how much burnout takes away from your connection to yourself. It makes you feel like you’re not capable of success. It makes you question everything that you’re doing. You feel guilty that you’re not able to handle it when there are others dealing with much worse. It messes with you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

As someone who has created an entire brand around a “blissful mind”, I didn’t feel like I had one. I stopped sharing as much content because I didn’t feel like I was upholding my values.

I would feel a sense of guilt because there are plenty of people out there who are juggling more than I was. There were other dance coaches who were mothers and had full-time jobs. If they could do it, why was I having such a hard time making it all work? I realize now that they were struggling as well.

When Self-Care Isn’t Enough

 

I’ve always known that self-care is more than bubble baths (we should all know that by now), but I didn’t realize that my definition of self-care was limited until it stopped working for me.

Even though I made time for exercise, baths, journaling, and all of the self-care things, I still felt burned out. I thought spending time on a daily basis to take care of myself was the key to keeping me from burning out, but it clearly wasn’t. That’s not to say that these things didn’t help me, but there was more to the situation than those things could have helped with.

Despite taking care of myself, I needed to take something off of my plate.

It wasn’t until I stopped coaching at the end of 2019 that I finally started to feel like myself again. It was the one thing that I needed to let go of, but I hadn’t felt like it was an option until it happened due to circumstances out of my control. As much as I hated to leave the team behind, it was something that needed to happen.

Taking something off of my plate was the self-care that I was missing. Going into 2020, I already feel lighter. I know that I have less to worry about, and I finally feel like myself again.

How I Redefined Self-Care

 

Now that I’m no longer in a situation where I can barely keep track of everything, I’ve learned what self-care truly means (at least to me).

True self-care is deciding if you are going to accept whatever is causing you discomfort or if you are going to change it. I tried to accept it for a long time to convince myself that things were okay, but there was no way I could keep up life in a hustle state like that. In my case, I had to let go of something to truly feel like myself again.

I also think that it’s so important to have a support system who can take some of the weight off of your shoulders.

Self-care ironically involves more than yourself.

I read an article recently about community self-care and how it might be even more important than personal self-care. Community self-care is about having people in your life who are there for you when you need it most.

Looking back at it now, there’s no way that I could have done all of the things I was doing without getting burned out. You cannot do it all, especially not alone. You need a support system in life if you are going to make it through anything. 

Prioritize your support system and get comfortable asking for help. I failed at these two things in 2019, but now I know that you can’t do it all alone. I know that I need to protect my time and not take on so much for the sake of my own mental health.

My main point here is that self-care is deeper than a lot of us even realize. It’s more than daily wellness habits (even though those are important).

True self-care involves sacrifice, discomfort, abandonment, honesty, community, and commitment to making choices in your best interest.

I feel it’s my duty to include other reasons why traditional self-care doesn’t work. These stem from hierarchies, politics, racism, societal oppression, and much more. So many of us are suffering due to circumstances bigger than ourselves, which means we have to be allies for each other. Here are some articles worth reading:

  • Young female doctors are at high risk for burnout and “self-care” is not the answer
  • Self-care isn’t enough. We need community care to thrive.
  • Black Mothers are drowning and self care is not the answer

 

Is there anything you need to let go of?

From now on, I’m putting my energy into the things that give you life, not things that make me question every decision I make. If it doesn’t fit in with my life vision, it’s not worth giving my energy to.

If you’re burned out and you’ve tried the self-care methods, you need to a) stop fighting whatever’s burning you out or b) let it go for your own sanity. I hope this post has helped you to redefine self-care or given you some encouragement if you’re in a similar position that I was in.

How To Find Balance In Your Life (wellness Wheel Exercise)

You’ve probably had those times (and maybe it’s right now) when you feel burned out and restless, like you need to get more motivated and energized in life.

You might be tempted to move to a new city, quit your job, travel the world, or change your entire look because you’re a) stressed out, b) burned out, and/or c) restless.

Whether you’re reading this post in back-to-school season, the new year, or a random day in April, we all find ourselves needing to hit the reset button from time to time.

