On the importance of every day

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I do every day, how important they are, and whether they make my life better or contribute to my happiness. I was inspired by one of the lessons in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, that what you do every day matters more, makes more of a difference, than what you do once in a while.

This is serious, turning-my-life-up-side-down stuff. I mean, my life is pretty good, but if I look at what I do every single day, it’s pretty depressing, especially if I compare it with the list of things that I would like to be doing regularly. Basically, my days involve rushing around between work and home responsibilities, spending time with my family, reading (on my commute) and watching TV. I do loads of other things occasionally, maybe once or twice a week – I excercise, I write, I paint or do other creative projects. But I don’t do them regularly and I always feel disappointed that they’re not bringing me the benefits I expected them to.

I decided that it’s the TV-watching that’s a problem, even though I am a proud TV-series fan and definitely don’t think that watching TV series is a waste of time. But even if it’s not, even if it’s fun, do I need to be doing it every single day? Wouldn’t it be better if, say, I went for a walk every single day and only watched a little bit of TV? Or went for a walk every single day, did something creative every other day, and only watched TV every other day?

Thing is, after all that rushing around between home and work stuff, I’m so tired that all I want to do is veg on the couch and have someone entertain me with a good story. So introducing changes had to involve some extra thinking.

I thought about the way I wanted to feel every day. I want to feel energised, inspired, productive, calm and happy. I can get 4 out of 5 of those out of something I picked up in the past year, though haven’t been doing regularly. Yoga. The fifth, feeling productive, can easily be a product of the others. I know I accomplish more if am energised and calm.

So there it is, my transformation of the every day. I added yoga to my days and so far, so good. Yesterday, I also added meditation, because I’ve been talking about it for ages and, having done it regularly before, am perfectly aware of the benefits it brings.

If you’re on a similar track, I can recommend the yoga books by Tara Stiles, because they have 10-15 minute routines for specific things that may be troubling you. For meditation, I started Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation challenge, available as an iPad app. Each meditation has a different focus and I’m enjoying it so far. Both the books and the app were recommended by my friend Agnieszka, let’s see if she still reads this blog! 🙂

For extra inspiration, read this article on Brain Pickings.

How about you? Are you happy with your every day? What would you like to fit in more regularly?

Advertisements

Sunday Salon: Blogging, reading and mood

It’s been a long time since I blogged, I completely lost my blogging mojo. I have been reading, some, but not as much as in previous months and it got me thinking about how my mood influences everything.

These past weeks (um, months?) have been very, very busy at work. The job is still new to me, so I have to put in more effort than someone more experienced would. Being new also influences my confidence levels, so I am more conscious about the quality of my work.

The work transition is part of a bigger change in my life,  I am really in a transitional place. This means that mood-wise I’m all about self-improvement, happiness and mindfulness. And this is reflected in my recent reading – and probably my lack of blogging too, since my mind is so all over the place.

So this is what I’ve been reading:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – I got this from the library as an e-bbok, read half, loved it and ordered my own copy so that I could see my highlighting better and flip back and forth. I still haven’t finished it, mostly because I’m trying to figure out how best to record the quotes I love and my thoughts as I’m reading. I’ve been experimenting with mind mapping – do you find it useful for projects like this?

Revive by Frank Lipman – A friend who is introducing a number of health-related changes into her life recommended this one, but I got stuck after a few days. I definitely don’t want to follow it exactly, it wouldn’t work with my current lifestyle, but I like some of his ideas. Hmm, it might be another case of figuring out how to capture everything I want to keep filed in my head.

Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga and Yoga Cures by Tara Stiles – I want to get into the habit of doing yoga every day, even if just for 10 minutes, and these books are really nice for that. Now I’m looking for a book that explains the spiritual and physical benefits of individual yoga poses, so that I understand what I’m doing a bit better.

Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko – I never thought I’d be a green-smoothie person, but I am, I love them! I don’t have them every day, largely because we don’t have many kinds of organic greens available here and I don’t think there’s much sense in making green smoothies with sub-standard ingredients. So I have one maybe once a week with spinach, and have regular fruit smoothies a few more times. If you’ve ever wondered about green smoothies, just try them, they are delicious!

I’ve been reading fiction too, escapist stories so that I don’t have to think too much and reading can be a rest from work. These are the books I finished recently:

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Every Day by David Levithan
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg

I’m planning on doing some mini-reviews soon!

Have a good Sunday, everyone!

How do you keep your blogging mojo?

mojo

I’m back, kind of, of it took a while. I’m not sure what happened. One day it was the week before Easter and I had loads of ideas and blogging energy and now it’s mid-May and I haven’t posted anything. How does that work?

How do you keep yourself blogging?

I know that scheduled breaks are sometimes needed and that’s fine. But I didn’t plan on being away for this long. I think I should have taken advantage of my blogging/writing energy when it was there and should have taken the time to pre-write loads of posts.

Is that what you guys do?

I’m surprised that blogging is just like exercise, which I also lost somewhere on the way. If I skip a few days it’s oh-so-hard to get back into it.

I keep re-considering whether I want to keep blogging at all, but the answer is always ‘yes’. When I do it, I love it. Again, just like exercise.

So, here we go again. I missed you guys!

* photo credit