Show Up For Yourself

Show Up For Yourself

Last week, I was on a blissful high – I was happy, motivated, energized and springing out of bed in the morning. This week however, I can barely get myself to crawl out of bed in the morning. I feel unmotivated, tired, sad, and spaced out. What changed between last week and this week? I spent a few hours this morning racking my brain trying to understand what had changed. Then it dawned on me, I wasn’t showing up for myself.

I wasn’t doing the things I know I need to do to be the best and happiest version of myself.

I wasn’t moving my body, even though I knew it benefitted my mental and physical health in a lot of ways.

I wasn’t creating a balance in my schedule between work things and things that brought me joy.

I wasn’t eating food that fueled my body.

In short, I wasn’t showing up for myself like I had the week before. I knew very well how I would feel if I decided to do what was good for me, but I still didn’t do it. Why? Because I decided that not doing those things was the easier option. Maybe it was in the short-term, but in the long-term it just made me feel worse.

 Showing up for yourself is a decision you have to make every single morning. You have to decide to take care of yourself, to do what you love when you can, to eat whatever makes you feel best. You have to choose to be the best version of yourself – it doesn’t just happen to you.

When you want something, you have to actively go after it. You need to get the ball rolling if you will, or else nothing will happen. If you want to be happier, live a more authentic life or just be more present in the one you have, then you need practice every single day. You have to make choices that will lead you to that lifestyle that you want.

I challenge you to try and show up for yourself, because when you do, I can guarantee you that you will feel a whole lot better.

Start by analyzing the habits and routines that make you feel best and choose to stick to them.  A big part of this is you choosing to prioritize what makes you happy over everything else. Obviously, this is not always possible, but you have to choose to find even 5 minutes in your week to show up for yourself. 

Take A Step Back

Take A Step Back

I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself racing through life, concerned about how busy I was and what the next goal was that I had to accomplish. I felt as if I didn’t check things off a list or look extremely busy to the point of burnout, then I would be seen as lazy and a failure. In hindsight, the negative self-talk and pressure I used to put on myself to perform were harsh and unnecessary. But it was all I knew, and the thought of taking a step back and trying to grasp what I was doing just seemed like another way I could procrastinate.

Only now, after slowing down my life because of the pandemic have I come to understand and appreciate the simple concept of taking a step back. Yes, the world will go on, but that doesn’t mean you will fall off the bandwagon for taking a few moments to step back and see your life from a different perspective.

It has been beyond a rough year for me, and a lot of it was due to me clinging on to these ideas that no longer aligned with who I was or what I wanted from my life. I had convinced myself that following one specific path was the solution to all my problems, how I would become successful and make money. The truth is that the path had ended, and I didn’t even know. Around the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, as I was getting ready to finish my university degree, I started on the classic post-grad job hunt. I had it stuck in my head that I needed to work a specific job in order to be happy.

That specific job wasn’t a bad one – it could have been a great job if it had made me happy and was what I wanted. But I had lost my way and was forgetting the previous experience I had had in a role similar to that job. I fully forgot about the many experiences in that job that made me so unhappy. I had trained myself to forget about those experiences to keep pushing forward and make it seem like I had a plan. It felt good to tell people exactly what I wanted to do after I graduated. Except for the fact that it wasn’t what I wanted to do at all.

Giving myself the time and patience to take a step back and re-evaluate my life was one of the best decisions I ever made. Here are a few things I did that you could do whenever you want:

1)      Stop doom scrolling through job sites or the internet in general

I was constantly checking any job site you can think of. I was doing everything “right”, but I wasn’t doing what was right for me. Because no matter how many job postings I searched or replied to, absolutely none seemed even remotely interesting. At the end of January, I decided to clear my search history on these job sites and overall, not look at them for a few weeks. From January to early March, I very rarely looked at a job posting.

2)      Evaluate how you feel right now

I was feeling unmotivated, disappointed, fatigued and exhausted from trying to carry on in this life as if everything was sunshine and rainbows. After a family thing happened, I felt nothing but numb and I finally gave in to all that I had been feeling for months at this point. I was so unhappy with my life, anxious about what would come and confused about which direction to go.