The thing is that sometimes we think we need a big change to make life more exciting, but really we just need to make a few small tweaks.

Rather than overhauling your entire life because you feel like it’s the only way to get unstuck, let’s talk about finding small, simple ways you can get unstuck and refreshed in your life. In this post, I’m sharing a simple method to help you feel more rejuvenated when life feels overwhelming or unexciting.

How I Knew When To Hit The Reset Button

Even though I recently moved to a new apartment in a new city, I’ve been feeling a little restless and bored – as if something is missing from my life. I have a relatively busy schedule to keep me occupied, but there are certain parts of the day when I find myself unmotivated with my current situation.

When that happens, I start scrolling through Instagram, watching endless YouTube videos, online shopping, and cleaning the apartment . . . basically anything except what’s on my to-do list. Eventually, this creates more boredom because I end up comparing my life to other people’s and wishing my life didn’t feel boring. It’s a vicious circle that doesn’t benefit me in any way.

I’ve also been dealing with some negative thoughts (as you can probably tell by that last paragraph). I’ve been doubting myself and where my life is going. Turning 27 this year has brought up some weird emotions. There’s this looming pressure from society for me to settle down and have kids, but I’m just not feeling ready for that stage of my life just yet. I feel both lost in my memories of my early twenties and anxious about approaching my thirties.

All in all, I’m feeling this urge to hit the reset button on my life. I haven’t been taking care of myself fully over the past few months, and I know it’s time to make a few changes to my life.

Small Changes That Help

 

When you’re feeling restless or unmotivated, it’s important to really listen to what’s going on internally. What is causing these feelings? Is it overworking, not doing work that’s fulfilling, or feeling disconnected with what you want to do and what others want you to do?

Some things that have been helping me to get back on track are:

  • Sticking to a morning and evening routine
  • Going to bed earlier
  • Eating better and exercising more regularly
  • Getting back into meditation and journaling
  • Rekindling my love for dance

Even though these are small things, I found that they were missing from my daily routine and creating a bigger disconnect from myself than I thought. Sometimes what we WANT is not always what we NEED, so paying attention to the little details can really help you feel more aligned.

Now that I’ve shared what’s been helping me, let’s talk about what you can do to hit the reset button in your life.

How To Hit Your Reset Button

In order to hit the reset button, you have to figure out where you’re at right now and what changes you can make. A simple way to do this is through an exercise called the Wellness Wheel (grab the download near the end of this post).

Within the wheel that you see above, you’ll rank the different areas of your life on a scale of 1-10 based on how satisfied you feel with them. You’ll be ranking the following areas of your life:

  • Physical Health – sleep, self-care, eating habits, exercise
  • Mental Health – the quality of your thoughts, level of positivity, attitude toward the world
  • Finances– sticking to a budget, savings, tendency to overspend
  • Relationships – interactions with family, friends, partners, colleagues, etc.
  • Career – productivity levels, attitude toward work, fulfillment with position
  • Home – the level of comfort in your living space, cleanliness/tidiness, organization
  • Recreation – hobbies, activities, fun, downtime
  • Spiritual/Personal Growth  – connecting with yourself or a higher power, learning new skills

At the end of the exercise, your wheel might look a little like this:

Once you’re done, you can see which areas need the most attention. From here, try to focus on a few small changes you can make over the next three to six months based on the areas that you feel need the most work.

Choosing to work on a few life areas at once may not sound as exciting as an entire life overhaul, but this method is more sustainable than trying to do everything right away.

Download the wellness wheel worksheet

How Will You Reset Your Life?

I hope this post has given you some inspiration and guidance to help you hit the reset button and get unstuck in your life. Remember to create awareness around what you really need (not what you think you need), and focus on the small little changes that add up to larger changes over time.

How To Find Balance And Make Time For Healthy Habits

When you live a busy life, it can be hard to fit everything into your day. As well as running my blog, I work in the evenings for an email marketing company, and I coach a high school dance team three days a week. Let’s just say I’m a busy bee.

