Lately, it can be hard to find the motivation we need to knock out our to-do lists. When each day looks exactly the same, it’s incredibly easy to fall into a rut of just doing the bare minimum to get by. It can seem really daunting, since there isn’t yet a clear end to this way of life. And for me, now that finals are over, and the semester has come to a close, I haven’t been motivated by the deadlines coming closer and closer because I just don’t have any deadlines.
So, what I’ve been doing to try to combat this is to create some semblance of a daily routine to follow. This way, it’s harder for me to just sit around doing nothing all day because I feel good having a more structured day. While I haven’t mastered this skill yet by any means, I’d like to share some of the ways I’m staying inspired while being stuck at home!
1.Write in a Journal
I was recently listening to Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness podcast, where she discusses how helpful it can be to keep a journal of any type throughout this uncertain time. Journaling can help you stay grounded, and can offer something interesting to look back on once this is all over!
2. Listen to Podcasts
As I mentioned above, I just started listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, as well as The Minimalists’ podcast. I’m just getting into podcasts now that I feel like I have enough time, because I never found a way to make listening to podcasts into a habit previously. So far, it’s nice to listen to other people offer advice and to just hear them talk about things they’re passionate about!
3. Read Books
Okay, this is high up on my list of habits to start doing every day. I really don’t read books as much as I want to, and my list of books I need to read keeps growing! I can only really read a little bit at a time, and then I just have so much motivation and energy that I have to go act on it. I started reading a couple pages of chapter one of Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and then I felt compelled to go declutter my bedroom. Unfortunately I haven’t made it past the page I left it on!
4. Read other blogs!
In the past few days, I’ve been really enjoying seeing other people’s perspectives on life and their advice to offer. I really enjoy hearing about how other people are working on their journey towards their definition of minimalism, and also just how they are managing their time and staying productive.
5. Go for a walk
This is really the only exercise I’ve been getting. I’ve realized how lucky I am to live in the suburbs where I can easily go for a walk through my neighborhood. I’ve been going for walks with my family as a way to get out of the house, do something active, and to talk to one another without the TV on, or our phones in our hands. Walking is also a super easy way to connect with nature without having to go get lost in the woods somewhere.
6. Bake cookies, or try a new recipe
Since my entire family has all moved back home, we’ve decided to start cooking more meals instead of getting takeout. It’s been about a week and a half, and we’ve eaten home-cooked meals almost every night. It gives us something to do, since we have to plan each meal, but also very few of us in the family know how to cook. I’m definitely trying to take this time to start learning how to cook, and then to cook more different types of things. We also watch a lot of Food Network shows in my house, and so baking cookies especially is a favorite. Plus, I’ve realized there are so many recipes I need to try to learn, both for cooking and baking!
7. Cleaning and decluttering
This one is probably not something that everyone reading this would find fun! A while back, in April, I made a post here on my blog showing how I worked on decluttering my bedroom. I actually had a lot of fun doing it, and it kept me busy for about two whole days! Even though I can’t do something on that scale again, since it’s already done, I have been looking for the little projects instead. In my bedroom, I’ve gone through all of the major areas where I had problems with clutter, but I still have some little projects like cleaning out my desk drawers, and the things that I’m slowly noticing that I don’t use as often as I thought I would. Since I donated a huge amount of stuff, it’s been super easy to keep things looking tidy when all I have to do it put a couple things away!
I also like to just wipe down the surfaces in my room when I get really bored, and after a while the dust just collects and on my old white furniture, the dust is really visible. So, around once a week, I just wipe off my desk with some all-purpose cleaner, and I sweep the floor probably every other week. It makes me feel way more productive, and everyone loves being in a clean environment!
8. Playing video games
In March, there was a very big announcement of the release of a new Animal Crossing game, and my whole family likes to take turns playing on the Nintendo Switch we share to play the new Animal Crossing! In a way, this stress-relieving game is also working to bring my family close together because it gives us something we all have in common that we can talk about.
I’ve also been playing a lot of puzzle games on my phone, which doesn’t help me stay productive (really the opposite), but it can help me relax, and to pass the time. I usually like to put on a podcast or YouTube video to play in the background while I do puzzles!
9. Wake up early
This is another thing I don’t do a lot of at the moment, but something I’m definitely going to start doing. I’ve been wanting to turn this into a habit, because whenever I do get a chance to get up earlier than I usually do, I have a lot of time while the sun is shining to either meditate, write, or read books. Having just a little bit of extra time really helps me to get ready for the day, and starting the day on a good note makes the whole day so much better!
10. Spend less time on screens
Spending more time away from screens can be really helpful for your body, and especially for your mind. Social media can be especially bad for self-esteem, and sitting down all day looking at computer screens can be bad for your back and your posture. I see people recommending this all the time, and it’s something I’d love to start doing personally, because I probably spend the majority of my day on my computer or on my phone. I would love to start meditating more often, reading more books, spending more time outside, and more — but whenever I spend all my time on my phone I get caught up and I feel like I don’t have time for any of those things that I would love to start doing.
I hope this list helps anyone else searching for inspiration like I’ve been doing! As always feel free to leave any thought, comments, or any feedback!