One night, I was reflecting on the past two years of my life when suddenly it was like I had unlocked memories that I had kept hidden. It dawned on me that I already experienced the life I thought I wanted – and quite frankly I hated it. That time in my life was filled with depressive episodes, an abnormal amount of crying and a constant state of sadness. Why was running back to that?

3)      Accepting that you don’t know what you want

After realizing that the path I was working towards had ended and taking that very necessary step back I was essentially starting back at square one. In a way, I felt hopeless and like a failure, but I just gave myself time. I let myself sit in this period of not knowing, and I stopped forcing myself to create a life that I didn’t want.

4)      Opening yourself up to new opportunities

At the beginning of March, I sent an email to someone and a few weeks later I would end up doing something with my life that made me happy.

Now I don’t think you should take a step back and never go back into the arena. Breaks and pauses are meant to be temporary, but eventually, you will start to feel a lot better, and you will know when it’s time to get back at it. But when you do, you will have a much clearer vision or at least a semblance of an idea of the kind of life you want to live.

Allow yourself to pause, take a step back, re-evaluate and sit in the unknown for a bit. It’s essentially allowing yourself to recharge and reset – something we should all be doing a bit more often.

Books You Need To Read

Books You Need To Read

I have loved reading for many years, but I must admit as a kid I hated reading. But now, it seems that I have to make up for lost time, which means I am constantly reading a book. Here are a few of my recent favourites that I would highly recommend you all take a look at.


1) The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The book follows the story of Nora Seed who decides that she does not want to live anymore. After attempting to take her own life, she ends up in a unique place known as the Midnight Library – or the in-between of life and death. Here, along with the help of an old friend, she will get the chance to see what her life could have been if she had made different choices.
I was a bit hesitant to start this book, but I honestly have no idea why I waited so long, it was a fantastic book. Haig writes so beautifully and explains philosophical concepts of the universe in a simple, yet intriguing way. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a lover of philosophy, abstract thinking, a good story, or who needs a dose of inspiration.


2) Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Next Year in Havana is the story of Marisol Ferrera who returns to Cuba in 2017, at the request of her now-deceased grandmother to spread her ashes in Cuba. Elisa Perez, Marisol’s grandmother, fled Cuba in 1958 at the age of 19 years old during the Cuban revolution. Both women’s stories give us a glimpse into understanding a time in history that we might have never learned about. This book has it all – the romance, history, excellent plot and just how tumultuous our family lives can be. If you are a history junkie, or just want to learn a little bit about the Cuban Revolution, then this might be a good place to start.
I did not know I would love this book so much, but the story and writing are crafted so well that you will not be able to put it down once you start.


3) The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.
The book follows the story of Tiffy and Leon who become sort of roommates. Leon needs money to pay for his brother’s legal fees after he was wrongly accused of a crime and sent to prison, and Tiffy needs to get away from her ex-boyfriend as fast as possible. They go on to become roommates – but not your typical roommates. Leon works nights so he only uses the apartment during the day, while Tiffy works during the day and only uses the apartment at night. One would assume they would have no contact, but through a string of intricate post-it notes, their lives become intertwined with one another and they can’t seem to stay away from one another.
One of my favourite things about this book is how it addresses unhealthy, toxic and abusive relationships and the people that unfortunately are in them. As you will read, Tiffy was in an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend, but Beth O’Leary focused on empowering Tiffy and having her find the strength within to break away from it. Of course, she had her support system, but it was refreshing to read the main character find the strength within herself instead of finding that in others.

I truly love to read, and I love how easily we can be transported to a world none of us have ever known. If you too are a reader or want to become one, check out my other post for some more book ideas.
Happy Reading!

Figure Out Who You Are & What You Want

Figure Out Who You Are & What You Want

Do you ever find that your goals never pan out? Do you find yourself unmotivated after the excitement wears off? Then this post might be for you.

Today, I don’t want to focus on creating our goals, instead, I want to help you build a solid foundation for your goals and dreams, and that all starts with understanding who you are and who you want to become. When we create goals with no solid foundation, we set ourselves up to fail in a way. The truth is, the excitement and motivation will run out; but if you have created goals that align with who you are and who you want to become, then you can keep working towards those goals even when it gets challenging.  

