By: Maria Alves (@chubbiwubbi)
I want to preface this piece by saying that you are under no obligation to do anything you don’t feel like doing. Productivity guilt is not what’s on the menu tonight, folks. Instead, please see this as an offering of things I myself have done that have helped soothe the achy weirdness that seems to linger over everything all the time these days. Try not to view these things as conquests or as mandated things you have to do in order to make the most of your time. These are simply suggestions based off of my own experience with them. I want to offer the joys I felt through these tasks and invite you to create your own experiences with them. Here we go, in no particular order:
- Rearrange Your Room
It’s undeniable that moving furniture around creates a sense of shifting energies. On the crust, it’s as simple as choosing to rearrange furniture and committing to that choice. That itself shifts energies within you into a cataclysmic state: one of reaction or cause and effect, and it just feels f*cking good to get sh*t done, doesn’t it?! Anyway, on a deeper level, you can learn and apply the ancient practice of Feng Shui which focuses on manipulating our surroundings to bring us more success.
So, I took a look at my room. There wasn’t anything specifically or necessarily “wrong” with the layout, I just wanted a shift. There’s only one window in my bedroom, and the lighting in there can be really nice, so I wanted to put a mirror on the window wall so that I could take selfies in my bedroom. But, my bed was up against the window wall. So my partner and I got a little sweaty and we got to work! I moved my bed up against the back wall of my room, which ended up freeing up SO much walking space when you first walk in, I hung up a mirror, hung up a tapestry, and moved my night stand.
Now, when the light comes in, it really fills the room. At night, my bed feels like a sanctuary of rest. I’ve slept better since the changes and my room has been a portal of organization and impeccability. Which leads me to my second suggestion:
- Go Through Your Drawers/Closet/Cabinets
Marie Kondo that sh*t, homie! If you’re fortunate enough to own multiple articles of clothing and knick knacks and patty whacks, take this time to go through your possessions and put them in their right place. Fold your shirts neatly and uniformly, put them away nicely and with intention. So what if it takes 10 extra minutes to do that when you could just toss it and cram it wherever it fits? Make the time. You owe yourself the extra attention you’re giving to yourself. Trust me.
I don’t know about you guys, but my tupperware cabinet is a mess. Always. I do this, isolated or not, but this time I’ve done it without rush. Without anxiety to get to the next task so I could get to the last task so I could start all over the next day. I went through my spice draw and cleaned out the spillage, I’ve cleaned out my fridge and underneath it, too. The little corners of your life deserve your time and affection.
Go through that hamper of clothes. Fold them when they’re out the dryer. Amaze yourself, you’re capable of it.
- Practice Cleanliness
Spring is in the air, and if you’re self-isolating inside your home, this is a great time to get into those floorboards and behind your toilet and scrub your tub! The favorite lesson my mom ever gave me was the value of cleanliness and order. How life is easier to digest when everything is in it’s right place. She taught me how to clean, and for that I am so grateful. I am very fortunate and grateful to have had that presence in my life.
Maintaining cleanliness is also a practice of yoga! Did you know that? One of the 8 limbs of yoga shares with us how to practice inner observances. One inner observance is saucha (purity/cleanliness). When we practice keeping our space and our bodies clean, we’re practicing yoga. So if you ever wanted to start a yoga practice, there’s a place to start!
- Develop a morning and night time ritual
Morning rituals were always my jam. Nighttime is a little challenging for me cus I usually just fall asleep on the couch watching tv or I stay awake until I just can’t anymore and crawl into bed with my partner.
Mornings are for waking up! The first thing I do when I wake up is go to the bathroom. That’s my ritual space. I immediately turn on music and take care of my Detoxification Process (that morning poop hits different), my oral hygeine, and then I take a shower. In the shower, I cleanse my face and exfoliate with these exfoliating gloves (I love those things omg) and some tea tree & mint bodywash. While I’m in the shower, I keep dish soap and a sponge in there so that once in a while I can maintain cleanliness and scrub my tub. I rinse my tub before getting out and dry myself in the tub so I don’t get my bathroom mats and floors wet.
Once I’m dry and out of the shower, I spray witch hazel on my face, let it dry, and I’ll either do a face mask or moisturize with my favorite jojoba/vitamin e/almond oil blend. I then moisturize my entiiiiire body with that same oil, or coconut oil. Before I leave the bathroom, I make sure to wipe down the sink and mirrors from the steam of my shower, and I go and throw my towel in the dryer. If it’s time to wash it, in the washer it goes.
Next on my routine is taking care of my cats. I clean their litter box, change their water, freshen up their food and give them their morning dose of cuddles.
Then I take care of me. I drink a tall glass of water and make myself some breakfast. When I do all those things, my day almost always unfolds in a harmonious way. It happens like this when I feel like doing it, when I force myself into a routine, it doesn’t feel organic and doesn’t produce the same results, so the key here is to WANT to do it.
- Tap Into Your Creativity
You don’t have to be an artist to make art. Most of us are patiently waiting for festival season to kick in again, and it will. So why not take this time to get creative with your kandi? Use up all your beads, put nonsense on a bracelet, they don’t have to be words. Keep PLUR alive!
I love to paint and draw and write and create. For me, tapping into my creativity is natural. I make mandalas and love to paint in patterns. This can be a meditation for me, allowing me to focus my attention only on what I’m doing. I started a new project for an internet friend, and it was a great way to spend my time!
Writing these blogs is another example of how I spend my time. Brands that support and encourage creativity and thought will always have my heart. So, maybe you write a blog, too! Write about your experience through this, we want to be connected. Solidarity is the key to survival… it’s the main ingredient for compassion. If you’re up for sharing, then now’s the time!
- Allow Yourself A Lazy Day (or week)
The final thing I can recommend to you happens to be my favorite one. Creating and producing and accomplishing are all fantastic and I absolutely encourage and empower you to seize the day! I also very much encourage you to notice your patterns: notice when you’re not feeling like taking on the world and actively CHOOSE or ASSIGN yourself a lazy day!
One of these Sunday’s of this self-isolation, I spent the entire 16 hours I was awake on my couch watching Community on Netflix. I ate pasta and peaches and took naps with my cats and it was perfect.
This is the perfect time to learn how to be with yourself. Learn forgiveness and compassion for your choices. Know more than anything that YOU are capable of taking care of yourself. YOU are the expert of your experience.
Thank you guys so much for your time and attention. I hope this blog post has left you inspired and hopeful for another day where you are the captain of your choices.
Namaste & happy Quarantining my friends.