So, to pick up where we left off, I wanted to go into more detail about the three things that helped me: routine, sleep schedule, and time management. I want to explain what these three things mean to me, because they may not come across as the same thing for everyone. Again, this worked for me; I am not a doctor and I figured this out on my own. I HOPE it can help others too, but I'm not saying it's a 100% cure-all for everyone.
Let's start with routine. Everyone knows what that is. According to Merrian-Webster's it is A) a regular course of procedure and B) habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure. For me, I lean more towards B. Forming a habit takes time; finding what habits work for you takes some more time. But once I found my grove, it was worth it.
My routine consists of your normal things like making the bed, washing your face, doing the dishes, etc. But on top of that, I've added a pattern of chores that keep my home neat and clean. Having things clean and organized was HUGE for me. Like I said before, small little messes set me into a downward spiral. So, I have several things I do each day to help me keep my home and my brain/mental health in check. I'm going to describe a full day in Part #3.
The next step was finding a sleep routine that worked for me. I know most people think "8 hours" and you're good to go. Early to bed, early to rise and what not. And while this may be true for some, if not most, people; it certainly was not for me. I need 4-5 hours and I prefer to take that from 3 or 4am to 8am. I know, I'm a crazy person. But honestly, this is when I feel best; when I'm most productive; when I'm most motivated; when I just plain feel good.
Four to five hours, insane, right? I don't get it either, but it works for me. But like I said before, it's not for everyone. My husband likes 9-10 hours from 7-8pm to 4-5am. My son sleeps 12 (and has since he was 2 months old) 8 to 8 or 9 to 9. Sleep is a funny thing, and you have to find what works for you. And again, that experimentation and trial and error take time. But once you find that sweet spot, the stars align.
The last thing I'd like to talk about tonight (I might add that I am writing this at 1am) is time management. Mostly when people think about time management, it's like working on a project and not being distracted by the small things or making sure your time 'counts'. And yes, this is true for me as well, but I've also added in my own quirks. Yes, I want to make my time count and I want to be productive with the time I have, but I also need to take care of myself.
I found that without taking the time for the ever-popular 'self-care', I was running, running, running, and then I would hit a wall; I would get burnt out. To counteract this, I set aside time each day for myself, which could be playing a video game, reading a book, taking a bath, etc. Whatever floats your boat. But taking care of yourself is important. Like the time old saying, you can't take care of anyone else, unless you take care of yourself first.
I felt guilty at first... why was I playing a game while my husband was working to support us... why am I taking a bath when my husband and son are playing together... why am I reading in the living-room while my husband is asleep in the bedroom. But after going, going, going and then falling, falling, falling; I figured out I HAD to take some time for myself because the burnout just sent me spiraling back down.
These are the three main steps I have taken to get to where I am today; to be happy, productive, and motivated. I hope they help, or at least gave you a little insight into your own life. Your changes might not need to be as drastic as mine, but I hope this helped or educated you in some way. I believe by sharing all of this, even if it doesn't help you in your own life, it may help you understand someone in your life.
That's it for tonight! I will be sharing a 'day in the life' tomorrow, where I explain my whole day start to finish. Probably going to be super boring, but for someone that might be looking to model a routine, who knows, maybe it'll help. (I say tomorrow, but I'm quite busy this weekend, so it may be Sunday/Monday. I'll do my best!)