Before you start building your goals, take the time to understand who you want to become. I find that the easiest way to go about this is by journaling. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated just grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing. Write about anything that comes to your mind and what you want out of life and who you want to become.

For those of you who might need a bit of guidance, here are some journaling prompts I used after I did my free write, to structure out my ideas and see them more clearly:

  • Are you happy right now? If so, what makes you happy? If not, what makes you unhappy?
  • Is there anything you would change in your life right at this moment?
  • Who do you want to become? What does the best version of yourself do? What habits do they have? What kind of person are they?
  • Are you still the same person you were a few years ago? How have you changed? Have you changed at all?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you want to be living?

Doing What You Don’t Want To Do

Doing What You Don’t Want To Do

One of the consequences of growing up and becoming an adult is that you will need to force yourself to do a lot of things you would otherwise not want to do. Before, it was your parents’ responsibility to do a lot of that for you, or at least push you to do it. But, as we get older and more of these challenges come our way, we tend to find ways to run and hide from those responsibilities – at least, I do.

I am not one to step out of my comfort zone, and if there is something I need to do and cannot predetermine how exactly it will pan out, then I am jumping straight into overthinking mode. I will essentially create a dozen different scenarios that all end in the worst thing imaginable; I will scare myself so much all because I don’t want to take care of certain responsibilities. Does this all sound familiar or a little bit crazy?

It is a bit crazy and quite exhausting actually. The more time I spend freaking out about something, the less I want to do it, the scarier it becomes and the more I freak out. Truth be told, my brain often finds itself trapped in this vicious loop. But unfortunately, there are many times where I still have to do the thing I don’t want to or take care of a certain responsibility I would rather avoid for the rest of my life.

So, how do I do it? Here a few reminders I pull out whenever I am consumed with paralyzing anxiety over doing something I do not want to do.

1.       Ground Yourself in The Present Moment

It is so easy to get lost in our heads that we forget what is happening in the world outside of our heads. When you feel yourself getting anxious, take a few deep breaths and focus on just being in the moment. Tell your brain and those negative thoughts that you are here right now, not anywhere else. Often, we stress or get anxious about things that will happen in the future, I find that reminding myself to be in the present gives my brain a bit of breathing room and eases my anxiety a little.

2.       It Will Be Over, Eventually

The passage of time can sometimes be a blessing. Remember that what you are feeling right now, what you think will happen when you do the thing you don’t want to do, and time, in general, will pass. Even if it goes horribly, it will eventually pass, and time will keep moving. Everything eventually comes to an end.

3.       Prepare as Much as You Can

When I am about to enter a situation where I don’t know what will happen, there is only one thing I can control and sometimes figuring that out helps calm my nerves. If you are scared of not being in control of a situation (we can’t always be in control of everything), then remember what you can do. Can you do some more research to prepare? Can you plan something out that would make this easier? Is there a reward you can give yourself at the end of this task or a responsibility that will make you feel better? Trying to prepare for what is to come can help you feel more grounded, present and less insecure about yourself in the future moment you are doing the thing you don’t want to do.

There are a lot of things I hate doing, but there are just some things I cannot avoid doing – no matter how much I try. Take a deep breath, get out of your head, plan what you can and remember it will be over before you know it. Good luck!

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Yes, you are allowed to change your dreams.

Nowadays, the concept of bettering yourself, growing or changing is the norm in society. There are countless books, tv shows, apps and journals designed to help you just that. But what they often forget to include is that as you are changing and growing as a person, your dreams and goals will inevitably also change.

Whenever someone asks me what my life plan is, or where do I see myself in five years? I have a hard time responding, mainly because it is terrifying to think that far ahead. But mostly because of who I am, my interests and my aspirations have changed so much throughout the years. No one ever really talks about just how much one person can change in a short amount of time or when faced with a series of obstacles and challenges in their life.

I just wish that someone could tell 18-year-old me that things are allowed to change. Not only am I allowed to change, but what I want from life and what I want to contribute to the world can also change.