Most of my days look different as I’m either at my desk writing, on a call, driving, talking with customers, or coaching the dance team. I have to be really on top of my schedule in order to fit everything in.

In addition to work, staying on top of my health is really important to me. I’m always thinking about what I’m going to eat and if I’ll have time for the gym or self-care at the end of the day.

When you have a busy schedule, it can be hard to fit everything into your day. Skipping meals or running errands instead of taking time for lunch might save time, but it leaves you feeling tired and hungry.

Today, I’m sharing how I find balance in my life by making time for healthy habits, self-care, and nourishing food. Keep reading if you want to learn how to find a little more balance in your life!

Staying Balanced While Busy

Getting Everything Done

I’ve always been the type of person to keep myself busy. These days, I’m balancing my time between three jobs which is rewarding and overwhelming at the same time. I never imagined myself doing so many different things, but sometimes life works in weird ways.

Because my schedule isn’t always predictable, it can be hard to fit everything into my day. I know I have to plan ahead in order to get anything done, and I also have to use my time in the most productive way.

I’m a huge fan of time-blocking my schedule and using the Pomodoro Technique to beat procrastination. (Basically, the Pomodoro Technique is a system of time management that breaks down work into short intervals.) Of course I have my unproductive moments, but I’m definitely someone who thrives on getting things done.

Prioritizing My Health

Even though my work is important to me, my health is equally as important. After all, I know that I can only do my best work if I have the right amount of physical and mental energy.

We all know burnout is real, and I think it happens when we let our schedules get in the way of making healthy choices.

When you’re running around all day trying to get things done, your health is most likely to get put on the backburner. That’s why I make it a priority to practice self-care and making healthy choices for myself.

Since I’m always working on something, I need sustained energy to keep me going or else the hunger will start to kick in (and no one wants that).

Making Healthy Choices

I personally believe a big part of self-care is making healthy choices when it comes to food. That’s why I always make sure to have a snack in my bag for times when I don’t have time to think about my food choices.

Instead of opting for the snack that will only make me crash later, I pretty much always make sure to have almonds in my bag.

Almonds are such a quick, convenient and delicious option for those of us who juggle numerous priorities and need sustained energy.

I personally love snacking on almonds in the morning when I’m at my desk and working on my blog, or I’ll enjoy them in the afternoon while I’m at practice coaching my team. Almonds are the ultimate productivity sidekick because they provide sustained energy, and you can literally take them anywhere with you.

Instead of falling into the convenience trap at work, I encourage you to opt for foods like almonds that will keep your focus and energy levels up.

How To Make Healthier Choices When You’re Busy

If you’re looking for more tips to make your health a priority, here are some ways to keep you on top of it:

Food

When it comes to healthy eating, you want to make sure your environment is set up for success. If you’re on the go often, it might be that you need to keep some emergency supplies like almonds in your bag or car. Almonds are super portable and a good source of fiber and protein, so keep some on you for emergencies.

In terms of meals, it helps to plan your meals ahead of time and batch cook them on a Sunday. That way, you won’t have to worry about what to make when you get home late from work. Search for quick and easy recipe ideas on Pinterest and plan your meals out from there.

Fitness

Just like your food choices, it’s important to keep your workouts as simple as possible. Keep your favorite workout videos bookmarked online or write down a simple workout in the notes app of your phone that you can do wherever you are. You basically want to eliminate all decision-making involved when you’re trying to squeeze in a quick workout.

If you don’t have time for a workout, opt for moving whenever you can. Whether it’s taking the stairs, walking to your meeting instead of getting a cab, or standing instead of sitting, make moving your body a priority.

Self-Care

If you’re going non-stop from the early morning until nighttime, you might not feel like you have time for self-care. The good news is that self-care doesn’t have to be super elaborate. You just need to take advantage of the little breaks you get in between everything else.

See what you can fit into the ten minutes of downtime you get every now and again. It can be tempting to use this time to scroll through social media, but it will be more beneficial if you do some squats, meditate, read a book, or go for a walk.

Where’s The Almond Emoji?

