I got a new job.
Yep, I am no longer working the graveyard shift (7pm-6am), and honestly, I got the perfect shift for me (5am-2pm). It gets a little challenging when I have to drive 40 minutes for a temporary second job or to simply go home. Still, I love my new job. It’s hard to explain what the job is; it’s a part of retail but also not a part of retail.
We’re like our own team of merchandisers that work for a company but don’t get paid by the company we work for.
Anyway, with this new job, I now have more time to do things I love and make a routine that optimizes productivity and taking care of myself. Like, I can now do a full skincare routine in the morning and workout and continue educating myself.
With developing a new, better routine, I have figured out seven little habits that will improve one’s quality of life.
1. Every Day Health Priorities
Do something small for your health every single day, as soon as you wake up. Well, after you use the bathroom and make up your bed and all that jazz.
Drink water, get a small workout in, take gummy vitamins you trust, make some sort of protein smoothie. Any one of those are small things I try to do whenever I wake up in the morning to get my mind and body going. For the most part, I wake up and stretch before I exercise. However, sometimes I’m not in the mood to get out of bed so I stick to hydration with some water.
Either way, when I wake up, I do something small to prioritize my health. These small tasks are having long term benefits on my overall being.
2. Create a Unique Style
Most people want to stand out and live a life completely different from everyone else. For those people, the biggest way to stand out is by what they wear. Personally, I believe the key to standing out is shopping second hand/accepting hand-me-downs because thrift shops and older relatives have unique, potentially one-of-a-kind pieces.
What does this have to do with being a habit?
Well, every Sunday, I take time out of my designated day off to browse through a couple of thrift stores and second hand shops. Literally, I do this every Sunday unless I know I’m going thrifting with a friend or family member. Most of the time, I don’t buy anything, but thrift shops and second hand stores are great places for inspiration.
3. Technology Break
One of my top priorities on every daily to do list I make is to take time to read or write. Whether it’s write notes for the blog or read one of the many books on my shelf, I set aside time every day to give my eyes a break from technology and from my surroundings. With reading, it’s a nice little escape to another world or time to educate myself.
Whether it’s drawing, crocheting, sewing, DIYing, etc., it’s important to give your eyes a little break from screen time (she says as she types this on a computer).
4. Small Creative Challenge
This may seem a little weird, but every month, I actively try to find the perfect cover for a new music playlist. I’m not sure about other musical platforms, but I know Spotify and Apple Music easily allow you to change the cover of any playlist you make. Coming up with a great cover, title, and [sometimes] description for a new playlist is a little creative challenge I enjoy doing every month. Adding music that matches the overall vibe of the playlist and playlist cover is even more of a challenge. How much do you want to bet “Sweater Weather” is going to be on every girl’s fall playlist?
5. Continue Your Education
Obviously, this does not mean go back to get your Master’s and stress yourself out every day.
I have a schedule where I spend an hour for three days a week to continue my education: Mondays are dedicated to finance education; Wednesdays are dedicated to relearning Spanish; and Fridays are dedicated to furthering my graphic design education.
With watching the news, listening to podcasts, and reading books, you can learn about things that are important, relevant, and/or pertain to your interests. If you’re someone who likes to socialize, being caught up and educated in a variety of topics will help you be a part of the conversation.
6. Binging Schedule
This sounds strange, but I promise it works and can aid in time management. For television shows and movies, I schedule when I’m going to binge them or watch them. It’s a part of the way I create time for myself on the days I have to work; the binge schedule does not apply to days off. On days off, life is a free for all; I literally do whatever I want.
To give myself time to decompress on the days I have to work, I watch a television show I started “binging.” I’m not one to binge a show or movie series in an entire night; it takes me a while to get through anything there’s more than one of, but I try to finish one show at a time.
7. Random National Holidays
Another strange one but hear me out. Random national holidays, like National Donut Day (where some businesses give out free donuts) can give you something to look forward to, especially if you look at life as stepping stones. Like, you need to get one point to get to another point. These national holidays can double as treat yo self days. Going back to the example of National Donut Day, you could use this day to get the gourmet bacon donut you rarely decide to indulge in.
These are seven small habits I’ve picked up as my body adjusts to a new routine and a new sleep schedule. Sleep is incredibly tough these days, but we’re slowly making progress to getting that back together again.
Any who, I hope this helps with making small improvements, but the most important thing to do is listen to your gut. If you think this will work for you, go for it; if you don’t think something will work for you, trust your instincts.