In my life, there have been two specific times where I essentially realized that I didn’t want something I had wanted for a very long time. From the ages of about 13 to 17, I wanted nothing more than to be a lawyer. But then one night as I was studying, it dawned on me that that was not what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be anymore. It was crushing, to say the least. It was as if I was crushing my own dreams, instead of someone else doing it for me. Eventually, I came to terms with that realization and embarked on what I would refer to as a 5-year journey of confusion.

This brings me to the second instance of realization. A few weeks ago, I was just journaling as I normally do, and without even realizing it I was writing about how I didn’t know what my next step would be. I was so intent on doing this one thing with my career for so long that I lost sight of how much I didn’t like it. I forgot how sad, depressed, and miserable that work environment made me, so why was I clinging on to it?

You see, we might change and grow every day, but we often forget to update our dreams and goals along the way. It is perfectly normal to not want to same things you used to hope and pray would happen to you. I was holding on to this dream that no longer fit who I was now – it was very much a leftover mark of who I used to be.

Your dreams and goals are allowed to change.

What often happens is that we don’t give ourselves permission to change them. Suddenly our minds wonder what everyone will think. Will I leave my comfort zone? Will I fail? Which are all normal questions, but I have come to understand that when you don’t check in with yourself, or when you keep outdated dreams and goals in the back of your brain, you are essentially holding on to your comfort zone and stopping yourself from truly growing.

That’s what I was doing. I had built up this fantasy in my mind for so long about how my dreams and goals would look, but how they were playing out was so different. I was holding on to these dreams out of fear of failure and out of fear of the unknown.

It was only when I came to a breaking point that I realized how miserable my dreams and goals made me, and started thinking, well what can I do? Did I realize how much I was stopping myself from actually living my life the way I wanted to?

To sum it up, yes, you are allowed to change your dreams. If anything, I encourage you to check in with yourself and see if what you wanted for so long is still what you want from life right now, as the person you are today. If not, don’t worry. Give yourself some time to explore, think, feel out the edges of your comfort zone and remember that you can quite literally do anything with your life.

Monthly Goals

Monthly Goals

Some people find planning an entire month to be daunting or useless – and I get that, I do. But planning things ahead of time allows you to decide when things will happen, how they will happen and give you more time than you thought you had.

Monthly goals are an excellent way to set up your month, plan out a strategy to reach your short- or long-term goals and overall visualize what is to come in the month or months ahead.

Here are a few things I do when planning for my month:

1.       Breaking down yearly goals

Although we aren’t in January or February anymore, we should still be working towards our yearly or long-term goals. By revisiting those goals, you set out at the beginning of the year, you can allow yourself to create a list of smaller tasks that will help you further those goals. It does not have to be anything crazy but accomplishing one or two smaller tasks a month can eventually lead you to accomplish your yearly goal.  By looking back on your goals, you are better able to see what you need to get done this month to make sure you are actively working towards those goals.

2.       Personal development

The beginning of every month also allows you to start fresh on your development journey. Although you can do this any day of the week, starting the month with a few habits you want to incorporate into your routine is a great way to start. The way I prefer to go about this is by creating a monthly habit tracker. Not only is the habit tracker a visual reminder to complete a certain habit, but it will help you stay on top of the various habits by condensing it all into one space.

3.      Appointments, dates, deadlines…

This one is obvious, but it can often just go over our heads. It’s a lot easier to know what’s coming at the beginning of the month than to forget something really important last minute. Take a few minutes to write down any appointments, birthdays, events or deadlines you might have coming up.

4.       Non-negotiables

Our monthly schedules can get full and hectic fast, so you need to schedule some downtime and some fun hobbies or activities. By planning these things ahead of time, you won’t need to reschedule them if something else pops up. It’s important to plug in these non-negotiables into our calendar because often they are what refuels us and keeps us going.

If you have a few minutes today, grab your planner or a calendar and just sit down and look at the month ahead. Take a look at your goals, your habits, your hobbies, chores, and ask yourself how can I plan this month in a way that gives a balance between all these things? How can I make sure that I am organized, productive and also prioritizing myself? At the end of the day, planning is a way of prioritizing yourself and what you need or want to get done.

