From June to December, I was balancing three jobs, four classes in the summer and five in the fall plus an executive position in my sorority. I barely had thirty minutes to eat. I was insanely stressed, my grades started to fall behind and I felt like I had lost all of my creativity. So for my last semester in school, I decided to make a change.
I stumbled upon the idea of Minimalism on Sunday night and planned on spending the next week practicing it. Even though I thought it was a little unrealistic for me, I took the ideas and made them fit into my life. What started as an experiment on minimalism, grew quickly into changing my entire routine.
I used to roll my eyes at these articles. Thinking, there’s no way I can do that, I just want to sleep, blah blah blah. But trust me when I say that you need to do this.
On the first day, I felt so much more energy in my body. It pushed me to do more and challenge myself instead of being lazy. That first day, after feeling such a rush of creativity and energy, I decided to step away from minimalism and change my entire routine. Doing what I did that Monday (in search of a moderately minimal morning) for the rest of the week.
**You can read more on minimalism, here**
1. Wake up at 7 a.m. (This gave me three hours to myself before I had to go to work!)
2. DO NOT CHECK SOCIAL MEDIA. Just don’t do it. Leave your phone down for the 10 minutes it will take to start your morning. Instead of the first thing you see being rushing news feeds of useless information. Let your mind wakeup and focus on yourself.
3. Take a shower or wash your face. Instead of rolling around in bed, get up and feel refreshed for your day. You’d be surprised what a little cold water can do.
4. Drink a cup of water, then you can switch over to your morning coffee.
5. STILL DON’T CHECK SOCIAL MEDIA. Instead, read through the news. I started each day by reading The Skimm and then catching up on articles from the New York Times. Without a racing mind, I was able to understand the news, keep up with it and retain what I learned.
6. Okay, now you can check social media. But honestly, after spending 30 minutes to an hour just on me and real, tangible things, I didn’t spend any time scrolling on-line.
7. The rest of my morning was spent brainstorming blog posts, fundraising ideas and writing goals for the week. I didn’t even plan to do this but after a calm morning, I couldn’t help but be flooded with inspiration.
**On my busiest morning with work at 8am, I only woke up 1 hour before to do the same routine and still had plenty of time**
1. Workout. Three days this week, Chase and I headed over to the gym around 8pm, after night classes and work, and spent 45 min.- 1 hour there. Each day we spent more time, did more work and felt even better. My stress levels never went back up and I felt less stiff and tired each morning after the gym.
2. Drink a bottle of water before bed. Your body wants water and begs you for it in so many ways. Focusing on drinking more water for just one week, my skin looked better, I craved less coffee and didn’t get a headache.
3. Wash your face. I recently got the First Aid Beauty kit from my Mom for Christmas and I love it! I look forward to coming home at the end of the day now, to wash my face and feel refreshed and clean. It’s so easy to skip this step and just roll into bed. But it really makes a difference.
4. Drink a cup of tea. Camomile is my favorite. A small cup before bed and my mind feels calm and I can close my eyes without forcing it.
5. Read instead of scrolling. Put down your phone 30 minutes before bed. I hated falling asleep with my mind racing from all of the posts and pages and snaps thrown at me. Read a book, a blog, a paper or maybe even watch a little bit of a TV show if you need to. Whatever is the most calming and minimalistic way to end your night, do that.
6. Quick yoga. Right before falling asleep, I adapted a few yoga stretches to my bed. Just a quick arm stretch, bending over to touch my toes and focusing on my yogic breathing and I was ready for bed.
Each night, I was in bed, asleep by 10 pm. I realized it was dumb to expect to wake up for work at 7 a.m. after going to sleep at midnight. So I just stopped that.
I got every single thing done on my lengthy to do list, booked a new client for my personal business, reached every single goal for my week and was a brighter, happier and extremely less negative version of myself. I noticed a change in just one day. I felt ideas pouring out of me and for the first time in a while, I felt like my old creative, take charge self, and I loved it.
Every part of these routines together takes less than 30 minutes (minus the gym). It may seem like a lot, but so is the amount of stress your body and mind are under all day. Being in college, recently graduated or even in high school is stressful and exhausting. At least give yourself that 30 minutes every day to get your best start and best end to every day. You deserve it and trust me , you do have time for it.
If you have your own parts of a routine that you love, comment below! I would love to add something else and try new things.
Peace, love and (moderate) minimalism,