I spent a good chunk of last year with very little structure and aim in terms of what I want out of life. I wasn’t being intentional with how I was spending my time. Now I want to say there was nothing with that. I think many of us have felt like this more so than not especially over the past 12 months. The lack of certainty can leave us feeling like a bit of a couch potato wandering into the abis which is the future.
You may have noticed I am quite reflective and a bit of a planner so this year I decided something needed to change. I needed to feel productive and stop feeling like I was waiting for something to happen for me. After doing some research I studied my daily routine and worked on some small changes which have started to make a big difference in how I feel.
Fixing your sleep schedule
I know I am not the only one when I say the pandemic has completely messed up my sleeping routine. I use to be quite strict about when I went to bed but last year I went through periods where I just ended up being exhausted because I wasn’t prioritising my sleep. A good tip I have found is setting a bedtime alarm. This really helps in terms of reminded me to get to sleep. I also started reading just before bed again rather than watch something on my laptop and I found that really helps too as I don’t end up in a binge cycle.
Get out of the clothes you sleep in.
Yes, I know this is a cliche but I literally lived in PJ’s of some sort last year and while I am not planning to rock a party dress or a pair of jeans at my desk anytime soon changing into some other loungewear seems to send signals to my mind that I am ready for the day ahead. After literally months of not giving in, I invested in some decent pieces and it’s really helped shift my mindset.
Going for a cold bath or walk
I love a good morning walk in the cold. At the moment during the week it is a bit dark but I live for my half 8 morning walks all wrapped up with the cold hitting my face. It really wakes you up and just leaves you feeling fresh.
Doing a workout in the morning consistently
I realised part of why I was feeling meh (for lack of a better word) was that I wasn’t moving my body enough. I used to walking a lot and generally in some form of a rush. I miss that pace of life. Working from home and a lockdown meant I just wasn’t moving in the same way and I felt the effects of this mentally. Doing an online workout (no matter how badly) helps me to feel alive. It loosens everything up and just stops me from feeling like a couch potato. I don’t even do them that well and nor do I do them for long. I also highly recommend just doing some stretches if you sit at your desk for most of the day and just need a little bit of movement. (I am planning to do this one from Lindsey Holland who as well as being a wonderful human and social media personality is a trained physiotherapist.)
Designate a space for everything
What I mean by this is that I have a desk where I ‘go to work’ When I read I sit on my couch or on the futon and I try my level best to not sit at my desk while I am having my lunch. This way my brain segments the tasks and I get things done more productively. (This also came up in the book I just finished reading, Atomic Habits by James Clear)
All of these things collectively have helped me get out of feeling like an unproductive couch potato and while I am not suggesting we all need to be uber-productive if you fancy a bit of change I highly recommend this.