Why Am I Scared Of Growing Up?

As a kid, I had high hopes and expectations for adulthood. I was the one kid going on and on about wanting to grow up and how it would be so freeing and liberating. In some ways, it has been, but in other ways, it has been a tumultuous roller-coaster filled with so many highs and lows I can’t keep up anymore.

For some reason, the older I get, the more terrified I am to grow up. Not necessarily physically age, but of just taking on more responsibility and having to make harder decisions. But why is that? Why am I scared of responsibility and life-altering decisions?

As I was pacing around my room last night it dawned on me that I was scared of growing up because I had convinced myself that every decision, I would make at 22 years old would be permanent. Somehow, I had told myself that any decision I would make right now is what my life would be, and there would be no wiggle room to change in my future.

Which after some reflection, I find a bit ridiculous? Why do we think that most of our decisions are so permanent when everything around us, including ourselves, is constantly changing? Society has conditioned us to think that the box or category we fall into at the age of 20-something is the same one we will be in when we are in our 30s or 50s. But that could not be further from the truth. First off, you are never constrained to a box or category. Second, you are allowed to change and grow, and the decisions you make now can also change and grow with you.

This idea that I would be constrained by the decisions I made as a 20-something year old for the rest of my life is terrifying. But that idea is simply not true.

The decisions you make at this point in your life are not always permanent. Yes, some things are permanent such as having children or taking care of an elderly family member. But there are so many other factors of your life that can change and grow with you as you change if you let them. If I have learned one thing, it is that nothing is permanent. Nothing is guaranteed, and everything is subject to change. Understanding this has eased my anxiety that was so intertwined with growing up and all that it entails.

Take comfort in the fact that growing up does not necessarily mean making one big decision after another and never having the ability to change it. You will always be making life-altering decisions, but that does not mean you can’t change your mind.

There will always be that opportunity to change direction, to try something new, to grow. 

Priority List vs To-Do List

Priority List vs To-Do List

Do you often find yourself staring at a massive to-do list and just feeling overwhelmed? I get that. For a long time, I thought that just making a to-do list would be enough to keep organized and productive when I needed to be. Instead, I became overly stressed, disorganized, and confused. Why, may you ask? Because having one large to-do list was not giving me any structure or sort of strategy to tackle all the things I had to do. I was not prioritizing the tasks that needed to get done, and it showed.

Don’t get me wrong – I love to-do lists. But they were just not enough to organize everything that I had to get done, and that might be the issue you are also having. This is why, along with my to-do list, I also create a priority list. A priority list to your organizational system is key to getting meaningful tasks done.

A priority list is exactly what it sounds like. It’s you physically (or digitally) prioritizing items on your larger to-do list. It’s truly quite simple.

Is it worth it to create a to-do list? Yes, it is the fundamental basis for any organization system, in my opinion. It’s a jumping-off board for your priority list and helps your mind process what exactly needs to get done.

Here is an example of a larger to-do list that is almost the equivalent of a brain dump:

  • Response to text
  • Email professor
  • Readings 7-9
  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2
  • Slideshow presentation
  • Summary of reports
  • Draft & Edit blogpost
  • Send Resume & CV to Company

It’s essentially a very long list of large tasks and absolutely no structure or sense to it.

After your larger to-do list is created, it’s time to make a priority list. Start by looking at the tasks that have a deadline coming up soon. Next, are there any tasks that can be broken down into smaller chunks? Which tasks have you been putting off that really cannot be put off any longer? Lastly, are there any tasks that you can break down into smaller chunks that still need to get done right away?

Eventually, you might get a list of 3-4 items and that will be your priority list. Here is an example of my priority list:

  • Email Professor
  • Summary of Reports
  • Essay 1
  • Send Resume & CV to Company

By asking the questions I listed above, I essentially narrowed my tasks down to the things that had to get done today.

If you find you are having trouble deciding which tasks need to be added to your priority list, just ask yourself this, which task will make tomorrow or next week better for me? In other words, which task can I do today, that will make my life simpler in the future?

You do not need to choose between a priority list and a to-do list, because really, they go hand in hand. Once your priority list has been complete you can tackle the larger to-do list or reprioritize whatever is left on that list.