I love emojis and almonds, but unfortunately there’s no almond emoji yet. Avocado and taco lovers get their own emoji, but what about the almond lovers of the world? Let’s get an Almond Emoji that we can use all over social media – sign the petition here if you’re with me!

How Do You Make Time For Healthy Habits?

I hope this post has given you some helpful tips for staying healthy and balanced when you’re busy. Planning ahead is one of the best things you can do for your health, and so is keeping a handy snack like almonds in your bag while you’re on the go. If you’re an almond lover like me, remember to sign the Almond Emoji petition here!

25 Ways To Nourish Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Lately, I’ve been feeling a tad bit burnt out. I will confess that this is partly because I’m not getting enough sleep. But there’s another part of me that’s convinced sleep can’t be the only reason I’m feeling this way.

I crave the feeling of waking up refreshed in the morning. I want to feel clear-headed and ready to take on the day. Since I’ve been craving this, I’ve been exploring small changes I can make to feel more nourished and refreshed.

As someone who preaches about creating a balance between your mind, body, and soul, I haven’t been finding a great balance lately.

I need to take some of my own advice and make sure I’m creating this balance in my life. After all, our health is not one-dimensional. I truly believe we need to look at our health and well-being from a holistic perspective.

To find balance, we must nourish the three parts that make up our whole being: mind, body, and soul. As I was brainstorming ways to refresh these three areas, I thought I’d share the ideas I came up with.

When your body, mind, and soul are healthy and harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to the world – not by withdrawing from the world, but by being a healthy, living organ of the body of humanity.

B.K.S. Iyengar

Of course, the goal is not to do everything on this list. That would only cause more overwhelm. Instead, I hope this gives you a few ideas to nourish your whole self. If you need a breath of fresh air in your life, here are 25 ways to nourish your mind, body, and soul!

25 Ways To Nourish Your Mind, Body & Soul

 

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is an important practice to infuse more calm into your life. I find that being mindful encourages me to enjoy the little moments I would otherwise miss. If mindfulness feels like a struggle, make it easy with seven days of mindfulness prompts.

Detox from technology

Sometimes we forget that there is an entire world beyond the internet. Lately, I’ve been feeling sucked into my laptop and phone too much, and I’m feeling the urge to take a break and get away from it. That could be one day a week without opening my laptop or setting clear boundaries for technology-free time at night. Here’s a 7-day media detox challenge if you want to try it out yourself.

Quiet your mind

Quieting your mind is so important for reducing stress. Whether it’s writing all your thoughts on paper before bed or meditating in the morning, make it a priority to quiet your mind at least once a day.

Diffuse essential oils

Essential oils can be great for stress-relief. Even though I love essential oils and I have more than one person rationally needs, I always forget to turn my diffuser on. I’m going to start making it part of my morning and evening routine so that turning my diffuser on becomes a habit.

Make time for self-reflection

Self-reflection is so important for our personal growth. It can be tricky to find the motivation to journal, but it’s worth it to let go of the thoughts floating around in your head. Self-reflection helps you explore who you are and create more space for positive thinking.

Tweak your morning routine

Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, so try to squeeze in something that creates a sense of calm right away. Try meditating, journaling, drinking a cup of tea, or stretching. Little changes can help you start your day on the right foot. Here are some more ideas to makeover your morning routine.

Read more books

When Netflix is calling your name, it’s easy to forget about the wonders of getting lost in a book. Create a healthy balance between the amount of time you spend watching vs. reading. Set a specific time that you want to read each day and stick to it.

Learn something new

We know it’s important to quiet your mind, but it’s also important to challenge yourself and learn something new. Make time to continue your personal growth in areas you often forget to explore. Try watching TED talks, checking out a book from the library, or taking a Skillshare class.

Get some fresh air

Whether it’s during the day or at the weekend, getting some fresh air and Vitamin D is a great way to feel more refreshed. I like to go for a walk in the middle of the day to get away from my to-do list and come back to work with a clear head.

Embrace slow movement

Sometimes our bodies crave slow movement, like yoga or going for a walk. Often we get into the mindset that we have to sweat during a workout to make it “worth it”. Instead, be okay with taking it slow and not feeling the need to ‘sweat’ every time you work out.

