In my last post, I spoke about planning my life sustainability to avoid overwhelm and burnout. In this post, I’m going to get into the nitty gritty of what that looks like.
My planning begins with knowing what nourishes me:
Eating real food
Hot cups of tea
Epsom salt baths
Reading books for pleasure
Getting 9 hours of sleep (yes, 9 hours!)
Time in nature
Creating a daily and weekly schedule
That's a lot of things. I don’t do them all perfectly. During this busy season of my life, I focus on the ones that make the biggest impact if I do not do them and plan my life from there. Those necessary activities are sleep, exercise, eating well, and sitting meditation.
Sleeping is nonnegotiable for me. I do my best recharging when I am alone, sleep is a large part of that. This means I’m often in bed by 10 pm, I’m okay with that. To help me get to sleep I stretch and have a hot cup of tea. I can usually count on those to put me down!
I’m working on exercising regularly, and when I do I feel at the top of my health game. My ideal forms of exercise are hiking, swimming, kayaking, and walking. Since the majority of those are not available to me during the semester, I do the best I can. I take a look at my calendar and plan the days I know I’ll have the available time and stamina to work out. I know if I plan to workout every day, even on my hectic days, I just won’t do it. I’m not about setting myself up for failure. I exercise on the days I have space, and it feels great.
Meal prepping is a must! A friend shared this great app, Meal Lime, with me, which does the majority of my grocery shopping preparation for me. It supplies the recpies, grocery list, and instructions to make delicious meals. It simplifies the steps I have to do in order to meal prep The whole experience is satisfying to my hyper-organized brain. I make sure to cook enough to bring to school throughout the week. Saving money, being well fed, and keeping my sanity often go hand in hand.
Sitting meditation is something I have to plan for, or it won’t happen. Crossing it off first thing in the morning allows me to get it done. Normally I exercise shower and then sit. Sitting keeps me emotionally balanced and spiritually nourished, so it’s important I prioritize it, especially during stressful times.
The other activities I do when I have the time. I read for pleasure on the bus ride to school, I take a hot bath a couple of times a week, often with that same book in hand. I drink tea whenever I feel the need. It's nice to have a few simple things that are easy to do that keep me well.
By having life sustaining habits built into my schedule it makes showing up to school, work, friends and family much more attainable. Once I am out of school I envision that I will have more time to do the things that make life joyful for me (school is also one of those things, it just takes up a lot of mental and emotional space). More kayaking and swimming are in my future, but for now, I’ll take a hot cup of tea and a nice meal when I can.