Embracing Our Complexity

Embracing Our Complexity

Do you ever feel constrained by society? Do you ever feel trapped inside one box that you can’t ever get out of? Do you ever feel like there is so much more you want to explore and are interested in but you can’t? Chances are, you are not alone in feeling this.

Society has a way of ensuring that you stay in one lane or path for a very long time, and diverging from it can cause some strong reactions both from those around you and society in general.

There are so many things that we are constrained by, and I never understood why. From a personal standpoint, I feel as if I cannot like makeup and also be a woman who argues about politics. I feel like I can’t enjoy baking and be someone who loves to study history and read books. It’s as if anytime I try to break out from the one box or thing I am suddenly faced with a heavy dose of criticism. The truth of the matter is society has not yet evolved to understand this idea that we are more than the one thing they label us as.

The only conclusion I can render as to why society functions that way is because it’s simpler. It’s simpler to see someone and immediately be able to categorize them into one box, even though there isn’t a single human on this planet who is that simple.

So, I am here to remind you that you can love more than one thing. You can love sports and makeup. You can enjoy dancing and be an electrician. You can enjoy the piano and still attend rock concerts. You can be multifaceted.

Categorizing people under this one thing harms the beauty and complexity of what it means to be human. It strips us of this ability to embrace the different aspects of ourselves and trains us not to see that complexity in others.

However, things don’t have to be this way. We don’t have to just love one thing or fit it into one box. We were never meant to be on one path and only do that one thing; We were meant to grow, change, learn and explore anything and everything that piques our interest.

It’s okay to love more than one thing. To be interested in more than one thing should be seen as an opportunity, not something to be looked down upon because it might require a few extra seconds to wrap your mind around it.

For a long time, I thought I couldn’t blog about life, organization and motivation because I was studying political science. I thought I could not love makeup because I loved to read; I believed I couldn’t care about my appearance because I was a feminist. But the truth is, you can do everything and anything you want. I came to understand that in this world, I could blog, study politics, care about my appearance, be a feminist and still spend hours watching makeup videos for fun. I have come to understand that life is so much more complex than society makes it out to be and that you are allowed to be as complex as you want to be. It is not up to anyone else to constrain you to one thing you can love everything and anything – it seems complicated but choosing to embrace every part of who you are is one of the most relieving and beautiful things you can ever do.

The Reset Routine

Do you ever have those weeks that feel so draining and chaotic? I used to feel like that a lot, but a few years ago I started building this habit that I have come to label as a ‘reset routine’. I usually do this on Sunday or Saturday, but when or how you do this routine does not matter as much as the actions you take to reset your day or week.

The reset routine I have come to create is essential for keeping my life in order and my sanity intact. But I understand that creating this routine might sound a bit daunting, but I promise you it does not have to be complex and intricate. All you need to do is carve out a bit of time in your day of choice and you can build your reset routine.

As I mentioned earlier, I usually do this on Sunday because I like the tone it sets for the week. Some weeks I might dedicate only a few hours on Sunday to this reset routine, but most weeks I split up my reset routine to last the entire day. Once you have carved out some time and space to reset your life, it’s time to build a routine that suits your needs.

1)      Reflection & Intentions

First, take a moment to reflect on the past week, the upcoming week and how you are feeling about it all. Before you do any sort of routine it’s important to evaluate where you are mentally, physically, and emotionally. Establishing where you are at can allow you to create a routine that will address your needs. Once I understand what’s happening internally, I take a few minutes to set my intentions for the week.

2)      Clean, Clean, Clean

Second, once you have checked in with yourself, it’s time to start tackling the space around you. I am sure you all know that your physical environment affects your mental and emotional health, which is why it’s important to keep it clean and organized. What I do is make a list of chores that need to get done. Depending on the size of your home, the number of people you are living with and other factors, this might differ for everyone. But creating that list makes the chores tangible, easier to digest and easier to tackle. For many people, including myself, cleaning my physical space helps clear my head, which is why it is the first thing I do. When my space is clean, I can think clearly. 

