Inspired by the wonderful article from last week in which one of our beautiful writers, Ashti Ramkishun, wrote about her solid morning routine, I decided it would be good to write about healthy habits of my own. I’ve been able to do the following since the start of Spring Quarter, and my attitude, health, and state of mind has improved immensely:
- I Wake Up Before 8 AM Everyday
Similar to Ashti, I have a 9:20 AM class every M/W/F for this quarter as well. One thing I do differently though, is wake up before 8 AM everyday, instead of just for those days. Yes, this includes T/TH when I only have one class for the day that starts at 3:20 PM and during the weekends as well. Waking up before 8 AM keeps me accountable for going to bed early so I can get at least 8 hours of sleep. This means I have to create a daily schedule which allows me to look at all the things I have to do for the day, so I can complete everything in time for my bedtime. From someone who’s had a history of sleeping until 12pm, this has been a drastic change in behavior, but it’s all for the better. Instead of clicking snooze and wanting to sleep a little longer, I’ve developed into the mindset of being excited for the day and giving myself another opportunity to continue my progress. Knowing that I have a list of action items I want to complete makes me excited to start the day as soon as possible. My new sleep schedule has also allowed me to spend more time on developing other healthy habits, like running and working out in the mornings.
- I Run Every Day
I’m proud to say that since April 3rd, I’ve been running 2-5 miles a day in tandem with additional workouts. By waking up before 8 AM I’ve been able to spend an hour dedicated to running and working out, both tracked by two apps I use on my phone. To track how many miles I run and what my pace is, I use “Running Distance Tracker Pro” by the developer, FITNESS22 LTD. For finding various workout sessions, I use “Workout for Women: Fitness App” developed by Fast Builder Limited. Both are free and have been helpful by allowing me to look at the progress I’ve made so far, pushing me forward to doing better. For instance, the pace from my first run of this month was 16:20 minutes for 3.16 miles. Just yesterday (4/21) I was able to run a consistent pace of 9:24 minutes for 3.02 miles, in addition to a 2.32 miles I did earlier in the morning that was also around 9:30 minutes. So this article does have a clickbait title, yes. But I’ve actually found running has allowed me to have an outlet from the stress of school and my other responsibilities. It’s also helped with tiring me out so I can knock out in time for bedtime.
- I Do My Own Grocery Shopping
Now I know especially for those who are living with other family members, this can be a difficult habit to follow given that each member of the household most likely has their own respective responsibilities and role to play. Especially in strict households it can be hard to have a say in what you’d like your diet to be like. For whenever the time comes though, I’d advise whenever you’re able to leave the nest and go out looking for your own groceries, make sure to buy fruits/vegetables and food that you know you’ll eat. As obvious as that sounds, I know sometimes whenever I go grocery shopping I get in the mindset of someone who’s going through a midlife crisis and wants to live the healthiest lifestyle possible. But by the time I get home I’m stuck with food which will ultimately go spoiled because I forgot to eat it.
Pinterest has become my go-to source for providing me with lists I can follow that give me the staple foods I can eat such as: rice, stock (vegetable for me because I’m trying to stay away from meat), and bread. Eating before you go grocery shopping as well as developing a list will not only save you money, but stress as well. Plus, it allows you to keep yourself accountable as you’re able to choose the food you want and essentially commit yourself to eating it. Doing something as simple as going grocery shopping alone can provide you with a sense of autonomy and power in terms of having control over what you decide to put in your body. Having bodily autonomy is so important as you’re the only one who will know what’s best for your body. So it’s also best to find the time to take care of it too.
- I Take One Hour of My Day for Myself
This is a must. No matter how busy my day is, I always take one hour to do whatever I want. Whether it’s scrolling through all of my social media, drawing/sketching/journaling, or crocheting, I try to take out some time to decompress. I understand this can be hard for those living with others during this time, and/or those who have jobs/responsibilities. So if you don’t have an hour to waste, then you can choose a specific amount of time which works for you. In the end, whatever time used to revive yourself isn’t actually a waste of time, because it’s time dedicated to making you feel better, and that’s what matters most. It’ll also help with the last habit I’ve created.
- I Come Up with 3 Things I Noticed Throughout the Day
Whether it was something good or something bad, I try and do a recap on my day as I lay in bed at night. Especially since I have a sucky memory, this is a good way for me to remember my day and at least appreciate the uniqueness of that day in contrast to all the others. In times especially when I’m feeling time is passing by too quickly and days are becoming monotonous, I try to think of ways today felt different than yesterday, or how it can be different from tomorrow. Maybe it’s me trying to romanticize my life, but as long as I remember to stay within the present and not drift too far into fantasy, I should be okay. And you will be too.
This is just my list of what has been working for me, but if you try it and find it doesn’t work for you, that’s ok! Thank you for trying. I just hope it helps you in that it leads you to creating a routine which works best for you. Because, as I’ve found out, consistency really is key to keeping myself accountable and taking care of myself. And so is running from my problems too, I guess.