Reduce added sugar

I’m not someone who reads food labels, but I am starting to pay attention to how much sugar I consume on a daily basis. Added sugar is everywhere! I want to become more aware of this so that I can avoid sugar crashes which no doubt cause me to feel sluggish.

Learn about Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a science of life. Its guiding principles are 1) that the mind and the body are inextricably connected and 2) that nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Understanding your unique mind-body type (dosha) can help you feel more balanced. Deepak Chopra has a great article about it here.

Eat more veggies

We all know we should eat more veggies, but actually doing it is another story. Try finding ways to sneak vegetables into your meals without making a big deal about it. Put cauliflower or zucchini in your smoothies, snack on carrots and hummus, or squeeze some lemon juice onto plain veggies to make them more interesting. Also, choose meals at restaurants that contain veggies or ask for them on the side.

Stretch

Stretching is so important to keep our joints and muscles in good condition. The more I sit at my desk, the more I realize how inflexible I’m becoming. I know for sure that my posture is not the best, so I want to make more of an effort to stretch whenever I can.

Scrape your tongue

Sounds a little weird, but have you ever tried tongue scraping? It’s one of the most satisfying things in the world. Bacteria on your tongue can cause bad breath, so a tongue scraper can get rid of the nasties. It’s a quick fix to help you feel refreshed after eating.

Nourish your skin

Taking care of your skin is an important part of self-care. Not only does it help your complexion, a skincare ritual can allow you time to relax and unwind at the end of the day. I want to stick to a simple yet relaxing daily skincare routine and make sure I’m not skipping any important steps. If you need some inspiration for your skincare routine, here’s a peek at mine.

Get more sleep

Sleep is one of the biggest factors in our energy levels throughout the day. Lately, I’ve been lenient with my bedtime schedule, but I want to make sure I’m getting a solid eight hours of sleep. If you’ve been staying up too late, check out this blog post about creating a nighttime routine.

Start a passion project

That random idea you’ve had in the back of your mind forever? Start it. As someone who has been blogging for almost four years, I’ve been able to turn my passion into my job. At the same time, I know there’s more to life than what I create on the internet. I want to explore other sides of creativity, whether that’s through drawing, coloring, or photography.

Go somewhere new

Even though I preach about the importance of daily routines, it’s necessary to break away from your routine every now and again. Try a new coffee shop or restaurant. Go to a nearby city that you’ve never explored. Switch things up to keep life interesting.

Connect with others

Connecting with friends and new people can provide such joy to our lives. My word for 2018 is ‘connection’ because I want to break away from my tendency to only spend time with myself. This means actually reaching out to people and making plans, as well as asking for help instead of trying to do everything by myself.

Declutter

Regular decluttering is good for the soul. Release the things that no longer need to take up space in your life. As someone who prides myself on not holding onto stuff I don’t need, I’m embarrassed that my closet has somehow morphed into a storage unit. Time to KonMari it!

Clean more often

I honestly hate cleaning, but I’m noticing how much dirt can affect my mental state. Depending on how much space you have, you might want to clean more often than others. For me, it’s having one day of the week to tackle the dust.

Create work boundaries

This is especially important for the self-employed, but it can apply wherever you work. Be strict with the times that you make yourself available to your boss and coworkers. Turn email notifications off on your phone after work. Better yet, don’t link your work email to your phone in the first place.

Say no

Remember that no is a full sentence. You don’t have to justify your decisions to anyone. If you don’t want to do something, stand your ground and make sure your needs are being met first. If you’re ready to stop over-committing yourself, check out this post.

Give yourself permission to relax

It’s hard, right? But it’s so important to value your downtime and take advantage of it when you can. Make sure you’re maintaining a good balance between productivity and rest. Here’s how to make the most of your downtime when you get it.

Your Thoughts

Did this post give you some ideas to refresh your life? I hope you’re feeling inspired to let go of burn out and find more balance every day. I’d love to know which # you love the most! Leave a comment below and let me know your favorite tip.