3)      Plan the Week Ahead

After I finish cleaning, I will move on to planning my week. This step is especially helpful if the week or coming days are going to be hectic. As mentioned in my last post, I love time blocking and find it best to do during my reset routine. Planning the week also allows your brain to anticipate what’s to come and it can start mentally preparing for anything you have to do that week.

4)      Take Care of Yourself

Once your home is tidy and your week is planned, it’s time to focus on yourself. We checked in with ourselves at the beginning of the day, but now it’s important to help ourselves feel whatever we are feeling. I like to carve out an hour or two (more is also great) to journal, do a hobby, meditate, read, or even just sit on the couch and watch a tv show. What I am trying to get at is that during your reset routine, you must listen to what you need. What kind of rest do you think you need? Does your brain need a bit of creative time? Are you feeling lonely, sad, happy? Do you feel like you need to call a loved one? Resetting ourselves for the week requires that we check in with ourselves and that we feel whatever we are feeling and then deal with it accordingly. Some weeks you won’t be able to but feeling the emotions you are feeling is a big step in the right direction.

I hope you try building your reset routine and give yourself some grace. The routine and habits themselves will take time to build, but the more you do this the better you will feel and the more prepared you will feel for the week ahead.  

Time Blocking: The Organization Tool You Need

Working from home has presented a unique set of challenges, whether you are a student, self-employed or an employee. One of the most challenging things I have experienced while working from home is the lack of routine and structure in my day. When we need to leave our house to go to work, school or appointments, it instills in us this idea that we have a place to be, therefore we need to do x,y,z before we leave or when we return. We are creatures of habit and routine, so when our normal day to day routine was abruptly thrown out the window because of the pandemic, it became difficult to jump into the new normal.

One of the ways that I dealt with this as a student was by time blocking. It is not a new phenomenon, but it honestly got me through my last semester. I did not realize how much I needed a sense of structure and routine to accomplish the tasks I needed to do. Time blocking also gave me a sense of control over the week or month ahead of me. This is why, I want to share with you all just a basic way you can time block your day to day living, and hopefully it will help you be more disciplined and productive.

*Please note that I am using google calendar, but any calendar will do! Even a piece of paper and a pen will work.

1) Non-negotiables

I first start by plugging in the basics of my week ahead. In the spirit of creating a routine, I even go so far as to plug in my designated lunch break, what time I want to get up and any classes or appointments I might have this week. Start your time blocking by adding in things that you consider essential is a fundamental way to encourage you to incorporate habits you want to develop. For example, you could also include time for a workout, calling a loved one or a friend, meditation, journaling, etc. It’s important to understand that by plugging in your non-negotiables, you are acknowledging that they are important, but you are also prioritizing them in your everyday life.

2) Add in your Priorities

At the beginning of each week, I find it helpful to write out a list of priorities. This establishes what needs to get done first and is more important. Take a few moments to jot down what needs to get accomplished this week, and then add in the tasks in decreasing order of importance. Now that you understand what is important you can begin carving out time in your week to work on these tasks.

3) Add in Breaks/Chill Time

Life gets chaotic and hectic—that much is inevitable, but you must allow yourself the time to relax and do things that you like. As you can see down below, I have included time to work on my blog and even dedicated a portion of my morning to just chilling and relaxing. Not everyone can do that, and most weeks I can’t either, but on days when I can’t, I try to schedule a break, which can be seen in yellow. This is what the finished schedule looks like:

4) Add some colour

When it comes to good old pen and paper, I usually tend to stick with black or blue ink. But when looking at a screen, I need as much colour as possible to fully understand where I am spending most of my time and energy. Not only is this aesthetically pleasing for the eye, but it’s also useful when you get to the end of your week. At the end of the week, analyze the colours used and the tasks you did. Did you spend a lot of time doing one type of thing? Did you include enough breaks? Does your schedule need to be more flexible or perhaps more disciplined? Colour coding allows you to see where you might be spending too much time and how you could deal with that.

I hope those tips helped you, and I hope you consider trying time blocking! Sometimes doing a full week can be intimidating try mapping out one day at a time and see how it affects your life.

If you have any other tips to share about time blocking, make sure to leave them in the comments down below!